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Legal group calls governor's leadership on benefits reform 'incredible'

By Carrie Bradon | Jun 20, 2019


TALLAHASSEE -- Since taking office in January, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been moving to make a number of much-needed reforms, one of which is to control abuse of the assignment of benefits (AOB).

Observers hope that House Bill 7065, which DeSantis approved May 23, can end the abuse of awards paid out by insurance companies. 

According to FloridaPolitics.com, DeSantis believes HB 7065 is exactly what is needed to protect Floridians from scandalous insurance practices.

Assignment of benefits agreements often allow individual policyholders to forfeit their insurance rights to third parties who agree to give them quick services and an easier solution rather than going through the normal claims process. Although it may sound beneficial, AOB agreements are often abused by the third parties who then file lawsuits related to the agreements and charge even more than the original agreement.

Numerous groups, including the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and the Florida Property & Casualty Association have praised the governor for his decision to sign HB 7065 into law. These groups include the Florida Justice Reform Institute, which believes the measure will solve many problems that have surrounded insurance claims in the past. 

“The assignments of benefits reform is a much needed reform. Gov. DeSantis’ leadership on the issue was incredible,” William Large, FJRI's president, told Florida Record. 

According to Large, AOB abuse has been a problem in Florida for more than a decade and solutions have long been sought, although none have been viable options for long-term reform.

“The business community and insurance industry was trying for about 10 years to fix this problem, to no avail. In Gov. DeSantis’ first legislative session, he got everyone in to room and figured out a solution,” Large said. “The solution is a big win for consumers.”