FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What information does Law Office of Rabih Hamawi, P.C. need to review my case?

A. Law Office of Rabih Hamawi, P.C. asks you to provide the following documents, if available:

1) A complete copy of your insurance policy;
2) The reservation of rights letter or denial letter from the insurance company;
3) Any and all correspondence to and from the insurance company, including emails, letters, text messages, audio recordings, photos, and videos;
4) Any estimates of damaged items to be replaced or repaired; and
5) A copy of the police report or fire department report.

 

Q. I had a fire at my home or business. What should I do?

A. If you didn’t read your insurance policy before, you must immediately read your insurance policy, which undoubtedly has many conditions that you must comply with after a loss. Some of these conditions require you to immediately notify your insurance company of the loss, mitigate your damages by taking steps to protect the property from further damage (regardless of whether you received any payment from the insurance company), and provide certain information and documentation to the insurance company. You are also required to timely submit to the insurance company a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss.

Q. The insurance company has requested my recorded statement. What should I do?

A. Insurance policies require insureds to cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation, which may include giving a recorded statement. A recorded statement is a statement of an insured taken by a representative of the insurance company such as an insurance adjuster, a special investigator, or a cause and origin investigator. It is usually audio-recorded and may be taken either in person or by phone. During a recorded statement, an insured may request permission from the insurance company to also record on his or her phone or other electronic device the statement given. When an insurance company requests a recorded statement, it is highly recommended that you retain an attorney specializing in insurance law to represent you to protect your interests and to prepare you when giving a recorded statement. 

Q. The insurance company has requested me to take a polygraph or lie detector test. Should I do it?

A. Under Michigan law, results of a polygraph or a lie detector test are usually inadmissible in a court proceeding. Further, under most insurance policies, an insured doesn’t have an explicit duty to take a polygraph or a lie detector test. When an insurance company requests a polygraph or a lie detector test, it is highly critical that you retain an attorney specializing in insurance law to advise you on whether to give one.

Q. My insurance company has requested that I submit to an examination under oath. Do I have to do it?

A. Insurance policies allow insurance companies to take your examination under oath and request several documents that may be sensitive in nature. An examination under oath is usually conducted by the attorney for the insurance company who will likely ask you questions over the course of several hours in the presence of a court reporter. Sometimes, you may also be required to review the transcript after an examination under oath and sign it. If you refuse to appear for an examination under oath and refuse to produce the requested documents, the insurance company will likely deny your claim. If you are requested to attend an examination under oath, you must be represented by an attorney specializing in insurance law who can properly prepare you before the examination under oath, review the documents submitted, and attend the examination under oath with you.

Q. The insurance company has requested many financial documents from me, including my bank statements and my tax returns. Do I have to provide these documents?

A) Generally, yes. Under the insurance policy and Michigan law, you have a duty to cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation and provide all of the requested documents. If you willfully refuse to provide these documents, the insurance company may use your refusal as a basis to deny your insurance claim.

Q. The insurance company has been investigating my claim for several months. How long does an investigation take?

A) Depending on the facts and circumstances of your claim, an investigation may last between two months and one year.

Q. As a result of the insurance company’s investigation, I have been out of my home for several months, have lost sleep, and have experienced pain and suffering. May I sue the insurance company for pain and suffering?

A. Generally, Michigan law doesn’t permit an insured to sue an insurance company or to recover additional damages for pain and suffering, humiliation, discrimination, or intentional infliction of emotional distress related to the filing of a property insurance claim.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for informational purposes only, and does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not intended to be the giving of legal advice or counsel.

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