Florida CFO Patronis warning hurricane victims about unlicensed and unscrupulous contractors

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Hurricane Ian damage. (Credit: WINK News)

We all know we’re supposed to read every document before we sign it, and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis warns that unlicensed or unscrupulous contractors are trying to get you into a contract with them.

You could unintentionally be signing away the money from your insurance company without knowing it.

Patronis says more than 40 officers are specifically going around to educate Ian victims on fraud and arresting anyone posing as a licensed contractor.

He wants to remind everyone not to sign anything from anyone knocking at your door claiming to be a contractor or roofer.

You could be signing something called an assignment of benefits or AOB. This is like giving that contractor power of attorney over your insurance policy.

If you sign, you are letting them take charge of your policy and make all the decisions for you, which means they get the insurance money.

“This person who you have just met at your doorstep now has been given a blank check that typically would have been written to you, but now it’s going to be written to them because you signed your benefits to them,” said Patronis.

If you think you may have signed an AOB, you may be able to get out of it.

In some cases, you have 30 days to terminate that contract. You can also end a contract you might have with a public adjuster. You only have ten days to do that.

Patronis also proposes legislation to curb fraudulent public adjusters from taking advantage of people after a storm.

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