Assignment of Benefits

1 month ago

I turned in an assignment of benefits and didn’t turn in the back side of the form that I had the customer sign (for a mold assessment, not remediation) so I am not doing work at the customer’s home, just testing for mold and doing a full assessment of the property, and wrote protocol; however, I never turned in the 2nd side of the form stating:

“YOU ARE AGREEING TO GIVE UP CERTAIN RIGHTS YOU HAVE UNDER YOUR INSURANCE POLICY TO A THIRD PARTY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN LITIGATION AGAINST YOUR INSURER. PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS DOCUMENT BEFORE SIGNING IT. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PENALTY WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE THIS AGREEMENT IS EXECUTED, AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE WORK ON THE PROPERTY IS SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE IF THE ASSIGNEE HAS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY PERFORMED, OR AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE EXECUTION OF THE AGREEMENT IF THE AGREEMENT DOES NOT CONTAIN A COMMENCEMENT DATE AND THE ASSIGNEE HAS NOT BEGUN SUBSTANTIAL WORK ON THE PROPERTY. HOWEVER, YOU ARE OBLIGATED FOR PAYMENT OF ANY CONTRACTED WORK PERFORMED BEFORE THE AGREEMENT IS RESCINDED. THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR OBLIGATION TO PERFORM THE DUTIES REQUIRED UNDER YOUR PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICY.”

however, they sent me an email yesterday stating

Attached is our letter advising the AOB is not valid under current Florida Statute.

In an effort to resolve this matter completely, the carrier like to offer your company $3,386.00 as full and final settlement of the disputed damages. This amount represents the 1% Cov A limitation ($3,386.00) applicable under the current statute. If all parties agree to this settlement please sign and email back to my attention at xxxxx@XXXXX.com . Upon receipt, I will issue payment to your office at:

and they also sent me a letter stating that they assignment agreement submitted is not in compliance with HB 7065 because it was not submitted with an itemized estimate with per unit cost estimate.

I have to respond to them promptly, but I did not submit an itemized estimate with per unit cost because I sent them an invoice with per unit cost (for testing, and then for the assessment/protocol), so I believe I am in compliance there, but it does not say estimate, it says invoice on what I sent them.

Can you help guide me through how to handle this? I’d like to get paid for my part of the testing and protocol writing.

I also would be performing another test at the end of remediation (I am not a remediator) which is PRV testing (post remediation verification testing) with a clearance letter.

Thank you,

Patti Neri, MRSA
US Building Inspectors
561-784-8811

and they sent attachment documents for me to sign.

Is there a way for me to:

a) send them the back side of the AOB?
b) I didn’t submit

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

Under recently passed Florida law (Florida Statute 627.7152(2)(a)(6)), the disclaimer you mentioned above must be included in an Assignment of Benefits contract in Florida. And, a failure to include that required disclaimer could endanger an agreement to assign benefits.

Under 627.7152(2)(a)(4), the contract must also contain a “writen, itemized, per-unit cost estimate” of the services that will be performed. Note, though, that it’s important this be provided at the time of the contract – not just when the work is billed. But, if an itemized invoice for the work to be done was provided in writing at the time the contract was made, then that preemptive invoice could potentially be sufficient. Though, providing an itemized estimate or invoice after the contract has already been signed would seemingly not be in compliance with HB 7065.

It’s worth noting, though, that under HB 7065, the failure to include the disclaimer and the itemized estimate might not explicitly invalidate an assignment of benefits (AOB) agreement. While there is a subsection of HB 7065 that, if not followed, would immediately invalidate an assignment of benefits agreement and render it unenforceable, those two requirements are not in the same subsection of the statute. Meaning, while both of the above topics (statutory disclaimer and itemized estimate) are “required”, it’s not yet clear whether that would completely ruin the agreement under HB 7065, as written.

I wish I were able to provide more cut-and-dry clarity here, but the new AOB requirements created by HB 7065 are untested. They haven’t yet been challenged or even analyzed in court. So, it’s not yet clear how certain issues will be treated under the new regulations. For a little more insight into how the laws might be interpreted, it would be helpful to consult a local construction attorney who’s intimately familiar with dealing with insurers in the state and the new legislation.

For more background on the legislation, here’s a great resource: Florida Assignment of Benefits: Big Changes Coming in July of 2019.

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