Homeowner goes without kitchen for months, blames assignment of benefits

Assignment of Benefits sold as convenience

It's been 10 months since a pipe burst and flooded Clarkia Dennis's home near Riverview. 

When we visited Dennis in June, the kitchen sat gutted and boxes of cabinets made it difficult to walk through her living room. The floor was bare concrete and waiting for new tile.

This retired school teacher blames her plight on the assignment of benefits clause her contractor suggested she sign. She says Dry Wizard pitched it as a way for her to not have to deal with her insurer.  
Paperwork and checks indicate Dennis’s homeowner’s policy paid out Dry Wizard close to $28,000 between November and February. The company came in, tore out flooring and her kitchen but most of the work went undone.

We contacted Dry Wizard. They responded in an email.  “What you may not realize is that Ms. Dennis did not finalize her selections until late April.”  Dry Wizard also indicated it was working with Ms. Dennis’s attorney to get the matter resolved. Dennis showed us her handwritten notes indicating she picked out materials in January. 

The cabinet installers arrived days after we contacted the company in June. Dennis says Dry Wizard finished all of the work the first week in August. 

An assignment of benefits form allows the contractor to bill and collect directly from the insurance company and is often sold to the consumer as a convenience. But in hundreds of cases, AOB’s resulted in inflated claims and or unfinished work.

Over the past six years, lawmakers have introduced measures to curb AOB abuse but nothing has made it into law.

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