In Alabama, property and casualty insurance companies are making aggressive use of the examination under oath provision of insurance contracts. The examination permits the insurer to observe the insured’s demeanor and trustworthiness and to obtain detailed information concerning the insured’s claims after a loss.
The examination under oath is a formal proceeding before a court reporter and recorded in a verbatim transcript. Every question and answer is made a part of the record.
Why You Need An Attorney
Do not go to the examination under oath without a lawyer present. The Hackney Law Firm in Birmingham will guide you through this process. It is important to work with an attorney who has experience handling property insurance litigation when you receive an examination under oath notification from your insurance company.
Attorney J. Danny Hackney was a former insurance adjuster and has decades of experience handling examination under oath proceedings and issues.
Your Duties As A Policyholder
Property insurance contracts almost universally dictate certain duties to policyholder(s) in the event of a covered loss. These duties usually require the insured to:
- Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory.
- Show the damaged property
- Provide the insurer with records and documents as requested.
- Submit to examination under oath, while not in the presence of any other insured.
In the policy contract, your insurer has given itself the right to question you “under oath” about the details of the loss/claim. “Under oath” means you legally swear that your answers are truthful.
Inventory Of Your Personal Property
You will be directed to bring documents of your policies, financial statements and receipts showing your losses. This can be impossible if you had a fire loss or other storm damage that ruined these documents. You are required to make every reasonable effort to reproduce these documents.
We can help you through this process. We have methods to help us obtain at least some of these documents to provide evidence of the property and assets you lost.
The insurance carrier is entitled to view your financial records to determine that you had the income or credit to actually purchase the items you are claiming as a loss. This can have a substantial impact during your proceeding. We will ensure all information provided is accurate and that you have the financial statements and documentation to back up your inventory list.