If you make an insurance claim, you may be asked by your insurance company to submit to an Examination Under Oath, or “EUO.” What is an EUO and why does the insurance company need it? Before we talk about that, you first need to understand that even though an EUO is not part of a lawsuit or court proceeding, it is taken under oath. Anything you say can (and likely will) become a part of the record if your claim ends up in court. Therefore, it is critical that you understand the importance of an EUO in relation to the claims process as well as how the insurance company may use it to deny your claim.
Your policy has a section that requires you, as the insured, to cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation, including submitting to an EUO. Make sure you cooperate with your insurance company or your failure to do so may result in the denial of your claim.
Sometimes an insurance company will use its own adjusters to conduct EUOs, but because of the legal nature of the questioning and the consequences, EUOs are now almost exclusively conducted by attorneys for the insurance company. The attorney will ask you to bring certain documents and you will be asked questions about those documents. The attorney will also ask you specific questions about the loss itself. EUOs are typically demanded when the insurance company has identified certain red flags in connection with a claim, such as fraud, odd circumstances, very large claims, or misrepresentations on the insurance application. A court reporter will be there, you will swear to tell the truth, and the lawyer will ask you questions, often for many hours.
As an experienced insurance attorney Memphis, TN trusts, we recommend that anyone who has been requested to submit to an EUO be represented by an attorney experienced with the examination under oath process. An experienced attorney can prepare you for the kinds of questions you will face, help you in gathering and presenting documents, coordinate communication with the insurer, and help you in making important decisions in connection with your claim.
Insurance companies receive thousands of claims every year, and they initiate the EUO process for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are more serious than others. Some reasons are legitimate while other reasons seem to be trivial. That is why it is so important to consult with an experienced insurance attorney who knows the EUO process to be sure you are receiving the best advice possible. The outcome of your claim may depend on it.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at Patterson Bray who have significant experience fighting for insurance policyholders in Tennessee.