When you make a claim to your insurance company, you may be asked to submit to an Examination Under Oath (EUO). Insurers often use the EUO process as a way to vet claims before they make a payment. EUOs are becoming more and more common, and often indicate there is a red flag of some sort associated with the claim. The “red flag” possibilities are endless. Perhaps the insurance carrier suspects there was a misrepresentation on the application, there may be questions about the amount of the claim, or the cause of the loss could be suspect. In our experience, the motive behind an EUO request is sometimes pure and other times not. But one thing is for sure and that is the policyholder’s obligation to appear and participate in the EUO. As attorneys who represent Tennessee policyholders, we have represented our fair share of clients during these proceedings, and so we offer you some basic information about what might happen, and what steps you will need to take.
The process generally works like this: you submit a claim for a loss to your insurance company. Your insurer has a question about your claim – or has begun an investigation into your claim – and asks you to submit to the EUO. You are then asked to meet with the insurer’s attorney(s) and to bring in additional supporting documentation. Because you are under oath, you will be sworn in just as you would during a court session; there is usually a court stenographer on hand, too. During the Examination, your insurer’s attorney(s) will ask you highly detailed, specific questions about your loss and the claim you submitted. The process can last for hours, and depending on the nature of the claim, sometimes for a full day or more. After the EUO, the questions and answers will be typed and bound in the form of a transcript, which you will have the opportunity to review and correct any errors before signing and returning to the insurance company.
Additional information you need to know
If your insurer requests that you submit to an EUO, you cannot say no or disregard that request. Most insurance policies have language included in them regarding your cooperation with their investigations (or with the process of the claim in general), and failing to show up or refusing the request can be grounds for them to deny your claim outright.
This is why working with an experienced attorney is so important. We help our clients by reviewing their claims and preparing them for the types of questions they may be asked during the EUO. We also help you by documenting the evidence you have of your loss, and organizing that documentation so it is accessible and complete. Should your insurance company attempt to deny your claim despite evidence that the claim is valid, we can help you determine the appropriate steps to take next.
The Examination Under Oath can be a nerve-wracking part of the claims process; you don’t have to go it alone. McWherter Scott & Bobbitt represents Tennessee policyholders in insurance disputes to ensure that valid claims are fully and promptly paid. To make an appointment with an experienced Tennessee insurance disputes attorneys, such as Brandon McWherter or Clint Scott, please contact the firm. We maintain offices in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis and Jackson for your convenience.