02 Dec Examination Under Oath Do’s and Don’ts
An Examination Under Oath, also known as an EUO, is sworn testimony during the claim process at the request of the insurance company, that they employ to gather facts about the property loss and uncover insurance fraud. Held in the presence of a court reporter, an examination under oath is critical in determining the facts and validity of a property loss claim, and insureds should approach them as they would any legal proceeding, with a great deal of care and circumspection.
Examination Under Oath Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Your Insurer demands an Examination Under Oath? Do not panic!
An examination under oath is not an accusation, just an instrument that allows your insurance company to get information. In many cases examinations under oath are requested because the insurance company suspects a fraudulent claim. But that’s not always the case. At times, the insurance company just wants to establish facts before making a claim decision, especially if they are dealing with a large claim.
2. Do Prepare in Advance for Your Examination Under Oath
You may think that if you are truthful in presenting the facts of your claim, you don’t have much to be worried about. That is not the case! The insurance company will use your testimony for more than just to establish the facts of the claim. They will seek to establish if you are an honest person, if you are trying to hide facts or otherwise hinder the discovery process.
They may not do this just through direct questioning, but rather gather the information from you and later compare it with other sources, like public records, credit records or other witness testimony. They could ask questions about your personal relationships, debt obligations, medical claims and more. Every word and every fact matters. If you are not prepared, you may not remember all facts correctly, or you may be baffled and resentful if you feel they are trying to present you in a negative light.
An examination under oath can be nerve racking for anyone, especially when stakes are high. However, if you prepare ahead of time, know what to expect and know how to answer the questions, chances are you will be calmer and more confident in presenting the true facts of your property loss and establishing your honesty and credibility.
3. Do Tell the Truth during the Examination Under Oath!
Every word in an EUO is recorded by a court reporter, who later will produce a booklet containing your testimony. The facts you provided during the examination under oath will be cross referenced with other sources to determine their validity, and together with the attorney recommendation will be used by the insurance company to determine if your property loss claim is valid.
Lying or hiding facts and information may not only lead to your claim being denied, but you may even face legal consequences for false testimony. Also, should your insurance claim end up in court, a previous false testimony will depict you as an unreliable person in the eyes of the judge and the jury, thus seriously impairing your chances of a rule in your favor.
4. Do Take Your Time Answering Each Question
The insurance company will compare the fact in your answers with sources of information. Thus if critical to be truthful. More than that, you have to make sure that you provide complete answers. Forgetting or excluding details can be represented by the insurer as an intention to hide information.
For example, in the case of a fire property claim EUO, the insurance attorney may ask you if you were storing any flammables in your house. Chances are, if you haven’t previously considered the question, you may not be able to quickly come up with a complete answer. Flammables could be anything from cooking oil to paint thinner to alcohol and nail polish remover. Remembering all this on the spot is not easy, but failure tot do so later be regarded as intent to conceal information.
5. Do Get a Professional Help with Preparing for Your Examination Under Oath
The examination under oath may be the critical factor in deciding if your claim gets paid or not. Thus, it’s of outmost importance to be properly prepared.
Some of the ways Michigan Fire Claims’ public adjusters can help you prepare for your examinations under oath include:
- help you gather and organize all the documentation and facts to support your claims
- familiarize you with the structure of the EUO, the tactics insurance lawyers employ to disconcert you and how to counter them
- rehearse your testimony and anticipated questions so you are prepared and confident to make present make the case for your claim
Contact Michigan Fire Claims today if you have any questions about your examination under oath or to find out how we can help you with your property loss claim! Our licensed public adjusters have helped hundreds of Michigan homeowners just like you successfully prepare for their examinations under oath, to facilitate an advantageous property claim settlement.