Your home suffered major damage and you dutifully filed your insurance claim; you kept photos and receipts, cooperated with their investigation, and now you have been summoned for an examination under oath to answer questions about your claim.
What is an Examination Under Oath?
Insurance companies can request an examination under oath after an insurance claim, where you answer some questions under oath about your insurance claim. Sometimes, your insurance company is just performing due diligence, to make sure anything confusing is cleared up before they approve your claim. Insurance companies may also request this if they believe you have committed fraud. Other times, this may be used as a tactic for the insurance company to find an excuse to deny your claim.
The examination is conducted as a formal proceeding, where you make a legal oath that states you are giving honest answers to their questions. This is done in front of a court reporter, and you are questioned by a representative of your insurance company. You are not in any trouble, but this can be an intimidating and stressful experience for anyone.
Do I Have to Attend?
There is a clause in your insurance policy that makes you contractually obligated to appear if you are summoned for an examination under oath. Failing to comply will not spell legal trouble for you, but your insurance company is likely going to deny your claim.
What to Expect
Your insurance company’s representative will be asking you specific questions about your claim, and you will not know which things they will be going over ahead of time. They will want to get as many details from you about your claim as possible and will ask you about specific details listed in your claim. You can expect them to repeat a question multiple times, rephrased in slightly different ways, in an attempt to get you to slip up and contradict yourself.
The process will be lengthy because the longer it goes, the better the chance that you will slip up and say or do something the insurance company can use against you.
Do Not Face This Alone
Your insurance company may tell you that this is just a formality and you can go it alone, but you should not face this alone. It is in your best interest to hire a public adjuster or an attorney to help you prepare for the examination under oath.
How Can a Public Adjuster Help?
A public adjuster can help you organize all of the facts and documentation your insurance company requires, including things like the photos of the damage, receipts, copies of your claim, quotes from repair people, and more. Public adjusters can go over the way an examination under oath is structured and some of the questions you can anticipate being asked, how to answer them, and how to counter claims the insurance company’s representative may make. They can show you the tricks an insurance company may use to get you to slip up and help you rehearse testimony to help you get your claim approved.
A public adjuster can help you push back against your examination if need be, and they will fight for you to ensure you get the payment you deserve.