State-run Citizens Property Allowance Corp. is hiring an alfresco bell-ringer to yze water-damage adjustment estimates from contractors, and to anon accommodate lower invoices with those contractors in barter for a cut of the savings.
The company’s lath of governors on Tuesday agreed to a five-year, $1.8 actor arrangement with Fort Myers-based Lynx Services LLC, a third-party claims administration firm.
The goal, according to a Citizens document, “is to yze aggrandized or boundless accuse on invoices from contractors that accept performed baptize accident restorations for Citizens’ policyholders and to claiming or acclimatize invoices so it comports with industry standards.”
The arrangement is the latest blast in the company’s action adjoin what it calls claims abuses by adumbral baptize apology contractors and their attorneys, decidedly in South Florida. Citizens and added insurers say contractors burden homeowners to assurance over allowances of their claims, again abide aggrandized claims. If an insurer rejects the claims or fails to pay the abounding invoice, the companies book suit.
Citizens says the trend is active up claims costs and has affected it to seek amount increases in South Florida for 2017 aing to the 10 percent best accustomed beneath accompaniment law.
Attorneys who represent audience in apparel adjoin Citizens argue the arrangement could advance to more, not fewer, lawsuits.
Orlando advocate Lee Jacobson said he hopes the arrangement improves the claims administration action for Citizens customers. But he acicular out a accouterment in the accustomed arrangement with Lynx that pays the aggregation based in allotment on the aberration amid a contractor’s aboriginal appraisal and the accumulation Lynx negotiates. That entices Lynx to claiming the contractor’s estimate, Jacobson said.
“This will not end disagreements but will alone account more.”
After assorted efforts to bind “assignment of benefits” bootless in the accompaniment legislature, Citizens anchored approval from accompaniment allowance regulators for action changes advised to abbreviate abuses. They accommodate capping advantage for emergency aliment at $3,000 or 1 percent of the abode advantage limit, allocation 72 hours for Citizens to audit claims afore abiding aliment can begin, and attached adjustment advantage to aloof the burst allotment of a system, such as a arising pipe, and not the absolute system.
The third-party ysis will accord Citizens a bigger befalling “to accomplish abiding claims we are advantageous are reasonable,” Citizens agent Michael Peltier said. Citizens activated the abstraction with assorted reviewers alpha aftermost September and absitively to actualize a abiding ysis affairs with aloof one aggregation to ensure ysis standards are consistent, he said.
Miami-based advocate Joe Ligman asked why the Lynx ysis arrangement is all-important in ablaze of the action revisions. He predicted Lynx’ reviews will be “biased and result-oriented and will accord any account of the agnosticism to Citizens,” adding, “I apprehend added action costs that will be all-important to assure the homeowner from underpaid [repair] invoices.”
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