Proof of Loss – What you Need to Know
A Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss is a document the policyholder may be requested to submit following a property loss claim. The purpose of the Proof of Loss is to obtain a formal statement from the policyholder regarding the true circumstances and scope of the property loss. Insurance companies use the proof of loss to establish facts and determine their liabilities for the property loss. Public claims adjusters frequently are asked questions about this document. Here is some useful information to help you understand this process.
The information you are required to submit includes: personal data, proof of ownership, your statement regarding the date and cause of loss, your estimate of the property loss and documents that support your loss estimate and amount of claim submitted.
The sworn statement in proof of loss needs to be submitted within 60 days from the date the insurance company requests it. Failure to do so, results in denial of your claim and no payment for your otherwise covered property loss. If you are required to submit a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss, you will be notified to do so in writing by the insurance company.In the case of extenuating circumstances, you may apply for an extension, but it’s at the insurer’s discretion to grant you one. If they do, they will notify you in writing. Do not assume you were granted an extension, unless you receive a letter stating that confirms it.
Recent court cases in which the homeowners missed the 60-day deadline to submit the Sworn Statement and were denied payment for the property loss claim as a consequence were ruled in the favor of the insurers. The courts stated that it’s the responsibility of the policyholder to read and understand their insurance policies, and act in accordance with their terms and conditions.
When filing your Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss, you have to keep in mind that it’s just that – a sworn statement. Any errors, inaccuracies and material misrepresentations of the facts are grounds for the insurance company to deny you coverage. Especially for large or total property losses, insurance companies look closely for irregularities and don’t hesitate to deny coverage if they discover any in your sworn statement.
Following your Sworn Statement, if the insurer determines that it wants to further your claim investigation, it may request you to submit to an Examination under Oath (EUO). In such instances, the insurance company will appoint one of their attorneys to ask you questions pertaining to your proof of loss in person. An EOU is a legal procedure in the presence of a court reporter and under the penalty of perjury. It is not advisable to go through an Examination Under Oath without representation or advance preparation, even when you feel you have nothing to hide or fear. The stakes are just too high.
The insurance claim process is replete with danger, especially for first timers. You may feel overwhelmed by the process and worry if you’re doing everything right. You may have questions and worries about the process, knowing that you are at a distinct disadvantage in dealing with the insurance company and its lawyers. But you don’t have to be! You have the right to hire representation throughout the claim process.
Public adjusters are state certified professionals representing the interests of the policyholder in the claim process. Their services include preparing, documenting and submitting the property loss claim and the proof of loss when required.
At Reliable Claims Adjusting we know how to steer you clear of the pitfalls that could jeopardize your insurance claim success. Contact us any time for a free property and claim evaluation. We are your advocate!