As we have discussed before, most insurance policies have several conditions that the insured must satisfy before an insured can file a lawsuit against the insurance company. One such condition is having the insured sit for what is known as an Examination Under Oath (EUO.)
However, EUO’s are often the source of disputes between the insured and the insurance company. Indeed, insurance companies will often use an EUO as a tool to force an insured to drop their claim.
As we discussed previously, the Third District Court of Appeal located in Miami chastised an insurance company for its conduct during an EUO and awarded attorney fees to the insured. In that case, the lawyer hired by the insurance company attempted to bully the insured into dropping the claim in an effort to save the insurance company money.
Another often hotly contested issue is simply the issue of where the EUO will take place. As we discussed previously, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Goldman v. State Farm, 660 So.2d 300, (Fla. 4th DCA 1995) specifically determined that the EUO must take place at a “mutually convenient time and place as contemplated by the policy.”
Another issue that often pops up during an EUO is whether or not a public adjuster can be present during the EUO. The Fourth District Court of Appeal in Nawaz v. Universal Property Insurance Company, 2012 WL 2121178 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) was presented with the issue of whether the insurance policy prevents the insured from having his public adjuster present during the examination under oath. In that case, the appellate court concluded that “under the plain language of the insurance contract between the parties, that the insured was not prohibited from having his public adjuster present during the insured’s examination under oath.”
These rulings shed light on the ever evolving law associated with EUO’s, but also highlights the importance of complying and properly satisfying any and all requests made by an insurance company to sit for an EUO.
On the one hand, an insurance company cannot unilaterally schedule an EUO at the time and place of their choosing while also using the EUO as a tool to intimidate and bully an insured into dropping their claim. Unless specifically referenced in the insurance policy, the insurance company cannot also refuse to permit a Public Adjuster from being present during the EUO.
But on the other hand, a failure to comply with an insurance company’s request to sit for an EUO may result in the denial of insurance benefits due to the insured’s failure to cooperate and adhere with all of the terms and conditions of the insurance policy.
Contact us today if you are in doubt of your legal rights under your insurance policy.
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