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Examination Under Oath: Helpful Tips

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After an insurance claim, most insurance policies give the insurance company the right to take an examination under oath. In an examination under oath, a lawyer hired by the insurance company will send you a request for documents, ask that you come to their office, and will ask you questions in the presence of a court reporter. While this can be intimidating, here are a few general rules that may help you. However, these tips are not intended to be legal advice and every situation is different.

  • Do not be rude in your communications with the insurance company’s lawyer. While this process can seem very intrusive, try to be polite and to cooperate with reasonable requests.
  • You have the right to request a date that is convenient for you. When you receive a letter requesting your examination under oath, it will name a date for the examination. If there is a good reason that you cannot do the examination on that date, you can ask for other dates. Use common sense and courtesy here. Look for a time and date that is good for both you and the insurance company’s lawyer.
  • You have the right to be represented by a lawyer. It can be helpful to have a lawyer to help you prepare, gather documents, and sit with you during the EUO. However, you do not have to have a lawyer. A lawyer can be especially helpful with large claims or complex claims.
  • Do your best to gather the documents requested by the insurance company. The insurance company’s lawyer will send you a request for documents. This list can be very long and include items like cell phone bills, income tax returns, and bank statements. You have a duty to cooperate with the insurance company in their investigation and you don’t want to give them an excuse to deny your claim.
  • Carefully read any documents that you are asked to sign. If you have any questions, consult with a lawyer.
  • Prepare for your Examination Under Oath. The insurance company’s lawyer will ask you questions about where you were at the time of the loss, when you first found out about the loss, who you contacted, what your financial condition was, the value of the items that you claim are lost or destroyed, and any support that you have for these items. Make sure that you become familiar with the documents you provide to the insurance company and refresh your memory about everything that you did.
  • Dress nicely but not flashy.
  • Remain polite and calm. Remember that the insurance company is doing a job for the insurance company. She is not on your side, but she probably does not have anything personal against you either. If she is rude, it may be just a tactic. You stay polite and calm.
  • Tell the truth. Answer questions directly and truthfully.
  • Don’t guess. If you don’t remember something or know something, don’t guess. The problem with guessing is that you can be wrong. If you are wrong, the insurance company may think that you are lying.

At Johnstone Carroll, we represent insurance policyholders. If you have any questions about an insurance question or insurance claim, contact us.