Category Archives: Publications

FROM THE I.I.I. DAILY: OUR MOST POPULAR CONTENT, FEBRUARY 1 TO FEBRUARY 7

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from this week’s I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org

 

FROM THE I.I.I. DAILY: OUR MOST POPULAR CONTENT, JANUARY 28 TO JANUARY 31

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from this week’s I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org

FROM THE I.I.I. DAILY: OUR MOST POPULAR CONTENT, JANUARY 18 TO JANUARY 24

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from this week’s I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org.

 

Florida’s assignment of benefits crisis: PowerPoint slides now available

On December 11, 2018 the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) published a report documenting Florida’s assignment of benefits crisis – what the crisis is, how it’s spreading and how it’s costing Florida consumers billions of dollars.

You can download and read the full report, “Florida’s assignment of benefits crisis: runaway litigation is spreading, and consumers are paying the price,” here.

Today we also published PowerPoint slides accompanying the report. We hope the slides will help illustrate the depth and breadth of the abuse. You can download the slides via this link.

An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a contract that allows a third party – a contractor, a medical provider, an auto repair shop – to bill an insurance company directly for repairs or other services done for the policyholder.

The process is innocuous and common throughout the country. But as our report notes, Florida’s unique legal systems richly rewards plaintiff’s attorneys and vendors when they submit inflated bills to insurance companies and then file lawsuits when those bills are disputed.

Not just a few lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits. The numbers are staggering. There were roughly 1,300 AOB lawsuits statewide in 2000.  There were more than 79,000 in 2013, and nearly 135,000 through November 9, 2018, a 70 percent increase in just five years.

Inflated claims and massive volumes of lawsuits have the predictable result of driving up insurance companies’ legal costs. Insurers are forced to then pass those costs on to consumers. In the study, we estimate that Florida’s auto and homeowners policyholders have paid about $2.5 billion more for insurance over the past dozen years to cover the increase in legal costs.

That doesn’t even count the billions more in excess claim settlements that are at the heart of the problem.

Many of these inflated bills and lawsuits are driven by a select number of contractors and their attorneys. Florida insurance customers can protect themselves – and their fellow citizens – by being very cautious when signing away their benefits under an AOB.

From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, January 4 to January 10

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from this week’s I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org.

 

From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, December 28 to January 3

 

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from this week’s I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

 

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org.

 

FROM THE I.I.I. DAILY: OUR MOST POPULAR CONTENT, DECEMBER 7 TO DECEMBER 13

 

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from this week’s I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org.

 

Financial Times names McChrystal book one of the best business books of 2018

Retired U.S. Army general Stanley McCrystal will address the I.I.I.’s Joint Industry Forum on January 17th as the event’s keynote speaker.  We are proud to note that General McChrystal and his co-authors’ book, Leaders: Myth and Reality, has been selected as one of the best business books of the year by the Financial Times.

In the book, the authors compare leaders from diverse eras and fields, including Albert Einstein and Harriet Tubman, and contest leadership myths.

 

I.I.I. Study: Florida’s assignment of benefits crisis is spreading – and is costing consumers billions of dollars

Ah, Florida. Home to sun-washed beaches, Kennedy Space Center, the woeful Marlins – and one of the costliest tort systems in the country.

A significant driver of these costs is Florida’s “assignment of benefits crisis.”

Today the I.I.I. published a report documenting what the crisis is, how it’s spreading and how it’s costing Florida consumers billions of dollars. You can download and read the full report, “Florida’s assignment of benefits crisis: runaway litigation is spreading, and consumers are paying the price,” here.

An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a contract that allows a third party – a contractor, a medical provider, an auto repair shop – to bill an insurance company directly for repairs or other services done for the policyholder.

The process is innocuous and common throughout the country. But as our report notes, Florida’s unique legal systems richly rewards plaintiff’s attorneys and vendors when they submit inflated bills to insurance companies and then file lawsuits when those bills are disputed.

Not just a few lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits. The numbers are staggering. There were roughly 1,300 AOB lawsuits statewide in 2000.  There were more than 79,000 in 2013, and nearly 135,000 through November 9, 2018, a 70 percent increase in just five years.

Inflated claims and massive volumes of lawsuits have the predictable result of driving up insurance companies’ legal costs. Insurers are forced to then pass those costs on to consumers. In the study, we estimate that Florida’s auto and homeowners policyholders have paid about $2.5 billion more for insurance over the past dozen years to cover the increase in legal costs.

That doesn’t even count the billions more in excess claim settlements that are at the heart of the problem.

Many of these inflated bills and lawsuits are driven by a select number of contractors and their attorneys. Florida insurance customers can protect themselves – and their fellow citizens – by being very cautious when signing away their benefits under an AOB.

Florida’s Department of Financial Services has published a “red flag” checklist for spotting fraudulent or abusive AOB solicitations. But the most important thing you can do is to talk to your agent before you sign anything!

To learn more about the crisis, download our report: “Florida’s assignment of benefits crisis: runaway litigation is spreading, and consumers are paying the price.”