If you have an insurance claim that is in dispute, then you may be asked to participate in an Examination Under Oath (EUO). The EUO is a formal process used by insurance companies at times in order to gather more information about a claim, to prevent fraud, to allow the insured party to testify and to prove their loss if there is missing or destroyed evidence.
During an EUO, you will be sworn under oath, and spend possibly several hours answering questions posed by the insurance company’s attorney. The questions may include any question that the insurance company’s attorney considers relevant, although it may not seem to you to be relevant.
Most insurance policies give the insurance company the right to request an EUO at any point before the claim is processed, and the policy should detail any restrictions on the EUO. Insurance companies are also entitled to schedule as many EUOs as they need to complete their investigation, although they rarely do more than one.
The best time to contact a lawyer is as soon as you receive a written request to attend an Examination Under Oath, but if you suspect that your insurance company will pursue an EUO before having received official notice, you can contact a lawyer at that time.
An experienced attorney will be able to help you prepare for your EUO and take steps to make your insurance claim successful. Your attorney can also advise you if the insurance company uses the EUO as a means of getting you to drop your claim or pursuing charges of insurance fraud against you.
Some of the things your attorney can help with in relation to the EUO include:
There are a number of reasons why insurance companies request EUOs, and the reason may not be clear to you when you receive the EUO summons. Sometimes the EUO is a tool that is used as part of a claim investigation, to prevent fraud, to find misrepresentations, or to use as evidence in a future lawsuit.
EUOs are costly for insurance companies, so you should be aware that it is not a casual step taken by an insurance company as part of paying an insurance claim. If they have requested an EUO, it may be part of a broader plan to deny your claim while papering their trail. EUOs can be used as a tool of intimidation, as they can involve several hours of questioning about things that do not appear relevant to the claim or the insured property or person.
The most important advice we can give about EUOs is to talk to a lawyer. An attorney can help prepare you and give you the confidence and assurance you need to keep your cool during an EUO.
Here are a few more things you should know about EUOs:
Insurance companies sometimes show good faith in investigating and paying a claim, but sometimes an EUO is used more as a tool to deny claims, to make the process more difficult, and/or document testimony that can be used to impeach you in case you file a lawsuit against them.
If your insurance company has requested that you do an EUO, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP right away for a free consultation. You will want a zealous advocate by your side as you pursue your claim and go through the EUO. We have been dealing with insurance companies for years and will help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. We serve the communities of Long Island, New York.