A storm is rising, and it is not the type which causes damage to homes and vehicles. It causes damage of a much more insidious nature. Following a storm or other natural disaster, canvassers hired by the “hail cartel”—lawyers or opportunistic general contractors—can be found blanketing a neighborhood and knocking on doors.
“I’m here to get you a new roof,” the canvasser says. They tell the innocent homeowner that he or she has roof damage that they may not have noticed and that they are entitled to 20% more for “general contractor overhead and profit,” even if no general contractor is necessary. They locate and fabricate damages which either did not exist or were pre-existing and ask the homeowner to sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) and promise them a new roof at no cost and with no hassle on their part.
This is repeated thousands of times across entire zip codes. A lawsuit is quickly filed against the insurance company, even before they are given notice of a claim. Policyholders are misinformed, contractors circumvent statutory and policy guidelines, contractors and general adjusters inflate damages, and attorneys apply mass tort models with the promise of large attorney’s fees to simple property damage claims.
Claim solicitation efforts such as these have ensnared innocent homeowners in unnecessary lawsuits in recent years by promising big payouts at no cost following hail or other natural disasters. The result of the widespread scheme is higher insurance premiums and less choice in insurance companies throughout many states. AOB scams have become the largest cost-driver in the insurance industry and are having a widespread, detrimental effect on consumers across the country. The mess they create complicates and makes more difficult the carrier’s efforts to subrogate a loss if and when there is a third party responsible for