Insurance Examination Under Oath (EUO) – Should I Have a Lawyer?
Provided by HG.org
Insurance companies have adjusters become part of an investigation when there are issues with businesses and individuals that require an assessment, but these insurance examiners may undergo oaths in court and during certain activities. These situations may require the need for a lawyer to protect the rights of the agent.
The Examination Under Oath or EUO is a formal process where insurance agencies may gather additional data about a claim. This is to prevent instances of fraud, to permit the insured party to testify about the incident and to prove if there is loss for missing, destroyed and stolen property or evidence. The agent in charge of the investigation may become part of the process and be sworn under oath. This is to ensure certain questions are answered under threat of perjury. When these methods are used, it is beneficial to have legal representation to avoid incrimination and to protect the rights of the client.
The most common occurrence is when the individual or business owner is subjected to an EUO due to the need for more information. It is important to ensure that only honest answers are given that the cooperation is provided. However, for any legal matters that could affect the person, it is permitted to have a lawyer. This may even be recommended based on how much is asked and what questions are brought forth and why. If the matter concerns fraud, it is vital that the insured person is cleared of any possible illegal activity, so a settlement or offer is given with a valid claim.
The Reason for Legal Representation
When facing an insurance agency, it is often important to have a lawyer present to ensure the rights of the client are protected, that the carrier is not taking advantage of him or her and that any questions are routed through the lawyer to ensure the client does not incriminate himself or herself. While it is possible and even normal to go through these processes without legal representation, it is better to have a legal professional present and not need him or her. The EUO is considered important and is tied to legal court proceedings. These are used to deter fraud and other insurance crimes.
When an insurance claim is in dispute by the carrier, it is not uncommon that an EUO is administered. While agents from the company may undergo the same procedure, it is usually the policy holder that may need to present answers to question while under oath. Several hours may be taken for this procedure, and may include additional questions that the insurance company’s lawyer may require for additional details and data. The carrier may request an EUO at any time before a claim has been processed as a right of the company. Additionally, multiple EUOs may be administered, but only one is generally necessary.
The Reason for EUO and How it Affects the Policyholder
The EUO is necessary by insurance companies to discover more information. While the individual policyholder is under oath, he or she is not permitted to lie. The coverage that should offer a settlement for loss or stolen property extends to the holder of the policy, but he or she must be above suspicion in the crime. By obtaining as many details as possible, the agency is able to rule out the policyholder. Then, it is necessary to turn to anyone else that may have been involved. Others may face an EUO in these situations, and more lawyers may be contacted to represent the clients during these interviews.
The EUO may affect the policyholder through stress, worry and anxiety. The lawyer is an additional incurred cost for his or her presence during the interview when the individual does not trust the insurance carrier in these circumstances. The EUO process may be used as a source of intimidation to press the policyholder into telling the truth about the incident so that carrier does not have to make a settlement offer. Then, the company is let off the hook for the payments. However, when a lawyer is present, these tactics may fail or fall flat. The legal representative may intimidate the insurance adjuster.
Contacting a Lawyer in EUOs
The lawyer should be contacted immediately after a written request for an EUO has arrived. The legal representative may help prepare the policyholder for the interview and stay while the questions are asked. The lawyer may also gather documents and protect the rights of the client.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.