While Hurricane Matthew brushed along the Atlantic coast last year, no major hurricane has made landfall in Florida since 2005. Despite that luck, homeowner insurance premiums remain very high, and have experienced double-digit annual increases in Southeastern Florida.  Over the next 5 years, rate hikes are expected to increase over 60% in Miami-Dade County alone.

The increase in premiums is unquestionably due to nonweather-related claims resulting from the state’s Assignment of Benefits (AOB) process. AOB was originally designed to help Florida’s consumers get their insurance claims paid and damages repaired promptly by authorizing insurers to directly pay vendors and contractors for home repair work. But in recent years, shady repair vendors have been soliciting consumers to sign sweeping AOBs that in effect allow them to take over all the rights and benefits of the insurance policy.

To read the entire piece, visit the Fort Meyer News-Press