Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. As with any contract, there are certain obligations for each party to the contract. Insurance policies typically include a “cooperation clause,” which requires the policyholder to cooperate with the insurance company during the claim investigation process. One of the obligations that policyholders have under their insurance policies is to submit to an Examinations Under Oath (EUO) at the insurance company’s request. While it’s important to share information with the insurance company such as how an accident took place, sometimes policyholders may find themselves at odds with their insurance company. For example, if a policyholder has uninsured motorist coverage and is making a claim for that money — which the policyholder has a right to obtain based on injuries — the insurance company may use an Examination Under Oath to get a “free shot” at a statement under oath. The ramifications of this can be profound to an accident claim, and you easily can be tricked by your insurance company in the EUO if your attorney is not there to protect your rights.
An EUO is basically like a deposition. You will be sworn under oath, and then asked questions by the insurance company’s lawyer with a court reporter present taking down your responses. Many times insurance companies will use your answers to EUO questions to gain advantage over you in any further litigation. For example, the EUO can last for several hours, in fact, for as long as the insurance company’s lawyer wants to keep you there. You may be subjected to repeated examinations under oath, with the insurer’s lawyers continually insisting that they need more information from you. If you refuse to comply with a request for an examination under oath, the insurance company can void your policy. However, having your attorney at your EUO can keep the insurance company’s lawyers from abusing the process, and making it easier on you.