The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) mission is to combat insurance fraud. Unfortunately, Florida continues to be an active state for us when it comes to fraudsters looking to take advantage of policyholders by convincing them they need a windshield replaced on their vehicle.
In fact, some fraudulent auto glass companies will approach people at car washes and grocery store parking lots. Sometimes they will even go to door-to-door offering free steak dinners or gift cards if they get you to sign a piece of paper. Be very careful, because this signature could mean you are signing your insurance rights away.
The “paper” is an assignment of benefits (AOB) form, which means you are giving the auto glass company the right to file an insurance claim, make the repairs, and collect any insurance payments. The problem is these fraudulent companies are turning this into a lucrative business by inflating your insurance claim and collecting the money for themselves. This type of AOB abuse is a scam, and it must be stopped.
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, in 2006, approximately 400 auto glass AOB lawsuits were filed against auto insurers. In 2019, nearly 35,000 lawsuits were filed—an increase of 8,650%.
Statistics like this simply can’t be ignored or more people will fall victim to this type of abuse.
We always encourage policyholders to first contact their insurance company or agent who can help begin the claims process. See more tips on our Auto Glass Fraud flyer.
As we approach the 2020 legislative session, we hope policymakers take a closer look at auto glass scams, and come up with a solution that protects policyholders from being a victim. If you are interested in getting more involved or learning more about NICB legislative efforts contact NICB’s government affairs department at GovernmentAffairs@nicb.org or 800-447-6282.