• Construction Accidents

Practice Areas

Assignment of benefits: what you need to know.

  • August 17, 2022
  • Steven Schwartzapfel

Insurance can be useful, but dealing with the back-and-forth between insurance companies and contractors, medical specialists, and others can be a time-consuming and ultimately unpleasant experience. You want your medical bills to be paid without having to act as a middleman between your healthcare provider and your insurer.

However, there’s a way you can streamline this process. With an assignment of benefits, you can designate your healthcare provider or any other insurance payout recipient as the go-to party for insurance claims. While this can be convenient, there are certain risks to keep in mind as well.

Below, we’ll explore what an assignment of insurance benefits is (as well as other forms of remediation), how it works, and when you should employ it. For more information, or to learn whether you may have a claim against an insurer, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-516-342-2200 .

What Is an Assignment of Benefits?

An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a legal process through which an insured individual or party signs paperwork that designates another party like a contractor, company, or healthcare provider as their insurance claimant .

Suppose you’re injured in a car accident and need to file a claim with your health insurance company for medical bills and related costs. However, you also need plenty of time to recover. The thought of constantly negotiating between your insurance company, your healthcare provider, and anyone else seems draining and unwelcome.

With an assignment of benefits, you can designate your healthcare provider as your insurance claimant. Then, your healthcare provider can request insurance payouts from your healthcare insurance provider directly.

Through this system, the health insurance provider directly pays your physician or hospital rather than paying you. This means you don’t have to pay your healthcare provider. It’s a streamlined, straightforward way to make sure insurance money gets where it needs to go. It also saves you time and prevents you from having to think about insurance payments unless absolutely necessary.

What Does an Assignment of Benefits Mean?

An AOB means that you designate another party as your insurance claimant. In the above example, that’s your healthcare provider, which could be a physician, hospital, or other organization.

With the assignment of insurance coverage, that healthcare provider can then make a claim for insurance payments directly to your insurance company. The insurance company then pays your healthcare provider directly, and you’re removed as the middleman.

As a bonus, this system sometimes cuts down on your overall costs by eliminating certain service fees. Since there’s only one transaction — the transaction between your healthcare provider and your health insurer — there’s only one set of service fees to contend with. You don’t have to deal with two sets of service fees from first receiving money from your insurance provider, then sending that money to your healthcare provider.

Ultimately, the point of an assignment of benefits is to make things easier for you, your insurer, and anyone else involved in the process.

What Types of Insurance Qualify for an Assignment of Benefits?

Most types of commonly held insurance can work with an assignment of benefits. These insurance types include car insurance, healthcare insurance, homeowners insurance, property insurance, and more.

Note that not all insurance companies allow you to use an assignment of benefits. For an assignment of benefits to work, the potential insurance claimant and the insurance company in question must each sign the paperwork and agree to the arrangement. This prevents fraud (to some extent) and ensures that every party goes into the arrangement with clear expectations.

If your insurance company does not accept assignments of benefits, you’ll have to take care of insurance payments the traditional way. There are many reasons why an insurance company may not accept an assignment of benefits.

To speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers expert about this directly, call 1-516-342-2200 for a free consultation today. It will be our privilege to assist you with all your legal questions, needs, and recovery efforts.

Who Uses Assignments of Benefits?

Many providers, services, and contractors use assignments of benefits. It’s often in their interests to accept an assignment of benefits since they can get paid for their work more quickly and make critical decisions without having to consult the insurance policyholder first.

Imagine a circumstance in which a homeowner wants a contractor to add a new room to their property. The contractor knows that the scale of the project could increase or shrink depending on the specifics of the job, the weather, and other factors.

If the homeowner uses an assignment of benefits to give the contractor rights to make insurance claims for the project, that contractor can then:

  • Bill the insurer directly for their work. This is beneficial since it ensures that the contractor’s employees get paid promptly and they can purchase the supplies they need.
  • Make important decisions to ensure that the project completes on time. For example, a contract can authorize another insurance claim for extra supplies without consulting with the homeowner beforehand, saving time and potentially money in the process.

Practically any company or organization that receives payments from insurance companies may choose to take advantage of an assignment of benefits with you. Example companies and providers include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Drug and biological companies
  • Lab diagnostic services
  • Hospitals and medical centers like clinics
  • Certified medical professionals such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, clinical psychologists, and others
  • Ambulatory surgical center services
  • Permanent repair and improvement contractors like carpenters, plumbers, roofers, restoration companies, and others
  • Auto repair shops and mechanic organizations

Advantages of Using an Assignment of Benefits

An assignment of benefits can be an advantageous contract to employ, especially if you believe that you’ll need to pay a contractor, healthcare provider, and/or other organization via insurance payouts regularly for the near future.

These benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Save time for yourself. Again, imagine a circumstance in which you are hospitalized and have to pay your healthcare provider through your health insurance payouts. If you use an assignment of benefits, you don’t have to make the payments personally or oversee the insurance payouts. Instead, you can focus on resting and recovering.
  • Possibly save yourself money in the long run. As noted above, an assignment of benefits can help you circumvent some service fees by limiting the number of transactions or money transfers required to ensure everyone is paid on time.
  • Increased peace of mind. Many people don’t like having to constantly think about insurance payouts, contacting their insurance company, or negotiating between insurers and contractors/providers. With an assignment of benefits, you can let your insurance company and a contractor or provider work things out between them, though this can lead to applications later down the road.

Because of these benefits, many recovering individuals, car accident victims, homeowners, and others utilize AOB agreements from time to time.

Risks of Using an Assignment of Benefits

Worth mentioning, too, is that an assignment of benefits does carry certain risks you should be aware of before presenting this contract to your insurance company or a contractor or provider. Remember, an assignment of benefits is a legally binding contract unless it is otherwise dissolved (which is technically possible).

The risks of using an assignment of benefits include:

  • You give billing control to your healthcare provider, contractor, or another party. This allows them to bill your insurance company for charges that you might not find necessary. For example, a home improvement contractor might bill a homeowner’s insurance company for an unnecessary material or improvement. The homeowner only finds out after the fact and after all the money has been paid, resulting in a higher premium for their insurance policy or more fees than they expected.
  • You allow a contractor or service provider to sue your insurance company if the insurer does not want to pay for a certain service or bill. This can happen if the insurance company and contractor or service provider disagree on one or another billable item. Then, you may be dragged into litigation or arbitration you did not agree to in the first place.
  • You may lose track of what your insurance company pays for various services . As such, you could be surprised if your health insurance or other insurance premiums and deductibles increase suddenly.

Given these disadvantages, it’s still wise to keep track of insurance payments even if you choose to use an assignment of benefits. For example, you might request that your insurance company keep you up to date on all billable items a contractor or service provider charges for the duration of your treatment or project.

For more on this and related topic, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-516-342-2200 .

How To Make Sure an Assignment of Benefits Is Safe

Even though AOBs do carry potential disadvantages, there are ways to make sure that your chosen contract is safe and legally airtight. First, it’s generally a wise idea to contact knowledgeable legal representatives so they can look over your paperwork and ensure that any given assignment of benefits doesn’t contain any loopholes that could be exploited by a service provider or contractor.

The right lawyer can also make sure that an assignment of benefits is legally binding for your insurance provider. To make sure an assignment of benefits is safe, you should perform the following steps:

  • Always check for reviews and references before hiring a contractor or service provider, especially if you plan to use an AOB ahead of time. For example, you should stay away if a contractor has a reputation for abusing insurance claims.
  • Always get several estimates for work, repairs, or bills. Then, you can compare the estimated bills and see whether one contractor or service provider is likely to be honest about their charges.
  • Get all estimates, payment schedules, and project schedules in writing so you can refer back to them later on.
  • Don’t let a service provider or contractor pressure you into hiring them for any reason . If they seem overly excited about getting started, they could be trying to rush things along or get you to sign an AOB so that they can start issuing charges to your insurance company.
  • Read your assignment of benefits contract fully. Make sure that there aren’t any legal loopholes that a contractor or service provider can take advantage of. An experienced lawyer can help you draft and sign a beneficial AOB contract.

Can You Sue a Party for Abusing an Assignment of Benefits?

Sometimes. If you believe your assignment of benefits is being abused by a contractor or service provider, you may be able to sue them for breaching your contract or even AOB fraud. However, successfully suing for insurance fraud of any kind is often difficult.

Also, you should remember that a contractor or service provider can sue your insurance company if the insurance carrier decides not to pay them. For example, if your insurer decides that a service provider is engaging in billing scams and no longer wishes to make payouts, this could put you in legal hot water.

If you’re not sure whether you have grounds for a lawsuit, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200 . At no charge, we’ll examine the details of your case and provide you with a consultation. Don’t wait. Call now!

Assignment of Benefits FAQs

Which states allow assignments of benefits.

Every state allows you to offer an assignment of benefits to a contractor and/or insurance company. That means, whether you live in New York, Florida, Arizona, California, or some other state, you can rest assured that AOBs are viable tools to streamline the insurance payout process.

Can You Revoke an Assignment of Benefits?

Yes. There may come a time when you need to revoke an assignment of benefits. This may be because you no longer want the provider or contractor to have control over your insurance claims, or because you want to switch providers/contractors.

To revoke an assignment of benefits agreement, you must notify the assignee (i.e., the new insurance claimant). A legally solid assignment of benefits contract should also include terms and rules for this decision. Once more, it’s usually a wise idea to have an experienced lawyer look over an assignment of benefits contract to make sure you don’t miss these by accident.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

An assignment of benefits is an invaluable tool when you need to streamline the insurance claims process. For example, you can designate your healthcare provider as your primary claimant with an assignment of benefits, allowing them to charge your insurance company directly for healthcare costs.

However, there are also risks associated with an assignment of benefits. If you believe a contractor or healthcare provider is charging your insurance company unfairly, you may need legal representatives. Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help.

As knowledgeable New York attorneys who are well-versed in New York insurance law, we’re ready to assist with any and all litigation needs. For a free case evaluation and consultation, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200 !

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You™™

What Is an Insurance Claim? | Experian

What is assignment of benefits, and how does it impact insurers? | Insurance Business Mag

Florida Insurance Ruling Sets Precedent for Assignment of Benefits | Law.com

Related Posts

Can the accused see witness statements.

Credible witnesses often rank among the most important factors in creating a strong lawsuit. This is because every piece of

In Absentia: Definition, Meaning & Examples

Imagine you’ve been working a grueling (12)-hour shift on a construction site. In the hustle and bustle, you get a

Traumatic Amputation: A Legal Overview

Traumatic amputation is one of the most tragic injuries a person can experience in the workplace or in an accident

We'll Fight For You

Schwartzapfel® lawyers has a 99% client satisfaction rate, quick links.

  • News & Events
  • Verdicts & Settlements
  • Video Gallery
  • Wrongful Death
  • Vehicle Accidents
  • Slip & Fall
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Personal Injuries
  • Product Liability
  • Garden City
  • Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Building Your Business
  • Business Insurance

Can You Assign Your Insurance Benefits to Someone Else?

Monashee Frantz / Getty Images

Most business insurance policies contain a so-called anti-assignment clause. This clause prohibits policyholders from transferring any of their rights under the policy to someone else. This means that the insured business cannot cede its right to collect claim payments to another party. However, laws in most states permit policyholders to transfer their rights to another party under certain circumstances.

Anti-Assignment Clause

In the standard ISO policies , the anti-assignment clause is located in a separate form called the Common Policy Conditions. These conditions apply to all coverages that are included in the policy. For instance, if a policy includes business auto , general liability , and commercial property coverages, the anti-assignment clause applies to all three coverages.

The clause is entitled Transfer of Your Rights and Duties Under This Policy. It includes the following provision:

Your rights and duties under this policy may not be transferred without our written consent except in the case of death of an individual named insured.

The anti-assignment clause prohibits the  named insured from transferring any of its rights or obligations under the policy to someone else without the insurer's permission. The only exception is if the named insured is an individual (sole proprietor) and he or she dies. An assignment is permitted in this case because a sole proprietorship and the individual owner are one and the same. If the individual dies, the business cannot survive unless it is sold to someone else.

An anti-assignment clause is intended to prevent the insurer from unwittingly assuming risks it never intended to take on. Commercial insurers review business insurance applicants carefully. Before they issue policies, underwriters consider the knowledge and experience of a company's owners and managerial staff. If a business is sold to someone else, the new owners may not be as skilled or attentive as the previous ones. From the insurer's perspective, the new owners are an unknown risk.

Post-Loss Assignments Permitted

The anti-assignment clause doesn't distinguish between assignments made before a loss and those made afterward. Even so, courts in most states have allowed policyholders to assign their rights to another party after a loss has occurred. Pre-loss assignments are still prohibited. Here is an example of a post-loss assignment of insurance benefits.

Victor operates a restaurant called Vital Vittles out of a building he owns. Late one January night two water pipes in the building freeze. The pipes subsequently burst, causing considerable water damage to Victor's building. Victor is forced to close his restaurant until the repairs are completed.

Victor hires a water damage contractor called Rapid Restoration to repair the damage to his building. He tells the contractor that he needs the repairs done quickly as he is anxious to reopen his restaurant. The contractor says that the repairs can be expedited if Victor signs over his rights under the policy to Rapid Restoration. The contractor will then proceed with the repairs and negotiate a claim settlement with Vital Vittles' commercial property insurer. Victor agrees to the assignment and the contractor begins the repair work.

While Vital Vittles' commercial property policy contains an anti-assignment clause, Victor has assigned his rights to Rapid Restoration after a loss has occurred. Thus, in most states, Victor's insurer cannot reject the assignment (assuming post-loss assignments are permitted in Victor's state).

Problems With Assignments of Benefits

In recent years, assignment of benefits (AOB) agreements have been problematic in some states, particularly Florida. Unscrupulous contractors have preyed on unsuspecting homeowners and business owners who have suffered water damage . Some contractors work alone while others operate in cahoots with crooked lawyers. In either event, the contractor convinces the policyholder to assign his or her rights under the policy over to the contractor. The contractor then exaggerates the cost of the repairs and collects the inflated amount from the insurer. The policyholder is left with a large claim on his or her loss history. When the policy expires, the insurer may refuse to renew it.

In the previous example, Victor has assigned his rights under the policy to Rapid Restoration. Suppose that Rapid Restoration completes only half of the repair work on Victor's building. The actual cost is $15,000 but the contractor submits a bill to the insurer for $30,000. Alternatively, the contractor never submits a bill but sues the insurer for $30,000. In either case, the insurer may refuse to pay on the basis that the contractor has committed insurance fraud. Victor cannot intervene because he has signed his rights over to the contractor. If the contractor is unsuccessful in its lawsuit against the insurer, it may demand payment from Victor's company.

Avoiding Problems With AOBs

As a business owner, you can avoid problems associated with AOBs and unscrupulous contractors by taking the following steps:

  • Report any loss or accident directly to your insurer (or your agent or broker ). Notify your insurer immediately. Don't allow a contractor to do the notification on your behalf.
  • Take photos of the damage.
  • Don't allow any contractor to begin work until an insurance adjuster has documented the damage
  • Vet contractors thoroughly before hiring them. Make sure they are properly licensed. If your area has suffered a natural disaster, watch out for construction scams.
  • Don't sign an AOB unless you have reviewed it carefully. If you don't understand it, ask your agent, insurer, or attorney for assistance.
  • If your contractor won't do any work until you've signed an AOB, find another contractor.

AOBs in Health Insurance

Assignment of benefit agreements are common in health insurance. Patients are often asked to agree to such clauses before they receive treatment from a physician, hospital, or another healthcare provider. The assignment of benefits clause transfers a patient's right to collect benefits under his or her health policy to the provider. By signing the document, the patent agrees that payments will be made directly to the provider for the services rendered. The clause states that the patient is ultimately responsible for the charges if the insurer fails to pay.

Once the treatment has been performed, the provider submits the AOB along with a claim to the patient's health insurer. The insurer pays the provider for services rendered to the patient.

  • Received a document?

We’re the mechanics lien experts. It’s fast, easy, affordable, and done right.

Assignment of Benefits for Contractors: Pros & Cons of Accepting an AOB

assignment insurance contract

22 articles

Insurance , Restoration , Slow Payment

An illustrated assignment of benefits form in front of a damaged house

When a property owner files an insurance claim to cover a restoration or roofing project, the owner typically deals directly with the insurance company. They may not have the funds available to pay the contractor out of pocket, so they’re counting on that insurance check to cover the construction costs.

But insurance companies often drag their feet, and payments can take even longer than normal. Contractors often wish they could simply deal with the insurance company directly through an assignment of benefits. In some circumstances, an AOB can be an effective tool that helps contractors collect payment faster — but is it worth it?

In this article, we’ll explain what an assignment of benefits is, and how the process works. More importantly, we’ll look at the pros and cons for restoration and roofing contractors to help you decide if an AOB is worth it . 

What is an assignment of benefits? 

An assignment of benefits , or AOB, is an agreement to transfer insurance claim rights to a third party. It gives the assignee authority to file and negotiate a claim directly with the insurance company, without involvement from the property owner. 

An AOB also allows the insurer to pay the contractor directly instead of funneling funds through the customer. AOBs take the homeowner out of the claims equation.

Here’s an example: A property owner’s roof is damaged in a hurricane. The owner contacts a restoration company to repair the damage, and signs an AOB to transfer their insurance rights to the contractor. The contractor, now the assignee, negotiates the claim directly with the insurance company. The insurer will pay the claim by issuing a check for the repairs directly to the restoration contractor. 

Setting up an AOB

A property owner and contractor can set up an assignment of benefits in two steps: 

  • The owner and the contractor sign an AOB agreement
  • The contractor sends the AOB to the insurance company

Keep in mind that many states have their own laws about what the agreement can or should include .

For example, Florida’s assignment of benefits law contains relatively strict requirements when it comes to an assignment of benefits: 

  • The AOB agreements need to be in writing. The agreement must contain a bolded disclosure notifying the customer that they are relinquishing certain rights under the homeowners policy. You can’t charge administrative fees or penalties if a homeowner decides to cancel the AOB. 
  • The AOB must include an itemized, per-unit breakdown of the work you plan to do. The services can only involve how you plan to make repairs or restore the home’s damage or protect the property from any further harm. A copy must be provided to the insurance company. 
  • A homeowner can rescind an AOB agreement within 14 days of signing, or within 30 days if no work has begun and no start date was listed for the work. If a start date is listed, the 30-day rule still applies if substantial progress has not been made on the job. 

Before signing an AOB agreement, make sure you understand the property owner’s insurance policy, and whether the project is likely to be covered.

Learn more: Navigating an insurance claim on a restoration project

Pros & cons for contractors

It’s smart to do a cost-benefit analysis on the practice of accepting AOBs. Listing pros and cons can help you make a logical assessment before deciding either way. 

Pro: Hiring a public adjuster

An insurance carrier’s claims adjuster will inspect property damage and arrive at a dollar figure calculated to cover the cost of repairs. Often, you might feel this adjuster may have overlooked some details that should factor into the estimate. 

If you encounter pushback from the insurer under these circumstances, a licensed, public adjuster may be warranted. These appraisers work for the homeowner, whose best interests you now represent as a result of the AOB. A public adjuster could help win the battle to complete the repairs properly. 

Pro: More control over payment

You may sink a considerable amount of time into preparing an estimate for a customer. You may even get green-lighted to order materials and get started. Once the ball starts rolling, you wouldn’t want a customer to back out on the deal. 

Klark Brown , Co-founder of The Alliance of Independent Restorers, concedes this might be one of the very situations in which an AOB construction agreement might help a contractor. “An AOB helps make sure the homeowner doesn’t take the insurance money and run,” says Brown.  

Klark Brown

Pro: Build a better relationship with the homeowner

A homeowner suffers a substantial loss and it’s easy to understand why push and pull with an insurance company might be the last thing they want to undertake. They may desire to have another party act on their behalf. 

As an AOB recipient, the claims ball is now in your court. By taking some of the weight off a customer’s shoulders during a difficult period, it could help build good faith and further the relationship you strive to build with that client. 

Learn more : 8 Ways for Contractors to Build Trust With a Homeowner

Con: It confuses payment responsibilities

Even if you accept an AOB, the property owner still generally bears responsibility for making payment. If the insurance company is dragging their feet, a restoration contractor can still likely file a mechanics lien on the property .

A homeowner may think that by signing away their right to an insurance claim, they are also signing away their responsibility to pay for the restoration work. This typically isn’t true, and this expectation could set you up for a more contentious dispute down the line if there is a problem with the insurance claim. 

Con: Tighter margins

Insurance companies will want repairs made at the lowest cost possible. Just like you, carriers run a business and need to cut costs while boosting revenue. 

While some restoration contractors work directly with insurers and could get a steady stream of work from them, Brown emphasizes that you may be sacrificing your own margins. “Expect to accept work for less money than you’d charge independently,” he adds. 

The takeaway here suggests that any contractor accepting an AOB could subject themselves to the same bare-boned profit margins. 

Con: More administrative work

Among others, creating additional administrative busywork is another reason Brown recommends that you steer clear of accepting AOBs. You’re committing additional resources while agreeing to work for less money. 

“Administrative costs are a burden,” Brown states. Insurers may reduce and/or delay payments to help their own bottom lines. “Insurers will play the float with reserves and claims funds,” he added. So, AOBs can be detrimental to your business if you’re spending more while chasing payments. 

Con: Increase in average collection period

Every contractor should use some financial metrics to help gauge the health of the business . The average collection period for receivables measures the average time it takes you to get paid on your open accounts. 

Insurance companies aren’t known for paying claims quickly. If you do restoration work without accepting an AOB, you can often take action with the homeowner to get paid faster. When you’re depending on an insurance company to make your payment, rather than the owner, collection times will likely increase.

The literal and figurative bottom line is: If accepting assignment of benefits agreements increases the time it takes to get paid and costs you more in operational expense, these are both situations you want to avoid. 

Learn more: How to calculate your collection effectiveness 

AOBs and mechanics liens

A mechanics lien is hands down a contractor’s most effective tool to ensure they get paid for their work. Many types of restoration services are protected under lien laws in most states. But what happens to lien rights when a contractor accepts an assignment of benefits? 

An AOB generally won’t affect a contractor’s ability to file a mechanics lien on the property if they don’t receive payment. The homeowner is typically still responsible to pay for the improvements. This is especially true if the contract involves work that wasn’t covered by the insurance policy. 

However, make sure you know the laws in the state where your project is located. For example, Florida’s assignment of benefits law, perhaps the most restrictive in the country, appears to prohibit an AOB assignee from filing a lien. 

Florida AOB agreements are required to include language that waives the contractor’s rights to collect payment from the owner. The required statement takes it even further, stating that neither the contractor or any of their subs can file a mechanics lien on the owner’s property. 

On his website , Florida’s CFO says: “The third-party assignee and its subcontractors may not collect, or attempt to collect money from you, maintain any action of law against you, file a lien against your property or report you to a credit reporting agency.”

That sounds like a contractor assignee can’t file a lien if they aren’t paid . But, according to construction lawyer Alex Benarroche , it’s not so cut-and-dry.

Alex Benarroche

“Florida’s AOB law has yet to be tested in court, and it’s possible that the no-lien provision would be invalid,” says Benarroche. “This is because Florida also prohibits no-lien clauses in a contract. It is not legal for a contractor to waive their right to file a lien via an agreement prior to performance.” 

Learn more about no-lien clauses and their enforceability state-by-state

Remember that every state treats AOBs differently, and conflicting laws can create additional risk. It’s important to consult with a construction lawyer in the project’s state before accepting an assignment of benefits. 

Best practices for contractors 

At the end of the day, there are advantages and disadvantages to accepting an assignment of benefits. While it’s possible in some circumstances that an AOB could help a contractor get paid faster, there are lots of other payment tools that are more effective and require less administrative costs. An AOB should never be the first option on the table . 

If you do decide to become an assignee to the property owner’s claim benefits, make sure you do your homework beforehand and adopt some best practices to effectively manage the assignment of benefits process. You’ll need to keep on top of the administrative details involved in drafting AOBs and schedule work in a timely manner to stay in compliance with the conditions of the agreement. 

Make sure you understand all the nuances of how insurance works when there’s a claim . You need to understand the owner’s policy and what it covers. Home insurance policy forms are basically standardized for easy comparisons in each state, so what you see with one company is what you get with all carriers. 

Since you’re now the point of contact for the insurance company, expect more phone calls and emails from both clients and the insurer . You’ll need to have a strategy to efficiently handle ramped-up communications since the frequency will increase. Keep homeowners and claims reps in the loop so you can build customer relationships and hopefully get paid faster by the insurer for your work.

Ask an expert for free

I am doing some part-time administrative work for a friend who has an owner/operator pressure washing business located in NC in its first year of business. Recently, my friend has expressed interest in expanding his operations to FL so that he can eventually live and work between both...

I am a homeowner, 4 days prior to Ida, we had solar panels installed. Half were damaged and blown off of course, so after we allowed the solar panel co to do our roof and redo our panel system. After a year, they finally replaced our roof and...

I believe a person was impersonating as a licensed general contractor. When I verified the license in GA, the license belonged to a completely different individual. When I called the provided insurance carrier of the general contractor, the insurance company said the company did not have an active...

Thomas Tracy

View Profile

About the author

Recommended for you

Conditional vs. unconditional lien waivers: the difference & why it matters.

Unconditional vs. conditional lien waivers: which type of lien waiver should you use on your construction projects and jobs? We...

What Are “Back Charges” in Construction?

Back charges can be tricky if you're not careful! It's incredibly important to prioritize communication and documentation when back charges...

What Is a Notice of Completion?

What is a Notice of Completion? As anyone reading this surely knows, the construction industry loves its documents! There's a...

What are the Certified Payroll Requirements for Federal Construction Jobs?

What does Certified Payroll mean? This post covers the certified payroll requirements for contractors working on federal construction projects.

The Ultimate Guide to Lien Waivers in Construction

What are lien waivers in construction? This article is the ultimate guide for construction lien waivers including essential information and...

Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Construction

With a proper dispute resolution clause in place, contractors, subs, and suppliers can avoid taking their disputes into litigation.

What Is a Construction Schedule of Values? [Free Template Download]

A Schedule of Values is an essential tool used in construction project accounting that represents a start-to-finish list of work...

What Is a Work in Progress Schedule? | Construction Accounting

The Work In Progress (WIP) schedule is an accounting schedule that's a component of a company's balance sheet. It's calculated...

Assignment of insurance policies and claims | Practical Law

assignment insurance contract

Assignment of insurance policies and claims

Practical law uk practice note w-031-6021  (approx. 19 pages).

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

Legal Templates

Home Business Assignment Agreement

Assignment Agreement Template

Use our assignment agreement to transfer contractual obligations.

Assignment Agreement Template

Updated February 1, 2024 Reviewed by Brooke Davis

An assignment agreement is a legal document that transfers rights, responsibilities, and benefits from one party (the “assignor”) to another (the “assignee”). You can use it to reassign debt, real estate, intellectual property, leases, insurance policies, and government contracts.

What Is an Assignment Agreement?

What to include in an assignment agreement, how to assign a contract, how to write an assignment agreement, assignment agreement sample.

trademark assignment agreement template

Partnership Interest

An assignment agreement effectively transfers the rights and obligations of a person or entity under an initial contract to another. The original party is the assignor, and the assignee takes on the contract’s duties and benefits.

It’s often a requirement to let the other party in the original deal know the contract is being transferred. It’s essential to create this form thoughtfully, as a poorly written assignment agreement may leave the assignor obligated to certain aspects of the deal.

The most common use of an assignment agreement occurs when the assignor no longer can or wants to continue with a contract. Instead of leaving the initial party or breaking the agreement, the assignor can transfer the contract to another individual or entity.

For example, imagine a small residential trash collection service plans to close its operations. Before it closes, the business brokers a deal to send its accounts to a curbside pickup company providing similar services. After notifying account holders, the latter company continues the service while receiving payment.

Create a thorough assignment agreement by including the following information:

  • Effective Date:  The document must indicate when the transfer of rights and obligations occurs.
  • Parties:  Include the full name and address of the assignor, assignee, and obligor (if required).
  • Assignment:  Provide details that identify the original contract being assigned.
  • Third-Party Approval: If the initial contract requires the approval of the obligor, note the date the approval was received.
  • Signatures:  Both parties must sign and date the printed assignment contract template once completed. If a notary is required, wait until you are in the presence of the official and present identification before signing. Failure to do so may result in having to redo the assignment contract.

Review the Contract Terms

Carefully review the terms of the existing contract. Some contracts may have specific provisions regarding assignment. Check for any restrictions or requirements related to assigning the contract.

Check for Anti-Assignment Clauses

Some contracts include anti-assignment clauses that prohibit or restrict the ability to assign the contract without the consent of the other party. If there’s such a clause, you may need the consent of the original parties to proceed.

Determine Assignability

Ensure that the contract is assignable. Some contracts, especially those involving personal services or unique skills, may not be assignable without the other party’s agreement.

Get Consent from the Other Party (if Required)

If the contract includes an anti-assignment clause or requires consent for assignment, seek written consent from the other party. This can often be done through a formal amendment to the contract.

Prepare an Assignment Agreement

Draft an assignment agreement that clearly outlines the transfer of rights and obligations from the assignor (the party assigning the contract) to the assignee (the party receiving the assignment). Include details such as the names of the parties, the effective date of the assignment, and the specific rights and obligations being transferred.

Include Original Contract Information

Attach a copy of the original contract or reference its key terms in the assignment agreement. This helps in clearly identifying the contract being assigned.

Execution of the Assignment Agreement

Both the assignor and assignee should sign the assignment agreement. Signatures should be notarized if required by the contract or local laws.

Notice to the Other Party

Provide notice of the assignment to the non-assigning party. This can be done formally through a letter or as specified in the contract.

File the Assignment

File the assignment agreement with the appropriate parties or entities as required. This may include filing with the original contracting party or relevant government authorities.

Communicate with Third Parties

Inform any relevant third parties, such as suppliers, customers, or service providers, about the assignment to ensure a smooth transition.

Keep Copies for Records

Keep copies of the assignment agreement, original contract, and any related communications for your records.

Here’s a list of steps on how to write an assignment agreement:

Step 1 – List the Assignor’s and Assignee’s Details

List all of the pertinent information regarding the parties involved in the transfer. This information includes their full names, addresses, phone numbers, and other relevant contact information.

This step clarifies who’s transferring the initial contract and who will take on its responsibilities.

Step 2 – Provide Original Contract Information

Describing and identifying the contract that is effectively being reassigned is essential. This step avoids any confusion after the transfer has been completed.

Step 3 – State the Consideration

Provide accurate information regarding the amount the assignee pays to assume the contract. This figure should include taxes and any relevant peripheral expenses. If the assignee will pay the consideration over a period, indicate the method and installments.

Step 4 – Provide Any Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions of any agreement are crucial to a smooth transaction. You must cover issues such as dispute resolution, governing law, obligor approval, and any relevant clauses.

Step 5 – Obtain Signatures

Both parties must sign the agreement to ensure it is legally binding and that they have read and understood the contract. If a notary is required, wait to sign off in their presence.

Assignment Agreement Template

Related Documents

  • Purchase Agreement : Outlines the terms and conditions of an item sale.
  • Business Contract : An agreement in which each party agrees to an exchange, typically involving money, goods, or services.
  • Lease/Rental Agreement : A lease agreement is a written document that officially recognizes a legally binding relationship between two parties -- a landlord and a tenant.
  • Legal Resources
  • Partner With Us
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Assignment Agreement Template

The document above is a sample. Please note that the language you see here may change depending on your answers to the document questionnaire.

Thank you for downloading!

How would you rate your free template?

Click on a star to rate


Financial Tips, Guides & Know-Hows

Home > Finance > How Is A Collateral Assignment Used In A Life Insurance Contract?

How Is A Collateral Assignment Used In A Life Insurance Contract?

How Is A Collateral Assignment Used In A Life Insurance Contract?

Published: October 14, 2023

Discover how collateral assignments are utilized in life insurance contracts, providing financial security and peace of mind. Learn about the benefits and considerations involved in this strategic financial tool.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for LiveWell, at no extra cost. Learn more )

Table of Contents

Introduction, what is a collateral assignment, understanding life insurance contracts, how a collateral assignment works, benefits and uses of collateral assignments, risks and considerations, limitations and restrictions, how to set up a collateral assignment.

When it comes to financial matters, having a solid understanding of various concepts and strategies is crucial. One such concept is a collateral assignment, which plays a significant role in the world of life insurance contracts. Understanding how a collateral assignment works can provide you with valuable insights into how to manage and leverage your life insurance policy to meet your financial needs.

A collateral assignment involves using your life insurance policy as collateral for a loan or other financial transaction. It allows you to borrow against the cash value of your policy without surrendering the policy itself. This strategy can be particularly useful if you need access to funds for a specific purpose, such as starting a business, financing education expenses, or facing unexpected medical bills.

In order to grasp the significance of collateral assignments, it’s important to have a solid understanding of life insurance contracts. Life insurance is a contractual agreement between a policyholder and an insurance company. The policyholder pays regular premium payments, and in return, the insurance company provides a death benefit to the policy’s beneficiaries upon the policyholder’s death. Additionally, certain types of life insurance policies, such as whole life or universal life insurance, accumulate a cash value over time.

The cash value in a life insurance policy can be used in various ways. One option is to surrender the policy and receive the accumulated cash value. However, this may result in the termination of the policy and the loss of its associated benefits. Another option is to take a policy loan against the cash value. This allows the policyholder to access funds while keeping the policy intact.

This is where a collateral assignment becomes relevant. Instead of taking a policy loan, a policyholder can use a collateral assignment to borrow money from a lender by assigning a portion of the life insurance policy’s death benefit as collateral. In this arrangement, the lender becomes the assignee of the policy and is entitled to receive a portion of the death benefit if the policyholder passes away before the loan is repaid. This arrangement provides security to the lender and allows the policyholder to access funds without surrendering the policy.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into how a collateral assignment works, its benefits and uses, as well as the considerations, limitations, and steps involved in setting it up.

A collateral assignment is a legal agreement that allows a policyholder to assign a portion of the death benefit from a life insurance policy as collateral for a loan or other financial obligation. It serves as a way to secure the loan by providing the lender with a potential source of repayment in the event of the policyholder’s death. This arrangement allows the policyholder to access funds without surrendering the policy or disrupting its financial benefits.

With a collateral assignment, the policyholder remains the owner of the life insurance policy and retains control over other aspects of the policy, such as changing beneficiaries or making withdrawals from the cash value. The assigned portion of the death benefit serves as collateral for the loan or debt, and if the policyholder passes away before the loan is repaid, the lender has the right to receive the assigned portion of the death benefit to satisfy the outstanding debt.

It’s important to note that a collateral assignment does not transfer ownership of the policy to the lender. Instead, it grants the lender a limited interest in the policy specifically for the purpose of securing the loan. Once the loan is repaid, the collateral assignment is released, and the policy returns to the full control of the policyholder.

A collateral assignment can be used for various financial purposes, including personal loans, business financing, or even as a form of security for a surety bond. The flexibility of this arrangement allows policyholders to leverage the accumulated cash value and death benefit of their life insurance policy to meet their financial needs without sacrificing the long-term benefits of the policy.

It’s worth noting that the availability and terms of collateral assignment can vary depending on the insurance company and the specific policy. Some policies may have limitations on the amount that can be assigned or require approval from the insurance company before the assignment can be made. It’s important to review the policy terms and consult with the insurance provider or a financial advisor to understand the specific guidelines and implications of a collateral assignment.

In the next section, we will explore how a collateral assignment works within the context of a life insurance contract.

Before delving deeper into how a collateral assignment works, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of life insurance contracts. A life insurance contract is a legal agreement between a policyholder and an insurance company, wherein the policyholder pays regular premium payments in exchange for financial protection for their loved ones in the event of their death.

Life insurance contracts come in various forms, but the two main types are term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period, typically 10, 20, or 30 years. If the policyholder passes away during the term, the insurance company pays out a death benefit to the beneficiaries named in the policy. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, provides lifelong coverage and includes a cash value component that accumulates over time.

The cash value in a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life or universal life insurance, grows gradually over the years through premium payments and potential investment gains. This cash value can be accessed by the policyholder through withdrawals or policy loans, providing a source of liquidity that can be utilized for various financial needs.

One of the key advantages of permanent life insurance policies is their ability to accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis. This means that any growth in the cash value is not subject to immediate taxation, allowing the policyholder to potentially build a substantial cash reserve over time.

Furthermore, permanent life insurance policies often provide additional benefits such as the ability to participate in the insurance company’s profits through dividends, the option to increase or decrease the death benefit, and even the flexibility to adjust premium payments.

Given the unique features and advantages offered by permanent life insurance policies, they are often the type of policy chosen for a collateral assignment. The combination of death benefit protection and cash value growth make permanent life insurance policies an ideal asset to use as collateral for loans or other financial obligations.

Now that we have a basic understanding of life insurance contracts and their various components, let’s explore how a collateral assignment works in conjunction with a life insurance policy in the next section.

Now that we understand the basics of life insurance contracts, let’s dive into how a collateral assignment works within the context of these policies. A collateral assignment involves assigning a portion of the death benefit from a life insurance policy as collateral for a loan or other financial obligation.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a collateral assignment typically works:

  • The policyholder identifies a need for funds and seeks a loan or financing.
  • The policyholder and the lender determine the amount of the loan and agree on the terms and conditions.
  • A collateral assignment agreement is drafted, which outlines the terms of the assignment, including the assigned portion of the death benefit, the loan amount, and the repayment terms.
  • The collateral assignment agreement is signed by the policyholder, the lender, and the insurance company, acknowledging the assignment and providing consent for the assignee to receive a portion of the death benefit in the event of the policyholder’s death.
  • Upon the policyholder’s passing, the lender files a claim with the insurance company, providing necessary documentation to establish the validity of the claim.
  • The insurance company verifies the claim and disburses the assigned portion of the death benefit to the lender to satisfy the outstanding debt.
  • If there are remaining funds from the death benefit after repaying the loan, they are distributed to the designated beneficiaries of the policy.

It’s important to note that the policyholder remains the owner of the life insurance policy and retains control over other aspects of the policy, such as changing beneficiaries or making withdrawals from the cash value. The assigned portion of the death benefit is solely used as collateral for the loan, and the lender only has a claim to that specific portion.

It’s crucial for both the policyholder and the lender to understand the terms and conditions of the collateral assignment, including any limitations or restrictions set by the insurance company. Some common restrictions may include a maximum assignment amount, a requirement to maintain the policy in-force, or a provision for the policyholder to replace the collateral assignment with another form of security if requested by the insurance company.

By using a collateral assignment, the policyholder can access funds while keeping the life insurance policy intact. This can be particularly advantageous in situations where surrendering the policy would result in the loss of the accumulated cash value and other benefits.

In the next section, we will explore the various benefits and uses of collateral assignments within the realm of financial planning.

Collateral assignments offer several benefits and serve various uses within the realm of financial planning. Let’s explore some of the key advantages and common uses of collateral assignments:

1. Access to Funds

One of the primary benefits of a collateral assignment is the ability to access funds without surrendering the life insurance policy. By using the death benefit as collateral, the policyholder can secure a loan or obtain financing for personal or business purposes. This allows individuals to meet immediate financial needs without disrupting their long-term insurance coverage.

2. Retention of Policy Benefits

Unlike policy loans, which require repayment with interest, collateral assignments allow policyholders to retain the full benefits of their life insurance policies. These benefits can include the death benefit for beneficiaries, potential cash value growth, and the ability to participate in policy dividends. By using a collateral assignment, policyholders do not have to forfeit these valuable features.

3. Lower Interest Rates

When compared to other types of loans, collateral assignments often offer lower interest rates. This is because the loan is backed by the assigned portion of the life insurance policy’s death benefit, providing additional security for the lender. Lower interest rates can result in significant cost savings for the policyholder over the life of the loan.

4. Flexible Repayment Terms

Collateral assignments provide flexibility in terms of loan repayment. Policyholders and lenders can negotiate repayment terms that align with the borrower’s financial capacity, allowing for customized repayment schedules. This flexibility can help borrowers manage their cash flow effectively and repay the loan on terms that suit their specific needs.

5. Diverse Financial Uses

Collateral assignments can be used for a wide range of financial purposes. Common uses include funding education expenses, starting or expanding a business, purchasing or renovating a property, financing a major purchase, or covering unexpected medical expenses. The versatility of collateral assignments allows policyholders to leverage their life insurance policies to meet various financial goals.

6. Potential Tax Advantages

Collateral assignments may offer potential tax advantages depending on the specific circumstances. For example, if the loan proceeds are used for investment purposes or to generate income, the interest paid on the loan may be tax-deductible. It’s crucial to consult with a tax advisor or financial expert to understand the tax implications of a collateral assignment in your specific situation.

By leveraging the benefits and uses of collateral assignments, policyholders can maximize the value of their life insurance policies and utilize them as a valuable financial asset. However, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and limitations associated with collateral assignments, which we will explore in the next section.

While collateral assignments offer several advantages, it’s important to fully understand the potential risks and considerations before entering into such an arrangement. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

1. Impact on Death Benefit

Assigning a portion of the death benefit as collateral can reduce the overall amount payable to beneficiaries upon the policyholder’s death. It’s crucial to assess the impact of this reduction on the intended financial protection for loved ones and ensure that the remaining portion of the death benefit is still sufficient to address their needs.

2. Default Risk

If the policyholder fails to repay the loan, the lender may have the right to claim the assigned portion of the death benefit, potentially leaving beneficiaries with a reduced payout. It’s important to have a robust repayment plan in place and make timely payments to avoid default and the potential loss of policy benefits.

3. Policy Lapse

If the policy lapses due to missed premium payments or other reasons, the collateral assignment may become void, and the lender loses their security interest in the life insurance policy. Policyholders should ensure they have a sufficient plan in place to maintain premiums and keep the policy in force to protect the collateral assignment.

4. Limited Flexibility

Once a collateral assignment is in place, it restricts the policyholder’s ability to make changes to the policy, such as increasing or decreasing coverage, accessing the cash value, or changing beneficiaries. It’s important to evaluate whether the potential benefits of a collateral assignment outweigh the loss of flexibility in managing the life insurance policy.

5. Complex Documentation

Collateral assignments involve drafting and signing complex legal documents, including the collateral assignment agreement. It’s crucial to fully understand the terms and conditions of the agreement and consider seeking professional advice to ensure that all parties involved are clear on their rights and obligations.

6. Insurance Company Regulations

Each insurance company may have specific regulations and requirements regarding collateral assignments. It’s important to review the policy terms and consult with the insurance provider to understand any restrictions, limitations, or approval processes associated with collateral assignments.

Considering these risks and considerations is essential to make informed decisions when considering a collateral assignment. Seeking guidance from a financial advisor or insurance professional can help assess the suitability of a collateral assignment and its potential impact on your overall financial plan.

In the next section, we will explore any limitations and restrictions that may apply to collateral assignments.

While collateral assignments can be valuable tools, there are certain limitations and restrictions that policyholders should be aware of. These limitations can vary depending on the insurance company and the specific policy. Here are some common limitations and restrictions to consider:

1. Assignment Limits

Insurance companies often impose limits on the amount that can be assigned from a life insurance policy. This limit is typically a percentage of the policy’s death benefit. It’s essential to review the policy terms to understand the maximum allowable assignment amount.

2. Policy Approval

In some cases, insurance companies require policyholder approval before a collateral assignment can be implemented. This approval process may involve submitting an application, providing financial information, or meeting certain criteria determined by the insurance company.

3. Maintaining Policy In-Force

To retain the collateral assignment, policyholders must keep the life insurance policy in force, which includes paying premiums on time. If the policy lapses or is terminated, the collateral assignment may become void, and the policyholder may lose the associated benefits.

4. Replacement of Collateral

In certain situations, insurance companies may require the policyholder to replace the collateral assignment with another form of security if requested. This requirement ensures that the insurance company is adequately protected against potential losses.

5. Removing the Collateral Assignment

If the policyholder wishes to remove the collateral assignment, they will need to follow the specified procedure outlined by the insurance company. This often involves submitting a formal request, providing necessary documentation, and obtaining the insurance company’s approval.

6. Financial Institution Requirements

Financial institutions, such as banks or lenders, may have their own specific requirements for collateral assignments. These requirements may include minimum loan amounts, credit checks, or additional documentation. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the lender’s guidelines to ensure a smooth collateral assignment process.

7. Legal and Financial Advice

Due to the complex nature of collateral assignments, it’s wise to seek advice from legal and financial professionals. They can provide guidance on the legal implications, tax considerations, and overall suitability of a collateral assignment based on your specific circumstances.

Understanding these limitations and restrictions is crucial when considering a collateral assignment. It’s important to review the policy documents, consult with the insurance company and relevant professionals, and ensure compliance with all applicable regulations to navigate the process successfully.

In the next section, we will outline the general steps involved in setting up a collateral assignment.

Setting up a collateral assignment requires careful consideration and following specific steps. While the exact process may vary depending on the insurance company and the lender, here are some general guidelines to help you navigate the setup process:

1. Assess Your Financial Needs

Determine the amount of funds you need and the purpose for which you require the loan or financing. Assess your financial situation and ensure that a collateral assignment aligns with your overall financial goals and needs.

2. Identify the Lender

Research potential lenders that offer collateral assignments and select one that best meets your requirements. Consider factors such as interest rates, loan terms, and reputation when making your decision.

3. Consult with professionals

Seek the advice of financial and legal professionals who specialize in life insurance policies and collateral assignments. They can guide you through the process, provide expert recommendations, and ensure that you fully understand the implications and obligations associated with a collateral assignment.

4. Review Policy Terms

Review the terms of your life insurance policy, paying particular attention to any provisions related to collateral assignments. Understand the limitations, restrictions, and requirements set by your insurance company.

5. Draft the Collateral Assignment Agreement

Work with legal professionals to draft a collateral assignment agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the assignment. This agreement should clearly specify the assigned portion of the death benefit, the loan amount, the repayment terms, and any other relevant provisions.

6. Obtain Signatures and Consent

Ensure that all parties involved, including yourself, the lender, and the insurance company, sign the collateral assignment agreement. The insurance company’s consent is crucial to acknowledge and approve the assignment.

7. Submit Documentation

Provide the necessary documentation to the insurance company and the lender to establish the collateral assignment. This may include copies of the collateral assignment agreement, policy documents, and any other requested information.

8. Stay Informed and Compliant

Keep track of your loan repayments and stay informed about any updates or changes related to the collateral assignment. Comply with the terms and conditions stated in the collateral assignment agreement, including making timely payments to the lender and maintaining the life insurance policy in force.

Remember that these steps are general guidelines, and the specific process may vary based on your unique situation and the requirements set by the insurance company and the lender. Consulting with professionals experienced in collateral assignments will ensure a smooth and successful setup process.

In the final section, we will conclude our discussion on collateral assignments and summarize the key points to remember.

Collateral assignments serve as a valuable tool in leveraging the benefits of a life insurance policy while accessing funds for various financial needs. By assigning a portion of the death benefit as collateral, policyholders can secure loans or financing without surrendering their policies or disrupting the benefits associated with them.

We began by understanding the basics of collateral assignments and the concept of life insurance contracts. We then explored how a collateral assignment works within the context of a life insurance policy, outlining the steps involved in setting one up.

Collateral assignments offer several benefits, including access to funds, retention of policy benefits, lower interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and diverse financial uses. However, it’s important to consider the potential risks and limitations associated with collateral assignments, such as the impact on the death benefit, default risk, limited flexibility, and complex documentation.

It’s essential to carefully evaluate your financial needs, consult with professionals, review policy terms, and draft a well-structured collateral assignment agreement. By following these steps and staying compliant with the agreement, you can navigate the collateral assignment process successfully.

To ensure a smooth and efficient setup process, it’s advisable to seek guidance from financial advisors, insurance professionals, and legal experts who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

In summary, a collateral assignment can be a powerful strategy to utilize the accumulated cash value and death benefit of a life insurance policy while addressing immediate financial needs. However, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research, seek professional advice, and fully understand the implications and obligations associated with collateral assignments.

By carefully weighing the benefits, risks, and considerations, you can make informed decisions and effectively use collateral assignments to enhance your financial plan and achieve your goals.


How Is Collateral Assignment Used In A Life Insurance Contract?


20 Quick Tips To Saving Your Way To A Million Dollars


Our Review on The Credit One Credit Card


Away-from-the-Market Definition


How Many Schools Teach Basic Money Management?

Latest articles.


Navigating Crypto Frontiers: Understanding Market Capitalization as the North Star

Written By:


Financial Literacy Matters: Here’s How to Boost Yours


Unlocking Potential: How In-Person Tutoring Can Help Your Child Thrive


Understanding XRP’s Role in the Future of Money Transfers


Navigating Post-Accident Challenges with Automobile Accident Lawyers

Related post.

Aleatory Contract Definition, Use In Insurance Policies

By:  •  Finance

How Rich People Use Life Insurance

Please accept our Privacy Policy.

We uses cookies to improve your experience and to show you personalized ads. Please review our privacy policy by clicking here .

  • https://livewell.com/finance/how-is-a-collateral-assignment-used-in-a-life-insurance-contract/

Search NAIC


Back to Newsroom

Consumer Insight

assignment insurance contract

Sept. 13, 2023

Assignment of Benefits: Consumer Beware

You've just survived a severe storm, or a tornado and you've experienced some extensive damage to your home that requires repairs, including the roof. Your contractor is now asking for your permission to speak with your insurance company using an Assignment of Benefits. Before you sign, read the fine print. Otherwise, you may inadvertently sign over your benefits and any extra money you’re owed as part of your claim settlement.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers information to help you better understand insurance, your risk and what to do in the event you need repairs after significant storm damage.

Be cautious about signing an Assignment of Benefits. An Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is an agreement signed by a policyholder that allows a third party—such as a water extraction company, a roofer or a plumber—to act on behalf of the insured and seek direct payment from the insurance company.  An AOB can be a useful tool for getting repairs done, as it allows the repair company to deal directly with your insurance company when negotiating repairs and issuing payment directly to the repair company. However, an AOB is a legal contract, so you need to understand what rights you are signing away and you need to be sure the repair company is trustworthy.

  • With an Assignment of Benefits, the third party, like a roofing company or plumber, files your claim, makes the repair decision and collects insurance payments without your involvement.
  • Once you have signed an AOB, the insurer only communicates with the third party and the other party can sue your insurer and you can lose your right to mediation.
  • It's possible the third party may demand a higher claim payment than the insurer offers and then sue the insurer when it denies your claim.
  • You are not required to sign an AOB to have repairs completed. You can file a claim directly with your insurance company, which allows you to maintain control of the rights and benefits provided by your policy in resolving the claim.

Be on alert for fraud. Home repair fraud is common after a natural disaster. Contractors often come into disaster-struck regions looking to make quick money by taking advantage of victims.

  • It is a good idea to do business with local or trusted companies. Ask friends and family for references.
  •  Your insurer may also have recommendations or a list of preferred contractors.
  • Always get more than one bid on work projects. Your adjuster may want to review estimates before you make repairs.

Immediately after the disaster, have an accurate account of the damage for your insurance company when you file a claim.

  • Before removing any debris or belongings, document all losses.
  • Take photos or video and make a list of the damages and lost items.
  • Save damaged items if possible so your insurer can inspect them, some insurance companies may have this as a requirement in their policy.

Most insurance companies have a time requirement for reporting a claim, so contact your agent or company as soon as possible. Your  state insurance department  can help you find contact information for your insurance company, if you cannot find it.

  • Insurance company officials can help you determine what damages are covered, start your claim and even issue a check to start the recovery process.
  • When reporting losses, you will need insurance information, current contact information and a  home inventory or list of damaged and lost property . If you do not have a list, the adjuster will give you some time to make one. Ask the adjuster how much time you have to submit this inventory list. The NAIC Post Disaster Claims Guide has details on what you can do if you do not have a home inventory list.

After you report damage to your insurance company, they will send a claims adjuster to assess the damage at no cost to you . An adjuster from your insurance company will walk through and around your home to inspect damaged items and temporary repairs you may have made.

  • A public adjuster is different from an adjuster from your insurance company and has no ties to the insurance company.
  • They estimate the damage to your home and property, review your insurance coverage, and negotiate a settlement of the insurance claim for you.
  • Many states require public adjusters to be licensed. Some states prohibit public adjusters from negotiating insurance claims for you. In those states, only a licensed attorney can represent you.
  • You have to pay a public adjuster.
  • The NAIC Post Disaster Claims Guide has information on the different types of adjusters.

Once the adjuster has completed an assessment, they will provide documentation of the loss to your insurer to determine your claims settlement. When it comes to getting paid, you may receive more than one check. If the damage is severe or you are displaced from your home, the first check may be an emergency advance. Other payments may be for the contents of your home, other personal property, and structural damages. Please note that if there is a mortgage on your home, the payment for structural damage may be payable to you and your mortgage lender. Lenders may put that money into an escrow account and pay for repairs as the work is completed.

More information. States have rules governing how insurance companies handle claims. If you think that your insurer is not responding in a timely manner or completing a reasonable investigation of your claim, contact your  state insurance department .

About the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

As part of our state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standard-setting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally.

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Life Insurance
  • Definitions

What Is a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?

assignment insurance contract

Charlene Rhinehart is a CPA , CFE, chair of an Illinois CPA Society committee, and has a degree in accounting and finance from DePaul University.

assignment insurance contract

A collateral assignment of life insurance is a conditional assignment appointing a lender as an assignee of a policy. Essentially, the lender has a claim to some or all of the death benefit until the loan is repaid. The death benefit is used as collateral for a loan.

The advantage to using a collateral assignee over naming the lender as a beneficiary is that you can specify that the lender is only entitled to a certain amount, namely the amount of the outstanding loan. That would allow your beneficiaries still be entitled to any remaining death benefit.

Lenders commonly require that life insurance serve as collateral for a business loan to guarantee repayment if the borrower dies or defaults. They may even require you to get a life insurance policy to be approved for a business loan.

Key Takeaways

  • The borrower of a business loan using life insurance as collateral must be the policy owner, who may or may not be the insured.
  • The collateral assignment helps you avoid naming a lender as a beneficiary.
  • The collateral assignment may be against all or part of the policy's value.
  • If any amount of the death benefit remains after the lender is paid, it is distributed to beneficiaries.
  • Once the loan is fully repaid, the life insurance policy is no longer used as collateral.

How a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Works

Collateral assignments make sure the lender gets paid only what they are due. The borrower must be the owner of the policy, but they do not have to be the insured person. And the policy must remain current for the life of the loan, with the policy owner continuing to pay all premiums . You can use either term or whole life insurance policy as collateral, but the death benefit must meet the lender's terms.

A permanent life insurance policy with a cash value allows the lender access to the cash value to use as loan payment if the borrower defaults. Many lenders don't accept term life insurance policies as collateral because they do not accumulate cash value.

Alternately, the policy owner's access to the cash value is restricted to protect the collateral. If the loan is repaid before the borrower's death, the assignment is removed, and the lender is no longer the beneficiary of the death benefit.

Insurance companies must be notified of the collateral assignment of a policy. However, other than their obligation to meet the terms of the contract, they are not involved in the agreement.

Example of Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance

For example, say you have a business plan for a floral shop and need a $50,000 loan to get started. When you apply for the loan, the bank says you must have collateral in the form of a life insurance policy to back it up. You have a whole life insurance policy with a cash value of $65,000 and a death benefit of $300,000, which the bank accepts as collateral.

So, you then designate the bank as the policy's assignee until you repay the $50,000 loan. That way, the bank can ensure it will be repaid the funds it lent you, even if you died. In this case, because the cash value and death benefit is more than what you owe the lender, your beneficiaries would still inherit money.

Alternatives to Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance

Using a collateral assignment to secure a business loan can help you access the funds you need to start or grow your business. However, you would be at risk of losing your life insurance policy if you defaulted on the loan, meaning your beneficiaries may not receive the money you'd planned for them to inherit.

Consult with a financial advisor to discuss whether a collateral assignment or one of these alternatives may be most appropriate for your financial situation.

Life insurance loan (policy loan) : If you already have a life insurance policy with a cash value, you can likely borrow against it. Policy loans are not taxed and have less stringent requirements such as no credit or income checks. However, this option would not work if you do not already have a permanent life insurance policy because the cash value component takes time to build.

Surrendering your policy : You can also surrender your policy to access any cash value you've built up. However, your beneficiaries would no longer receive a death benefit.

Other loan types : Finally, you can apply for other loans, such as a personal loan, that do not require life insurance as collateral. You could use loans that rely on other types of collateral, such as a home equity loan that uses your home equity.

What Are the Benefits of Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?

A collateral assignment of a life insurance policy may be required if you need a business loan. Lenders typically require life insurance as collateral for business loans because they guarantee repayment if the borrower dies. A policy with cash value can guarantee repayment if the borrower defaults.

What Kind of Life Insurance Can Be Used for Collateral?

You can typically use any type of life insurance policy as collateral for a business loan, depending on the lender's requirements. A permanent life insurance policy with a cash value allows the lender a source of funds to use if the borrower defaults. Some lenders may not accept term life insurance policies, which have no cash value. The lender will typically require the death benefit be a certain amount, depending on your loan size.

Is Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Irrevocable?

A collateral assignment of life insurance is irrevocable. So, the policyholder may not use the cash value of a life insurance policy dedicated toward collateral for a loan until that loan has been repaid.

What is the Difference Between an Assignment and a Collateral Assignment?

With an absolute assignment , the entire ownership of the policy would be transferred to the assignee, or the lender. Then, the lender would be entitled to the full death benefit. With a collateral assignment, the lender is only entitled to the balance of the outstanding loan.

The Bottom Line

If you are applying for life insurance to secure your own business loan, remember you do not need to make the lender the beneficiary. Instead you can use a collateral assignment. Consult a financial advisor or insurance broker who can walk you through the process and explain its pros and cons as they apply to your situation.

Progressive. " Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance ."

Fidelity Life. " What Is a Collateral Assignment of a Life Insurance Policy? "

Kansas Legislative Research Department. " Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Proceeds ."

assignment insurance contract

  • Terms of Service
  • Editorial Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your Privacy Choices


Assignment of Contract

Jump to section, what is an assignment of contract.

An assignment of contract is a legal term that describes the process that occurs when the original party (assignor) transfers their rights and obligations under their contract to a third party (assignee). When an assignment of contract happens, the original party is relieved of their contractual duties, and their role is replaced by the approved incoming party.

How Does Assignment of Contract Work?

An assignment of contract is simpler than you might think.

The process starts with an existing contract party who wishes to transfer their contractual obligations to a new party.

When this occurs, the existing contract party must first confirm that an assignment of contract is permissible under the legally binding agreement . Some contracts prohibit assignments of contract altogether, and some require the other parties of the agreement to agree to the transfer. However, the general rule is that contracts are freely assignable unless there is an explicit provision that says otherwise.

In other cases, some contracts allow an assignment of contract without any formal notification to other contract parties. If this is the case, once the existing contract party decides to reassign his duties, he must create a “Letter of Assignment ” to notify any other contract signers of the change.

The Letter of Assignment must include details about who is to take over the contractual obligations of the exiting party and when the transfer will take place. If the assignment is valid, the assignor is not required to obtain the consent or signature of the other parties to the original contract for the valid assignment to take place.

Check out this article to learn more about how assigning a contract works.

Contract Assignment Examples

Contract assignments are great tools for contract parties to use when they wish to transfer their commitments to a third party. Here are some examples of contract assignments to help you better understand them:

Anna signs a contract with a local trash company that entitles her to have her trash picked up twice a week. A year later, the trash company transferred her contract to a new trash service provider. This contract assignment effectively makes Anna’s contract now with the new service provider.

Hasina enters a contract with a national phone company for cell phone service. The company goes into bankruptcy and needs to close its doors but decides to transfer all current contracts to another provider who agrees to honor the same rates and level of service. The contract assignment is completed, and Hasina now has a contract with the new phone company as a result.

Here is an article where you can find out more about contract assignments.

assignment insurance contract

Benjamin W.

assignment insurance contract

Assignment of Contract in Real Estate

Assignment of contract is also used in real estate to make money without going the well-known routes of buying and flipping houses. When real estate LLC investors use an assignment of contract, they can make money off properties without ever actually buying them by instead opting to transfer real estate contracts .

This process is called real estate wholesaling.

Real Estate Wholesaling

Real estate wholesaling consists of locating deals on houses that you don’t plan to buy but instead plan to enter a contract to reassign the house to another buyer and pocket the profit.

The process is simple: real estate wholesalers negotiate purchase contracts with sellers. Then, they present these contracts to buyers who pay them an assignment fee for transferring the contract.

This process works because a real estate purchase agreement does not come with the obligation to buy a property. Instead, it sets forth certain purchasing parameters that must be fulfilled by the buyer of the property. In a nutshell, whoever signs the purchase contract has the right to buy the property, but those rights can usually be transferred by means of an assignment of contract.

This means that as long as the buyer who’s involved in the assignment of contract agrees with the purchasing terms, they can legally take over the contract.

But how do real estate wholesalers find these properties?

It is easier than you might think. Here are a few examples of ways that wholesalers find cheap houses to turn a profit on:

  • Direct mailers
  • Place newspaper ads
  • Make posts in online forums
  • Social media posts

The key to finding the perfect home for an assignment of contract is to locate sellers that are looking to get rid of their properties quickly. This might be a family who is looking to relocate for a job opportunity or someone who needs to make repairs on a home but can’t afford it. Either way, the quicker the wholesaler can close the deal, the better.

Once a property is located, wholesalers immediately go to work getting the details ironed out about how the sale will work. Transparency is key when it comes to wholesaling. This means that when a wholesaler intends to use an assignment of contract to transfer the rights to another person, they are always upfront about during the preliminary phases of the sale.

In addition to this practice just being good business, it makes sure the process goes as smoothly as possible later down the line. Wholesalers are clear in their intent and make sure buyers know that the contract could be transferred to another buyer before the closing date arrives.

After their offer is accepted and warranties are determined, wholesalers move to complete a title search . Title searches ensure that sellers have the right to enter into a purchase agreement on the property. They do this by searching for any outstanding tax payments, liens , or other roadblocks that could prevent the sale from going through.

Wholesalers also often work with experienced real estate lawyers who ensure that all of the legal paperwork is forthcoming and will stand up in court. Lawyers can also assist in the contract negotiation process if needed but often don’t come in until the final stages.

If the title search comes back clear and the real estate lawyer gives the green light, the wholesaler will immediately move to locate an entity to transfer the rights to buy.

One of the most attractive advantages of real estate wholesaling is that very little money is needed to get started. The process of finding a seller, negotiating a price, and performing a title search is an extremely cheap process that almost anyone can do.

On the other hand, it is not always a positive experience. It can be hard for wholesalers to find sellers who will agree to sell their homes for less than the market value. Even when they do, there is always a chance that the transferred buyer will back out of the sale, which leaves wholesalers obligated to either purchase the property themselves or scramble to find a new person to complete an assignment of contract with.

Learn more about assignment of contract in real estate by checking out this article .

Who Handles Assignment of Contract?

The best person to handle an assignment of contract is an attorney. Since these are detailed legal documents that deal with thousands of dollars, it is never a bad idea to have a professional on your side. If you need help with an assignment of contract or signing a business contract , post a project on ContractsCounsel. There, you can connect with attorneys who know everything there is to know about assignment of contract amendment and can walk you through the whole process.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Morgan S. on ContractsCounsel

Corporate Attorney that represents startups, businesses, investors, VC/PE doing business throughout the country. Representing in a range of matters from formation to regulatory compliance to financings to exit. Have a practice that represents both domestic and foreign startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Along with VC, Private Equity, and investors.

Joeie S. on ContractsCounsel

Attorney Skelly is a midwestern transplant from Iowa. She has been in Florida for the past 11 years. She went to undergrad at Buena Vista University, which is a small liberal arts college in Storm Lake, Iowa. After graduating with her Bachelor's degree in criminal justice, she went on to obtain her Master's degree in criminal justice from Kaplan university, which is now Purdue Global. While attending school full time for her Master’s degree, Attorney Skelly worked full time in social services helping children and their families who were involved in the dependency system. Attorney Skelly has a professional background in child welfare and social services having worked for 18 years in the field. Attorney Skelly always had a lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer and decided to fulfill her goal in May of 2019 by starting law school at Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School at their Riverview campus. She did their accelerated program and completed law school in just over two years and graduated magna cum laude with honors. Attorney Skelly also received certificate of merit awards, which means attaining the highest grade in the class in secured transactions, research and writing, and family violence practice. While in law school Attorney Skelly was a teaching assistant to two tenured professors as well as a note taker for those students who had accommodations. She was also awarded the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Student Award. In her legal career, Attorney Skelly started out at the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Myers, FL. She helped prosecute several cases and personally worked as second chair on 9 jury trials and one bench trial. Once Attorney Skelly passed the bar, she worked for a family law firm under a board certified marital and family law practitioner where she gained tremendous knowledge in the area of family law which includes divorce, paternity, child custody/parenting plans, alimony and child support as well as domestic relations issues such as domestic violence injunctions. Attorney Skelly is also certified as a Guardian ad Litem and can serve as a Guardian ad Litem in family court cases. Attorney Skelly is a proud member of the Florida Bar, the Lee County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Daniel W. on ContractsCounsel

In my thirteen years of practice, I've had the opportunity to argue cases in state, federal, and tribal courts; in subjects as diverse as gaming, land tenure, water rights, treaty rights, finance, employment, criminal defense, conflict of laws, and tort (among others). But the real value I brought my clients came through avoiding litigation, fostering relationships, and developing long-term strategies.

Christopher I. on ContractsCounsel

Christopher I.

Owner at Irak Law Office in Merrillville, Indiana. Licensed attorney since 2015. Primary focuses include business/corporate law, startup formation, and contract drafting. Love working with small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Christi D. on ContractsCounsel

Attorney. I love contracts, estate plans, and prenuptial agreements! I would love to help you on the same.

Sara E. on ContractsCounsel

Family Law Attorney

Timothy J. on ContractsCounsel

Financial Services, Business, Corporate, Personal Injury, and Healthcare. I've represented fortune 100 companies and defended individuals in personal debt litigation. Wide breadth of experience, ready to assist.

Find the best lawyer for your project

assignment insurance contract

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

Need help with a Contract Agreement?

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer


  • Austin Contracts Lawyers
  • Boston Contracts Lawyers
  • Chicago Contracts Lawyers
  • Dallas Contracts Lawyers
  • Denver Contracts Lawyers
  • Houston Contracts Lawyers
  • Los Angeles Contracts Lawyers
  • New York Contracts Lawyers
  • Phoenix Contracts Lawyers
  • San Diego Contracts Lawyers
  • Tampa Contracts Lawyers


  • Austin Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Boston Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Chicago Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Dallas Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Denver Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Houston Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Los Angeles Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • New York Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Phoenix Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • San Diego Assignment Of Contract Lawyers
  • Tampa Assignment Of Contract Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

How It Works

Want to speak to someone.

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Find lawyers and attorneys by city

Assignment of Benefits: What It Is, and How It Can Affect your Property Insurance Claim

assignment insurance contract

Table of Contents

What is an Assignment of Benefits?

In the context of insured property claims, an assignment of benefits (AOB) is an agreement between you and a contractor in which you give the contractor your right to insurance payments for a specific scope of work .  In exchange, the contractor agrees that it will not seek payment from you for that scope of work, except for the amount of any applicable deductible.  In other words, you give part of your insurance claim to your contractor, and your contractor agrees not to collect from you for part of its work.

The most important thing to know about an assignment of benefits is that it puts your contractor in control your claim , at least for their scope of work.  Losing that control can significantly affect the direction and outcome of your claim, so you should fully understand the implications of an AOB (sometimes called an assignment of claims or AOC) before signing one.

How Does an Assignment of Benefits Work in Practice? 

Let’s say you’re an insured homeowner, and Hurricane Ian significantly damaged your roof.  Let’s also assume your homeowner’s policy covers that damage.  A roofer, after inspecting your roof and reviewing your insurance policy, might conclude that your insurer is probably going to pay for a roof replacement under your insurance policy.  The only problem is that it’s early in the recovery process, and your insurer hasn’t yet stated whether it will pay for the roof replacement proposed by your contractor. So if you want your roof replaced now, you would ordinarily agree to pay your roofer for the replacement, and wait in hopes that your insurer reimburses you for the work.  This means that if your insurance company refuses to pay or drags out payment, you’re on the hook to your roofer for the cost of the replacement.

As an alternative to agreeing to pay your roofer for the full cost of the work, you could sign an assignment of benefits for the roof replacement.  In this scenario, your roofer owns the part of your insurance claim that pertains to the roof replacement.  You might have to pay your roofer for the amount of your deductible, but you probably don’t have to pay them for the rest of the cost of the work.  And if your insurance company refuses to pay or drags out payment for the roof replacement, it’s your roofer, and not you, who would be on the hook for that shortfall.

So should you sign an AOB?  Not necessarily.  Read below to understand the pros and cons of an assignment of benefits.

Are There any Downsides to Signing an Assignment of Benefits?


You lose control of your claim . This is the most important factor to understand when considering whether to sign an AOB.  An AOB is a formal assignment of your legal rights to payment under your insurance contract.  Unless you’re able to cancel the AOB, your contractor will have full control over your claim as it relates to their work. 

To explain why that control could matter, let’s go back to the roof replacement example.  When you signed the AOB, the scope of work you agreed on was to replace the roof.  But you’re not a roofing expert, so you don’t know whether the costs charged or the materials used by the roofer in its statement of work are industry appropriate or not.  In most cases, they probably are appropriate, and there’s no problem.  But if they’re not – if, for instance, the roofer’s prices are unreasonably high – then the insurer may not approve coverage for the replacement.  At that point, the roofer could lower its prices so the insurer approves the work, but it doesn’t have to, because it controls the claim .  Instead it could hold up work and threaten to sue your insurer unless it approves the work at the originally proposed price.  Now the entire project is insnared in litigation, leaving you in a tough spot with your insurer for your other claims and, most importantly, with an old leaky roof.

Misunderstanding the Scope of Work.   Another issue that can arise is that you don’t understand the scope of the assignment of benefits.  Contractor estimates and scopes of work are often highly technical documents that can be long on detail but short on clarity.  Contractors are experts at reading and writing them.  You are not.  That difference matters because the extent of your assignment of benefits is based on that technical, difficult-to-understand scope of work.  This can lead to situations where your understanding of what you’re authorizing the contractor to do is very different from what you’ve actually authorized in the AOB agreement.

In many cases, it’s not necessary .   Many contractors will work with you and your insurer to provide a detailed estimate of their work, and will not begin that work until your insurer has approved coverage for it.  This arrangement significantly reduces the risk of you being on the hook for uninsured repairs, without creating any of the potential problems that can occur when you give away your rights to your claim.

Do I have to sign an Assignment of Benefits?

No.  You are absolutely not required to sign an AOB if you do not want to. 

Are There any Benefits to Signing an Assignment of Benefits?

Potentially, but only if you’ve fully vetted your contractor and your claim involves complicated and technical construction issues that you don’t want to deal with. 

First, you must do your homework to fully vet your contractor!  Do not just take their word for it or be duped by slick ads.  Read reviews, understand their certificate of insurance, know where they’re located, and, if possible, ask for and talk to references.  If you’ve determined that the contractor is highly competent at the work they do, is fully insured, and has a good reputation with customers, then that reduces the risk that they’ll abuse their rights to your claim.

Second, if your claim involves complicated reconstruction issues, a reputable contractor may be well equipped to handle the claim and move it forward.  If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of handling a complicated claim like this, and you know you have a good contractor, one way to get rid of that hassle is an AOB.

Another way to get rid of the hassle is to try Claimly, the all-in-one claims handling tool that get you results but keeps you in control of your claim.  

Can my insurance policy restrict the use of AOBs?

Yes, it’s possible that your Florida insurance policy restricts the use of AOBs, but only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • When you selected your coverage, your insurer offered you a different policy with the same coverage, only it did not restrict the right to sign an AOB.
  • Your insurer made the restricted policy available at a lower cost than the unrestricted policy.
  • If the policy completely prohibits AOBs, then it was made available at a lower cost than any policy partially prohibiting AOBs.
  • The policy includes on its face the following notice in 18-point uppercase and boldfaced type:



Pro Tip : If you have an electronic copy of your complete insurance policy (not just the declaration page), then search for “policy does not allow the unrestricted assignment” or another phrase from the required language above to see if your policy restricts an AOB.  If your policy doesn’t contain this required language, it probably doesn’t restrict AOBs.

Do I have any rights or protections concerning Assignments of Benefits?

Yes, you do.  Florida recently enacted laws that protect consumers when dealing with an AOB.

Protections in the AOB Contract

To be enforceable, a Assignments of Benefits must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be in writing and executed by and between you and the contractor.
  • Contain a provision that allows you to cancel the assignment agreement without a penalty or fee by submitting a written notice of cancellation signed by the you to the assignee:
  • at least 30 days after the date work on the property is scheduled to commence if the assignee has not substantially performed, or
  • at least 30 days after the execution of the agreement if the agreement does not contain a commencement date and the assignee has not begun substantial work on the property.
  • Contain a provision requiring the assignee to provide a copy of the executed assignment agreement to the insurer within 3 business days after the date on which the assignment agreement is executed or the date on which work begins, whichever is earlier.
  • Contain a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee .
  • Relate only to work to be performed by the assignee for services to protect, repair, restore, or replace a dwelling or structure or to mitigate against further damage to such property.
  • Contain the following notice in 18-point uppercase and boldfaced type:


  • Contain a provision requiring the assignee to indemnify and hold harmless the assignor from all liabilities, damages, losses, and costs, including, but not limited to, attorney fees.

Contractor Duties

Under Florida law, a contractor (or anyone else) receiving rights to a claim under an AOB:

  • Must provide you with accurate and up-to-date revised estimates of the scope of work to be performed as supplemental or additional repairs are required.
  • Must perform the work in accordance with accepted industry standards.
  • May not seek payment from you exceeding the applicable deductible under the policy unless asked the contractor to perform additional work at the your own expense.
  • Must, as a condition precedent to filing suit under the policy, and, if required by the insurer, submit to examinations under oath and recorded statements conducted by the insurer or the insurer’s representative that are reasonably necessary, based on the scope of the work and the complexity of the claim, which examinations and recorded statements must be limited to matters related to the services provided, the cost of the services, and the assignment agreement.
  • Must, as a condition precedent to filing suit under the policy, and, if required by the insurer, participate in appraisal or other alternative dispute resolution methods in accordance with the terms of the policy.
  • If the contractor is making emergency repairs, the assignment of benefits cannot exceed the greater of $3,000 or 1% of your Coverage A limit.

Recommended Posts

New legislation alert: 2022 changes to florida property insurance laws and how they affect you, public adjusting laws in florida: what pas need to know, faqs: everything you need to know about additional living expenses insurance coverage.

Brelly’s tools and resources are your secret weapon to getting your insurance claim filed right, moving fast, and paid fully .

Policygenius does not allow the submission of personal information by users located within the EU or the UK. If you believe this action is in error, or have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

  • Submit Article for Publication

Nomination and Assignment under Insurance Contracts

Published by siri k reddy on 30/01/2021 30/01/2021, introduction:.

The term assignment itself means you assign something to someone else. In term life insurance, the assignment of the policy describes the action of assigning legal rights as well as policy ownership to someone else. The person who assigns the policy is known as an Assignor and the person who has been assigned the policy is known as an Assignee.

Nomination under the insurance contract refers to nominate someone on your behalf in order to collect the benefit in your absence. A person who is trustworthy can be nominated upon the death of a person. The trustworthy person could be from the dead person’s family or close friends. Then that person is the nominee of the policy.

However in most of the cases, people choose their family member as the nominee of the policy but as per the insurance act of 1938, under section 39, the nomination of a particular person is not restricted to a family only. Any person who is considered as trustworthy and any person who will not misuse the policy are considered to be an ideal nominee of that particular policy.

Types of Assignment

There are two types of assignment of policies:

  • Absolute assignment: under this particular type of assignment, the assignor is bound to transfer the ownership, title, legal interests and all the rights of the policy to the assignee. This type of transfer of the policy does not include the terms and conditions on the part of the assignee. The exact purpose of the absolute assignment is to repay the debts or to show affection to loved ones.
  • Collateral assignment: collateral assignment refers to that particular assignment in which the policyholder assigns the policy on terms and conditions, and the assignee is restricted to avail the benefits of all the terms and conditions. The main purpose of the collateral assignment is to repay loans and liabilities.

Types of Nomination

There are three types of nominations, such as:

  • Beneficiary nominee: in this particular nomination a particular person can be made beneficiary to the immediate family members like parents, children, and spouse. The beneficiary will be entitled to receive all the benefits of the policy legally only in case of unfavourable conditions.
  • Minor nominee: since it is considered that a minor cannot deal with financial conditions, the guardian of that particular minor has to give the details of their selves only when the policyholder chooses his/her child as the nominee.
  • Non-family nominee: a non-family member is that person who does not have blood relation with the policyholder such as close friends, a distant relative, a neighbour, etc. under section 39 of the insurance act of 1938; any trustworthy person can be a policy nominee.

Nomination and Assignment in Life Insurance Plans

As it is already known that insurance is a legal contract between the insurance company who is also called the insurer and the policyholder. An assignee is a person to whom the rights have been transverse to. An example of an absolute assignment is as follows: Mr Bharath owns a life insurance policy of 1 crore and he wants to gift this particular policy to his wife as ‘absolute assignment’ to her name. Once this absolute assignment is made to his wife’s name, she will be the owner of the policy. She also has the right to transfer this policy to someone else.

An example of a conditional assignment is as follows: Ms Supriya owns a term insurance policy of 900,000. She wants a home loan of the same amount. Hence her banker asked her to assign the term policy in their name in order to get the loan.  If Supriya meets an untimely death the banker is entitled to enjoy their money. An assignment deed or deed of assignment [DOA] is that deed through which rights can be transferred from one person to another.

assignment insurance contract

Sections and Policies


The provisions under section 38 of the Insurance Law Act, 2015. The provisions of this particular section are as follows:

  • This policy allows itself to be transferred with or without consideration.
  • An assignment has a high chance of being affected by an endorsement upon the policy or by a separate instrument to the insurer.
  • The instruments should reflect the assignment and the reasons for the transfer.
  • An authorized agent or the transferor should sign the assignment.
  • The transferor of the assignment should not be operative against an insurer until prior notice is issued
  • The authority has the right to specify the fees that is paid for the transfer
  • The insurer is also expected to give a written acknowledgement of receipt of the notice. Such notice acts as evidence for the future.
  •  The notices shall be delivered only at one place where the policy is being served in order to avoid confusions. This arrangement is made as the insurer is involved in managing more than one business place.
  • The insurer has the right to accept or deny acting upon any transfer or endorsement only if it is not bonafide or not in the public interest.
  • Before denying the endorsement, the insurer should make a note of the reasons for the same.


The provisions of this particular section are as follows:

  • The policyholder can nominate a person to whom money secured by the policy shall be paid during the death.
  • When in case of a minor, the policyholder can appoint any person to receive the money in the event of policyholder’s death during the minority of the nominee.
  • Nomination can be made at any time before the maturity of the policy.
  • The nomination can be incorporated or endorsed to the insurer.
  • The provisions of section 39 are not applicable to any life insurance policy to which section 6 of the Married Women’s Property Act, 1874 applies.
  • If the nominee dies before the policyholder, the money is payable to the legal representatives or the holder of succession certificate.

SECTION 45- Policy shall not be called in question on the ground of misstatement after three years

Provisions of this section are as follow:

  • Any policy of life insurance shall not be called in question after the expiry of three years from the date of issuance of the policy, the date of commencement of risk, the date of revival, the date rider coming to the policy.
  • Silence is not considered to be fraud unless it depends on the circumstances of the case.
  • The insurer can call for age proof at any time only if he is entitled.
  • No insurer can reject a life insurance policy on the grounds of fraud if the beneficiary can prove that the fraud was true to the best of his knowledge.

Difference between Nomination and Assignment

Assignment of policies- impact on existing nomination.

  • According to section 39(4) of the insurance act, 938, the assignment of an insurance policy automatically cancels the nomination.
  • Here are the few circumstances under which the assignment does not automatically cancel nomination :

When the policy loan is taken from the life insurer who issues the policy, the policy has to be assigned in favour of the life insurer. Under such circumstances, assignments in favour of the life insurer do not automatically cancel the nomination.

On the other hand, where the policy is assigned by a debtor to creditor acts as collateral security for the loan taken by the policyholder from the assignee.

The nomination and assignments have their own uses and benefits as a separate topic under the insurance contracts. I have gained in-depth knowledge of what exactly is nomination and assignment along with minute differences between them. The differences between them have helped me gain much more understanding of the topic. Nomination protects the interests of the insured and the insurer. Whereas the assignment strives to protect the interests of the assignee in availing all the benefits.


  • https://m.economictimes.com/nomination-and-assignment/articleshow/3320189.cms
  • https://accountlearning.com/difference-nomination-assignment/
  • https://accountlearning.com/assignment-in-insurance-policy-meaning-explanation-types/
  • https://life.futuregenerali.in/life-insurance-made-simple/life-insurance/change-nominee-in-term-insurance

Share this:

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Related Posts

assignment insurance contract

Common Law Principles

Utmost good faith under english insurance law.

Importance of “utmost” good faith is not to be ignored as it gives the doctrine a pillar of necessity to be followed in insurance contracts.

assignment insurance contract

Case Law Analysis

Tukeshwari devi vs royal sundaram alliance insurance company ltd & ors.

The deceased Shashi Kumar Mahato was killed in an accident by an unnamed Omni van which was driven by the negligent driving.

assignment insurance contract

Insurance Law

Hospital management and medical insurance laws.

Health is a part of the State List with each state retaining sole jurisdiction over the formulation of policies in this regard.

To join our WhatsApp community


Assignment under Insurance Policies

By J Mandakini, NUALS

Editor’s Note: This paper attempts to explore the concept of assignment under Indian law especially Contract Act, Insurance Act and Transfer of Property Act. It seeks to appreciate why the assignment is made use of for securities of a facility sanctioned by ICICI Bank. Also, it explains how ICICI Bank faces certain problems in executing the same. 


For any facility sanctioned by a lender, collateral is always deposited to secure the same. Such mere deposition will not suffice, the borrower has to explicitly permit the lender to recover from the borrower, such securities in case of his default.

This is done by the concept of assignment, dealt with adequately in Indian law. Assignment of obligations is always a tricky matter and needs to be dealt with carefully. The Bank should not fall short of any legally permitted lengths to ensure the same. This is why ambiguity in its security documents have to be rectified. 

This paper attempts to explore the concept of assignment in contract law. It seeks to appreciate why the assignment is made use of for securities of a facility sanctioned by ICICI Bank. The next section will deal with how ICICI Bank faces certain problems in executing the same. The following sections will talk about possible risks involved, as well as defenses and solutions to the same.


Assignment refers to the transfer of certain or all (depending on the agreement) rights to another party. The party which transfers its rights is called an assignor, and the party to whom such rights are transferred is called an assignee. Assignment only takes place after the original contract has been made. As a general rule, assignment of rights and benefits under a contract may be done freely, but the assignment of liabilities and obligations may not be done without the consent of the original contracting party.

The liability on a contract cannot be transferred so as to discharge the person or estate of the original contractor unless the creditor agrees to accept the liability of another person instead of the first. [i]


P agrees to sell his car to Q for Rs. 100. P assigns the right to receive the Rs. 100 to S. This may be done without the consent of Q. This is because Q is receiving his car, and it does not particularly matter to him, to whom the Rs. 100 is being handed as long as he is being absolved of his liability under the contract. However, notice may still be required to be given. Without such notice, Q would pay P, in spite of the fact that such right has been assigned to S. S would be a sufferer in such case.

In this case, that condition is being fulfilled since P has assigned his right to S. However, P may not assign S to be the seller. P cannot just transfer his duties under the contract to another. This is because Q has no guarantee as to the condition of S’s car. P entered into the contract with Q on the basis of the merits of P’s car, or any other personal qualifications of P. Such assignment may be done with the consent of all three parties – P, Q, S, and by doing this, P is absolved of his liabilities under the contract.

 1.1. Effect of Assignment

Immediately on the execution of an assignment of an insurance policy, the assignor forgoes all his rights, title and interest in the policy to the assignee. The premium or loan interest notices etc. in such cases will be sent to the assignee. [ii] However, the existence of obligations must not be assumed, when it comes to the assignment. It must be accompanied by evidence of the same. The party asserting such a personal obligation must prove the existence of an express assumption by clear and unequivocal proof. [iii]

assignment insurance contract

 Assignment of a contract to a third party destroys the privity of contract between the initial contracting parties. New privity is created between the assignee and the original contracting party. In the illustration mentioned above, the original contracting parties were P and Q. After the assignment, the new contracting parties are Q and S.

 1.2. Revocation of Assignment

Assignment, once validly executed, can neither be revoked nor canceled at the option of the assignor. To do so, the insurance policy will have to be reassigned to the original assignor (the insured).

 1.3. Exceptions to Assignment

There are some instances where the contract cannot be assigned to another.

  • Express provisions in the contract as to its non-assignability – Some contracts may include a specific clause prohibiting assignment. If that is so, then such a contract cannot be assigned. Assignability is the rule and the contrary is an exception. [iv]

Pensions, PFs, military benefits etc. Illustration

 1.4. enforcing a contract of assignment.

From the day on which notice is given to the insurer, the assignee becomes the beneficiary of the policy even though the assignment is not registered immediately. It does not wait until the giving of notice of the transfer to the insurer. [vi] However, no claims may lie against the insurer until and unless notice of such assignment is delivered to the insurer.

If notice of assignment is not provided to the obligor, he is discharged if he pays to the assignor. Assignee would have to recover from the assignor. However, if the obligor pays the assignor in spite of the notice provided to him, he would still be liable to the assignee.

The following two illustrations make the point amply clear:


1. Seller A assigns its right to payment from buyer X to bank B. Neither A nor B gives notice to X. When payment is due, X pays A. This payment is fully valid and X is discharged. It will be up to B to recover it from A

2. Seller A assigns to bank B its right to payment from buyer X. B immediately gives notice of the assignment to X. When payment is due, X still pays A. X is not discharged and B is entitled to oblige X to pay a second time.

An assignee doesn’t stand in better shoes than those of his assignor. Thus, if there is any breach of contract by the obligor to the assignee, the latter can recover from the former only the same amount as restricted by counter claims, set offs or liens of the assignor to the obligor.

The acknowledgment of notice of assignment is conclusive proof of, and evidence enough to entertain a suit against an assignor and the insurer respectively who haven’t honoured the contract of assignment.

1.5. Assignment under various laws in India

There is no separate law in India which deals with the concept of assignment. Instead, several laws have codified it under different laws. Some of them have been discussed as follows:

1.5.1. Under the Indian Contract Act

There is no express provision for the assignment of contracts under the Indian Contract Act. Section 37 of the Act provides for the duty of parties of a contract to honour such contract (unless the need for the same has been done away with). This is how the Act attempts to introduce the concept of assignment into Indian commercial law. It lays down a general responsibility on the “representatives” of any parties to a contract that may have expired before the completion of the contract. (Illustrations to Section 37 in the Act).

An exception to this may be found from the contract, e.g. contracts of a personal nature. Representatives of a deceased party to a contract cannot claim privity to that contract while refusing to honour such contract. Under this Section, “representatives” would also include within its ambit, transferees and assignees. [vii]

Section 41 of the Indian Contract Act applies to cases where a contract is performed by a third party and not the original parties to the contract. It applies to cases of assignment. [viii] A promisee accepting performance of the promise from a third person cannot afterwards enforce it against the promisor. [ix] He cannot attain double satisfaction of its claim, i.e., from the promisor as well as the third party which performed the contract. An essential condition for the invocation of this Section is that there must be actual performance of the contract and not of a substituted promise.

  1.5.2. Under the Insurance Act

The creation of assignment of life insurance policies is provided for, under Section 38 of the Insurance Act, 1938.

  • When the insurer receives the endorsement or notice, the fact of assignment shall be recorded with all details (date of receipt of notice – also used to prioritise simultaneous claims, the name of assignee etc). Upon request, and for a fee of an amount not exceeding Re. 1, the insurer shall grant a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such assignment, thereby conclusively proving the fact of his receipt of the notice or endorsement. Now, the insurer shall recognize only the assignee as the legally valid party entitled to the insurance policy.

 1.5.3. Under the Transfer of Property Act

Indian law as to assignment of life policies before the Insurance Act, 1938 was governed by Sections 130, 131, 132 and 135 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882 under Chapter VIII of the Act – Of Transfers of Actionable Claims. Section 130 of the Transfer of Property Act states that nothing contained in that Section is to affect Section 38 of the Insurance Act.

 I) Section 130 of the Transfer of Property Act

An actionable claim may be transferred only by fulfilling the following steps:

  • Signed by a transferor (or his authorized agent)

The transfer will be complete and effectual as soon as such an instrument is executed. No particular form or language has been prescribed for the transfer. It does not depend on giving notice to the debtor.

The proviso in the section protects a debtor (or other person), who, without knowledge of the transfer pays his creditor instead of the assignee. As long as such payment was without knowledge of the transfer, such payment will be a valid discharge against the transferee. When the transfer of any actionable claim is validly complete, all rights and remedies of transferor would vest now in the transferee. Existence of an instrument in writing is a sine qua non of a valid transfer of an actionable claim. [x]

 II) Section 131 of the Transfer Of Property Act

This Section requires the notice of transfer of actionable claim, as sent to the debtor, to be signed by the transferor (or by his authorized agent), and if he refuses to sign it, a signature by the transferee (or by his authorized agent). Such notice must state both the name and address of the transferee. This Section is intended to protect the transferee, to receive from the debtor. The transfer does not bind a debtor unless the transferor (or transferee, if transferor refuses) sends him an express notice, in accordance with the provisions of this Section.

III) Section 132 of the Transfer Of Property Act

This Section addresses the issue as to who should undertake the obligations under the transfer, i.e., who will discharge the liabilities of the transferor when the transfer has been made complete – would it be the transferor himself or the transferee, to whom the rest of the surviving contract, so to speak, has been transferred.

This Section stipulates, that the transferee himself would fulfill such obligations. However, where an actionable claim is transferred with the stipulation in the contract that transferor himself should discharge the liability, then such a provision in the contract will supersede Ss 130 and 132 of this Act. Where the insured hypothecates his life insurance policies and stipulates that he himself would pay the premiums, the transferee is not bound to pay the premiums. [xi]


Many banks require the borrower to take out or deposit an insurance policy as security when they request a personal loan or a business loan from that institution. The policy is used as a way of securing the loan, ensuring that the bank will have the facility repaid in the event of either the borrower’s death or his deviations from the terms of the facility agreement.

Along with the deposit of the insurance policy, the policyholder will also have to assign the benefits of the policy to the financial institution from which he proposes to avail a facility. The mere deposit, without writing, or passing of any document of title to such a claim, does not create any equitable charge. [xii]


The purpose of taking out a life insurance policy on oneself, is that in the event of an untimely death, near and dear ones of the deceased are not left high and dry, and that they would have something to fall back on during such traumatic times. Depositing and assigning the rights under such policy document to another, would mean that there is a high chance that benefits of life insurance would vest in such other, in the event of unfortunate death and the family members are prioritized only second. These are not desirable circumstances where the family would be forced to cope with the death of their loved one coupled with the financial crisis.

 Thus, there is a need to examine the ethics of:

  • The bank accepting such assignment

The customer should be cautious before assigning his rights under life insurance policies. By “cautious”, it is only meant that he and his dependents and/or legal heirs should be aware of the repercussions of the act of assigning his life insurance policy. It is conceded that no law prohibits the assignment of life insurance policies.

In fact, Section 38 of the Insurance Act, 1938 , provides for such assignments. Judicial cases have held life insurance policies as property more than a social welfare measure. [xiii] Further, the bank has no personal relationship with any customer and thus has no moral obligation to not accept such assignments of life insurance.

However, the writer is of the opinion that, in dealing with the assignment of life insurance policies, utmost care and caution must be taken by the insured when assigning his life insurance policy to anyone else.


This Section seeks to address and highlight the manner in which ICICI Bank drafts its security documents with regard to the assignment of obligations. The texts placed in quotes in the subsequent paragraphs are verbatim extracts from the security document as mentioned.

Composite Document for Corporate and Realty Funding


  The Mortgagor doth hereby:

iii) Assign and transfer unto the Mortgagee all the Bank Accounts and all rights, title, interest, benefits, claims and demands whatsoever of the Mortgagor in, to, under and in respect of the Bank Accounts and all monies including all cash flows and receivables and all proceeds arising from Projects and Other Projects_______________, insurance proceeds, which have been deposited / credited / lying in the Bank Accounts, all records, investments, assets, instruments and securities which represent all amounts in the Bank Accounts, both present and future (the “Account Assets”, which expression shall, as the context may permit or require, mean any or each of such Account Assets) to have and hold the same unto and to the use of the Mortgagee absolutely and subject to the powers and provisions herein contained and subject also to the proviso for redemption hereinafter mentioned;

(v) Assign and transfer unto the Mortgagee all right, title, interest, benefit, claims and demands whatsoever of the Mortgagors, in, to, under and/or in respect of the Project Documents (including insurance policies) including, without limitation, the right to compel performance thereunder, and to substitute, or to be substituted for, the Mortgagor thereunder, and to commence and conduct either in the name of the Mortgagor or in their own names or otherwise any proceedings against any persons in respect of any breach of, the Project Documents and, including without limitation, rights and benefits to all amounts owing to, or received by, the Mortgagor and all claims thereunder and all other claims of the Mortgagor under or in any proceedings against all or any such persons and together with the right to further assign any of the Project Documents, both present and future, to have and to hold all and singular the aforesaid assets, rights, properties, etc. unto and to the use of the Mortgagee absolutely and subject to the powers and provisions contained herein and subject also to the proviso for redemption hereinafter mentioned.”

 ICICI Bank’s Standard Terms and Conditions Governing Consumer Durable Loans

  “ insurance.

The Borrower further agrees that upon any monies becoming due under the policy, the same shall be paid by the Insurance Company to ICICI Bank without any reference / notice to the Borrower, but not exceeding the principal amount outstanding under the Insurance Policy. The Borrower specifically acknowledges that in all cases of claim, the Insurance Company will be solely liable for settlement of the claim, and he/she will not hold ICICI Bank responsible in any manner whether for compensation, recovery of compensation, processing of claims or for any reason whatsoever.

Reference has been made only to assignment of assets, rights, benefits, interests, properties etc. No specific reference has been made to the assignment of obligations of the assignor under such insurance contract.


Where ICICI Bank accepts insurance policy documents of customers as security for a loan, in the light of the fact that the documents are silent about the question of assignment of obligations, are they assigned to ICICI Bank? Where there is hypothecation of a life insurance policy, with a stipulation that the mortgagor (assignor) should pay the premiums, and that the mortgagee (assignee) is not bound to pay the same, Sections 130 and 132 do not apply to such cases. [xiv] With rectification of this issue, ICICI Bank can concretize its hold over the securities with no reservations about its legality.


This section of the paper attempts to explore the many risks that ICICI Bank is exposed to, or other factors which worsen the situation, due to the omission of a clause detailing the assignment of obligations by ICICI Bank.

Practices of Other Companies

The practices of other companies could be a risk factor for ICICI Bank in the light of the fact that some of them expressly exclude assignment of obligations in their security documents.

There are some companies whose notice of assignment forms contain an exclusive clause dealing with the assignment of obligations. It states that while rights and benefits accruing out of the insurance policy are to be assigned to the bank, obligations which arise out of such policy documents will not be liable to be performed by the bank. Thus, they explicitly provide for the only assignment of rights and benefits and never the assignment of obligations.

Possible Obligation to Insurance Companies

By not clearing up this issue, ICICI Bank could be held to be obligated to the insurance company from whom the assignor took the policy, for example, with respect to insurance premiums which were required to be paid by the assignor. This is not a desirable scenario for ICICI Bank. In case of default by the assignor in the terms of the contract, the right of ICICI Bank over the security deposited (insurance policy in question) could be fraught in the legal dispute.

Possible litigation

Numerous suits may be instituted against ICICI Bank alleging a violation of the Indian Contract Act. Some examples include allegations of concealment of fact, fraud etc. These could be enough to render the existing contract of assignment voidable or even void.

Contra Proferentem

This doctrine applies in a situation when a provision in the contract can be interpreted in more than one way, thereby creating ambiguities. It attempts to provide a solution to interpreting vague terms by laying down, that a party which drafts and imposes an ambiguous term should not benefit from that ambiguity. Where there is any doubt or ambiguity in the words of an exclusion clause, the words are construed more forcibly against the party putting forth the document, and in favour of the other party. [xv]

The doctrine of contra proferentem attempts to protect the layman from the legally knowledgeable companies which draft standard forms of contracts, in which the former stands on a much weaker footing with regard to bargaining power with the latter. This doctrine has been used in interpreting insurance contracts in India. [xvi]

If litigation ensues as a result of this uncertainty, there are high chances that the Courts will tend to favour the assignor and not the drafter of the documents.


This section of the paper attempts to give defences which the Bank may raise in case of any disputes arising out of silence on the matter of assignability of obligations.

Interpretation of the Security Documents

UNIDROIT principles expressly provide a method for interpretation of contracts. [xvii] The method consists of utilizing the following factors:

This defence relates to the concept of estoppel embodied in Section 115 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. According to the Section, when one person has, by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his representative shall be allowed, in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representatives, to deny the truth of that thing.

If a man either by words or by conduct has intimated that he consents to an act which has been done and that he will not offer any opposition to it, and he thereby induces others to do that which they otherwise might have abstained from, he cannot question legality of the act he had sanctioned to the prejudice of those who have so given faith to his words or to the fair inference to be drawn from his conduct. [xviii] Subsequent conduct may be relevant to show that the contract exists, or to show variation in the terms of the contract, or waiver, or estoppel. [xix]

Where the meaning of the instrument is ambiguous, a statement subsequently interpreting such instrument is admissible. [xx] In the present case, where the borrower has never raised any claims with regard to non assignability of obligations on him, and has consented to the present conditions and relations with ICICI Bank, he cannot he cannot be allowed to raise any claims with respect to the same.

Internationally, the doctrine of post contractual conduct is invoked for such disputes. It refers to the acts of parties to a contract after the commencement of the contract. It stipulates that where a party has behaved in a particular manner, so as to induce the other party to discharge its obligations, even if there has been a variation from the terms of the contract, the first party cannot cite such variation as a reason for its breach of the contract.

Where the parties to a contract are both under a common mistake as to the meaning or effect of it, and therefore embark on a course of dealing on the footing of that mistake, thereby replacing the original terms of the contract by a conventional basis on which they both conduct their affairs, then the original contract is replaced by the conventional basis. The parties are bound by the conventional basis. Either party can sue or be sued upon it just as if it had been expressly agreed between them. [xxi]

The importance of consensus ad idem has been concretized by various case laws in India. Further, if the stipulations and terms are uncertain and the parties are not ad idem there can be no specific performance, for there was no contract at all. [xxii]

In the present case, the minds of the assignor and assignee can be said to have not met while entering into the assignment. The assignee never had any intention of undertaking any obligations of the assignor. In Hartog v Colin & Shields, [xxiii] the defendants made an offer to the plaintiffs to sell hare skins, offering to a pay a price per pound instead of per piece.


To concretize ICICI Bank’s stand on the assignment of obligations in the matter of loans secured by insurance policies, the relevant security documents could be amended to include such a clause.

For instances where loans are secured by life insurance policies, a standard set by the American Banker’s Association (ABA) has been followed by many Indian commercial institutions as well. [xxvi] The ABA is a trade association in the USA representing banks ranging from the smallest community bank to the largest bank holding companies. ABA’s principal activities include lobbying, professional development for member institutions, maintenance of best practices and industry standards, consumer education, and distribution of products and services. [xxvii]

There are several ICICI security documents which have included clauses denying any assignment of obligations to it. An extract of the deed of hypothecation for vehicle loan has been reproduced below:

“ 3. In further pursuance of the Loan Terms and for the consideration aforesaid, the Hypothecator hereby further agrees, confirms, declares and undertakes with the Bank as follows:

(i)(a) The Hypothecator shall at its expenses keep the Assets in good and marketable condition and, if stipulated by the Bank under the Loan Terms, insure such of the Assets which are of insurable nature, in the joint names of the Hypothecator and the Bank against any loss or damage by theft, fire, lightning, earthquake, explosion, riot, strike, civil commotion, storm, tempest, flood, erection risk, war risk and such other risks as may be determined by the Bank and including wherever applicable, all marine, transit and other hazards incidental to the acquisition, transportation and delivery of the relevant Assets to the place of use or installation. The Hypothecator shall deliver to the Bank the relevant policies of insurance and maintain such insurance throughout the continuance of the security of these presents and deliver to the Bank the renewal receipts / endorsements / renewed policies therefore and till such insurance policies / renewal policies / endorsements are delivered to the Bank, the same shall be held by the Hypothecator in trust for the Bank. The Hypothecator shall duly and punctually pay all premia and shall not do or suffer to be done or omit to do or be done any act, which may invalidate or avoid such insurance. In default, the Bank may (but shall not be bound to) keep in good condition and render marketable the relevant Assets and take out / renew such insurance. Any premium paid by the Bank and any costs, charges and expenses incurred by the Bank shall forthwith on receipt of a notice of demand from the Bank be reimbursed by the Hypothecator and/or Borrower to the Bank together with interest thereon at the rate for further interest as specified under the Loan Terms, from the date of payment till reimbursement thereof and until such reimbursement, the same shall be a charge on the Assets…”

The inclusion of such a clause in all security documents of the Bank can avoid the problem of assignability of obligations in insurance policies used as security for any facility sanctioned by it.

An assignment of securities is of utmost importance to any lender to secure the facility, without which the lender will not be entitled to any interest in the securities so deposited.

In this paper, one has seen the need for assignment of securities of a facility. Risks involved in not having a separate clause dealing with non assignability of obligations have been discussed. Certain defences which ICICI Bank may raise in case of the dispute have also been enumerated along with solutions to the same.

Formatted by March 2nd, 2019.


[i] J.H. Tod v. Lakhmidas , 16 Bom 441, 449

[ii] http://www.licindia.in/policy_conditions.htm#12, last visited 30 th June, 2014

[iii] Headwaters Construction Co. Ltd. v National City Mortgage Co. Ltd., 720 F. Supp. 2d 1182 (D. Idaho 2010)

[iv] Indian Contract Act and Specific Relief Act, Mulla, Vol. I, 13 th Edn., Reprint 2010, p 968

[v] Khardah Co. Ltd. v. Raymond & Co ., AIR 1962 SC 1810: (1963) 3 SCR 183

[vi] Principles of Insurance Law, M.N. Srinivasan, 8 th Edn., 2006, p. 857

[vii] Ram Baran v Ram Mohit , AIR 1967 SC 744: (1967) 1 SCR 293

[viii] Sri Sarada Mills Ltd. v Union of India, AIR 1973 SC 281

[ix] Lala Kapurchand Godha v Mir Nawah Himayatali Khan, [1963] 2 SCR 168

[x] Velayudhan v Pillaiyar, 9 Mad LT 102 (Mad)

[xi] Hindustan Ideal Insurance Co. Ltd. v Satteya, AIR 1961 AP 183

[xii] Mulraj Khatau v Vishwanath, 40 IA 24 – Respondent based his claim on a mere deposit of the policy and not under a written transfer and claimed that a charge had thus been created on the policy.

[xiii] Insure Policy Plus Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. v The Life Insurance Corporation of India, 2007(109)BOMLR559

[xiv] Transfer of Property Act, Sanjiva Row, 7 th Edn., 2011, Vol II, Universal Law Publishing Company, New Delhi

[xv] Ghaziabad Development Authority v Union of India, AIR 2000 SC 2003

[xvi] United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v M/s. Pushpalaya Printers, [2004] 3 SCR 631, General Assurance Society Ltd. v Chandumull Jain & Anr., [1966 (3) SCR 500]

[xvii] UNIDROIT Principles, Art 4.3

[xviii] B.L.Sreedhar & Ors. v K.M. Munireddy & Ors., 2002 (9) SCALE 183

[xix] James Miller & Partners Ltd. v Whitworth Street Estates (Manchester) Ltd., [1970] 1 All ER 796 (HL)

[xx] Godhra Electricity Co. Ltd. v State of Gujarat, AIR 1975 SC 32

[xxi] Amalgamated Investment & Property Co. Ltd. v Texas Commerce International Bank Ltd., [1981] 1 All ER 923

[xxii] Smt. Mayawanti v Smt. Kaushalya Devi, 1990 SCR (2) 350

[xxiii] [1939] 3 All ER 566

[xxiv] Terrell v Alexandria Auto Co., 12 La.App. 625

[xxv] http://www.uncitral.org/pdf/english/CISG25/Pamboukis.pdf, last visited on 30 th June, 2014

[xxvi] https://www.phoenixwm.phl.com/shared/eforms/getdoc.jsp?DocId=525.pdf, last visited on 30 th June, 2014

[xxvii] http://www.aba.com/About/Pages/default.aspx, last visited on 30 th June, 2014

assignment insurance contract

Related Posts:

is covid-19 a force majeure event

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Crack the CLAT PG Exam

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime :)

Thanks, I’m not interested

Assignment in Insurance Policy | Meaning | Explanation | Types

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is Assignment in an Insurance Policy?
  • 2 Who can make an assignment?
  • 3 What happens to the ownership of the policy upon Assignment?
  • 4 Can assignment be changed or cancelled?
  • 5 What happens if the assignment dies?
  • 6 What is the procedure to make an assignment?
  • 7 Is it necessary to Inform the insurer about assignment?
  • 8 Can a policy be assigned to a minor person?
  • 9 Who pays premium when a policy is assigned?
  • 10.1 1. Conditional Assignment
  • 10.2 2. Absolute Assignment

What is Assignment in an Insurance Policy?

Assignment means a complete transfer of the ownership of the policy to some other person. Usually assignment is done for the purpose of raising a loan from a bank or a financial institution .

Assignment in Insurance Policy - Meaning, Explanation, Types

Assignment is governed by Section 38 of the Insurance Act 1938 in India. Assignment can also be done in favour of a close relative when the policyholder wishes to give a gift to that relative. Such an assignment is done for “natural love and affection”. An example, a policyholder may assign his policy to his sister who is handicapped.

Who can make an assignment?

A policyholder who has policy on his own life can assign the policy to another person. However, a person to whom a policy has been assigned can reassign the policy to the policyholder or assign it to any other person. A nominee cannot make an assignment of the policy. Similarly, an assignee cannot make a nomination on the policy which is assigned to him.

What happens to the ownership of the policy upon Assignment?

When a policyholder assign a policy, he loses all control on the policy. It is no longer his property. It is now the assignee’s property whether the policyholder is alive or dead, the assignee alone will get the policy money from the insurance company.

If the assignee dies, then his (assignee’s) legal heirs will be entitled to the policy money.

Can assignment be changed or cancelled?

An assignment cannot be changed or cancelled. The assignee can of course, reassign the policy to the policyholder who assigned it to him. He can also assign the policy to any other person because it is now his property. We can think of a bank reassigning the policy to the policyholder when their loan is repaid.

What happens if the assignment dies?

If the assignee dies, the assignment does not get cancelled. The legal heirs of the assignee become entitled to the policy money. Assignment is a legal transfer of all the interests the policyholder has in the policy to the assignee.

What is the procedure to make an assignment?

Assignment can be made only after issue of the policy bond. The policyholder can either write out the wording on the policy bond (endorsement) or write it on a separate paper and get it stamped. (Stamp value is the same, as the stamp required for the policy — Twenty paise per one thousand sum assured). When assignment is made by an endorsement on the policy bond, there is no need for stamp because the policy is already stamped.

Is it necessary to Inform the insurer about assignment?

Yes, it is necessary to give information about assignment to the insurance company. The insurer will register the assignment in its records and from then on recognize the assignee as the owner of the policy. If someone has made more than one assignment, then the date of the notice will decide which assignment has priority. In the case of reassignment also, notice is necessary.

Can a policy be assigned to a minor person?

Assignment can be made in favour of a minor person. But it would be advisable to appoint a guardian to receive the policy money if it becomes due during the minority of the assignee.

Who pays premium when a policy is assigned?

When a policy is assigned normally, the assignee should pay the premium, because the policy is now his property. In practice, however, premium is paid by the assignor (policyholder) himself. When a bank gives a loan and takes the assignment of a policy a security, it will ask the assignor himself to pay the premium and keep it in force. In the case of an assignment as a gift, the assignor would like to pay the premium because he has gifted the policy.

Types of assignment

Assignment may take two forms:

  • Conditional Assignment.
  • Absolute Assignment.

1. Conditional Assignment

It would be useful where the policyholder desires the benefit of the policy to go to a near relative in the event of his earlier death. It is usually effected for consideration of natural love and affection. It generally provides for the right to revert the policyholder in the event of the assignee predeceasing the policyholder or the policyholder surviving to the date of maturity.

2. Absolute Assignment

This assignment is generally made for valuable consideration. It has the effect of passing the title in the policy absolutely to the assignee and the policyholder in no way retains any interest in the policy. The absolute assignee can deal with the policy in any manner he likes and may assign or transfer his interest to another person.

Related Posts

Marine Insurance

  • Privacy Policy


  1. Free Insurance Assignment Agreement

    The Insurance Policy Beneficiary will have to be identified for this assignment to function properly. This will be the Party who is designated on the concerned insurance policy as the Recipient of its benefits (i.e. payment). Produce this Beneficiary's full name and address. (3) Assuming Party.

  2. Assignment of Benefits: What You Need to Know

    Worth mentioning, too, is that an assignment of benefits does carry certain risks you should be aware of before presenting this contract to your insurance company or a contractor or provider. Remember, an assignment of benefits is a legally binding contract unless it is otherwise dissolved (which is technically possible).

  3. Can You Assign Your Insurance Benefits to Someone Else?

    An anti-assignment clause is intended to prevent the insurer from unwittingly assuming risks it never intended to take on. Commercial insurers review business insurance applicants carefully. Before they issue policies, underwriters consider the knowledge and experience of a company's owners and managerial staff. If a business is sold to someone else, the new owners may not be as skilled or ...

  4. Assignment of Benefits for Contractors: Pros & Cons of ...

    An assignment of benefits, or AOB, is an agreement to transfer insurance claim rights to a third party. It gives the assignee authority to file and negotiate a claim directly with the insurance company, without involvement from the property owner. An AOB also allows the insurer to pay the contractor directly instead of funneling funds through ...

  5. What is assignment of benefits, and how does it impact insurers?

    Mar 06, 2020 Share. Assignment of benefits, widely referred to as AOB, is a contractual agreement signed by a policyholder, which enables a third party to file an insurance claim, make repair ...

  6. Assignment of insurance policies and claims

    An overview of the legal principles that apply when assigning an insurance policy or the right to receive the insurance monies due under the policy to a third party. It considers the requirements that must be met for the assignment to be valid and explains the difference between assignment, co-insurance, noting of interest and loss payee clauses.

  7. Free Assignment Agreement Template

    An assignment agreement is a legal document that transfers rights, responsibilities, and benefits from one party (the "assignor") to another (the "assignee"). You can use it to reassign debt, real estate, intellectual property, leases, insurance policies, and government contracts. Table of Contents

  8. How Is A Collateral Assignment Used In A Life Insurance Contract

    A collateral assignment is a legal agreement that allows a policyholder to assign a portion of the death benefit from a life insurance policy as collateral for a loan or other financial obligation. It serves as a way to secure the loan by providing the lender with a potential source of repayment in the event of the policyholder's death.

  9. Assignment of Benefits: Consumer Beware

    An Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is an agreement signed by a policyholder that allows a third party—such as a water extraction company, a roofer or a plumber—to act on behalf of the insured and seek direct payment from the insurance company. An AOB can be a useful tool for getting repairs done, as it allows the repair company to deal ...

  10. Assignment Clause: Meaning & Samples (2022)

    Assignment Clause Examples. Examples of assignment clauses include: Example 1. A business closing or a change of control occurs. Example 2. New services providers taking over existing customer contracts. Example 3. Unique real estate obligations transferring to a new property owner as a condition of sale. Example 4.

  11. A Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance

    Katharine Beer. A collateral assignment of life insurance is a conditional assignment appointing a lender as an assignee of a policy. Essentially, the lender has a claim to some or all of the ...

  12. Using an Assignment of Insurance Benefits to Obtain Payment

    An assignment of insurance benefits is an agreement between the contractor and the property owner by which the property owner agrees to give the contractor the property owner's rights to any benefits or payments under the relevant policy. Many times these agreements also authorize the direct payment of insurance proceeds to the contractor.

  13. Assignment of Contract: What Is It? How It Works

    An assignment of contract is simpler than you might think. The process starts with an existing contract party who wishes to transfer their contractual obligations to a new party. When this occurs, the existing contract party must first confirm that an assignment of contract is permissible under the legally binding agreement.

  14. assignment

    Assignment is a transfer of legal rights under or interest in an insurance policy to another party. Additional Information In most instances, the assignment of such rights can only be effected with the written consent of the insurer.

  15. Assignment of Benefits: What It Is, and How It Can Affect your ...

    by selecting this policy, you waive your right to freely assign or transfer the post-loss property insurance benefits available under this policy to a third party or to otherwise freely enter into an assignment agreement as the term is defined in section 627.7153 of the florida statutes. 627.7153.

  16. What Is Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?

    Collateral assignment of life insurance is an arrangement where you agree to give a lender the first claim to the payout from your life insurance policy. This allows your life insurance to serve as the collateral that many loans — especially small business loans or Small Business Administration (SBA) loans — require before they can lend you money you need.

  17. Can You Assign Your Rights Under an Insurance Contract that Prohibits

    Because insurers—like any contractual party—have a legitimate interest in protecting themselves from insureds' assignment of the insurance agreement to a different, perhaps more risky party, anti-assignment clauses in insurance agreements are enforceable against assignments that occur prior to a covered loss. Arrowood Indem. Co. v.

  18. Nomination and Assignment under Insurance Contracts

    In term life insurance, the assignment of the policy describes the action of assigning legal rights as well as policy ownership to someone else. The person who assigns the policy is known as an Assignor and the person who has been assigned the policy is known as an Assignee. ... Nomination under the insurance contract refers to nominate someone ...

  19. What is a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?

    What are the uses of a collateral assignment document for life insurance? Learn about types and alternatives to using life insurance value as collateral. Skip to Content. Go to Homepage. Call Us at 866-912-7775. Close Search Form Open Search Form. Open Navigation Menu. Open Search Form. Search Submit Your ...

  20. Assignment of Benefits (AOB)

    Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is an agreement that transfers the insurance claims rights or benefits of the policy to a third party. An AOB gives the third party authority to file a claim, make repair decisions, and collect insurance payments without the involvement of the homeowner. AOBs are commonly used in homeowners' insurance claims by ...

  21. Assignment under Insurance Policies

    Such assignment may be done with the consent of all three parties - P, Q, S, and by doing this, P is absolved of his liabilities under the contract. 1.1. Effect of Assignment. Immediately on the execution of an assignment of an insurance policy, the assignor forgoes all his rights, title and interest in the policy to the assignee.

  22. Assignment in Insurance Policy

    Assignment means a complete transfer of the ownership of the policy to some other person. Usually assignment is done for the purpose of raising a loan from a bank or a financial institution. Assignment is governed by Section 38 of the Insurance Act 1938 in India. Assignment can also be done in favour of a close relative when the policyholder ...

  23. Insurance contract : all you need to know

    Indemnity is one of the main purposes of an insurance contract. Section 124 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, has defined indemnity contract as an agreement between two parties where one party promises to save the other from some loss that would occur to him due to the conduct of the promisor himself or any other person.

  24. Contracting Concepts: Assignment of Claims

    Under the Assignment of Claims Act, a contractor may assign moneys due or meant to become due under a contract meeting all of the following conditions: (a) Contract payments are equal to or more than $1,000. (b) The assignment is made to a bank, trust company, or other financing institution. (c) The contract does not prohibit the assignment.