Often after a policyholder submits an insurance claim, the insurance company may request him or her to give a recorded statement to obtain information about the circumstances surrounding the loss, and other information relevant to the insurance company’s investigation of the policyholder’s claim.
What basis does the insurance company have to take a recorded statement?
The insurance policy is the contract that governs a policyholder’s rights and obligations with an insurer. Although some newer policy forms may have an explicit recorded-statement requirement in the policy conditions, many older, residential and commercial policy forms, are silent about a requirement for giving a recorded statement.
Before agreeing to give a recorded statement, a policyholder should consider the following:
1. Request a complete copy of the insurance policy and carefully review the Duties after Loss section within the policy conditions.
2. Many policies are silent and mention no explicit requirement of giving a recorded statement.
3. A recorded statement isn’t sworn or signed testimony, but a policyholder should be truthful when answering the insurance company’s questions.
4. Even when a policy is silent about giving a recorded statement, a policyholder must usually cooperate with the insurance company.
5. If a policyholder is asked to give a recorded statement, and the request is done under the policy, a policyholder should obtain the adjuster’s name and contact information, and should ask whether he or she is a member of a special investigation unit.
6. A policyholder should consult with an insurance lawyer before giving any statement.
7. If a policyholder agrees to give a recorded statement, he or she may also record it after telling the insurance company that he or she will be recording it too.
8. If the insurance company asks questions that may concern a policyholder, he or she should stop the statement, and not continue until he or she gets an insurance lawyer.
9. A policyholder can reschedule and coordinate the statement according to his or her schedule.
A recorded statement is different than an Examination Under Oath (EUO), and they serve different purposes.
About the Author
Rabih Hamawi is a principal at Law Office of Rabih Hamawi, P.C. and focuses his practice on representing policyholders in fire, property damage, and insurance-coverage disputes with insurers and in errors-and-omissions cases against insurance agents. He has extensive expertise in insurance coverage and is a licensed property and casualty, life, accident, and health insurance producer and counselor (LIC). He earned the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designations. He can be reached at (248) 905-1133, and www.hamawilaw.com.