Being truthful with your insurance carrier
I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today we will discuss the importance of being truthful with your insurance carrier.
Our office frequently consults with people who have suffered a fire loss, theft or other property loss. On every occasion we are asked “do I have to cooperate with my insurance company?” The short answer is “yes”. The long answer is “absolutely yes, you must cooperate.”
It is to your advantage to be completely truthful, no matter how much the insurance company might wear on your patience. When you buy insurance, you and the insurance company enter a contract, which is commonly referred to as an “insurance policy”. Every insurance policy requires complete cooperation in providing information to verify that the loss occurred, and the value of the loss. Every policy requires that you submit your statement of claim and proof of loss under oath. This means you swear to tell the truth under penalty of perjury. If you are untruthful it will give the insurance company grounds to deny your claim.
It is not unheard of for people to report that after answering an insurance adjuster’s questions they feel as if they have been called in to be interrogated by the police. Sometimes requests for financial information or phone records seem to be irrelevant and burdensome. Nevertheless, accurate information must be provided. Moreover, it is important not to take requests for information personally. An insurance company has an obligation to verify that a policy holder is making a legitimate claim.
Unfortunately, some people claim to have property that they never actually owned, or even destroy their own property and then try to collect insurance proceeds. Insurance claim adjusters play an important role in making sure to pay only people who have legitimate claims.
Even seemingly insignificant misreporting of facts, such as not accurately reporting the giver of a gift, or overstating your income, or exaggerating the value of a lost item of property, can inadvertently give an insurance company a basis to question your claim. Consequently, always cooperate and be truthful.
However, and this is very important, you as an insured have rights too. Your rights are many, and too numerous to list now. The bottom line is that an insurance company must act in good faith toward you. You can help make sure that it does act in good faith towards you by documenting everything that the insurance company asks you to do. Keep copies of everything you are asked to turn over to an adjuster, including anything you are asked to sign. If an insurance company records your statement or records a conversation, ask it to preserve the recording in case you later need a copy. Do not hesitate to ask the insurance company to put instructions in writing to you so that there can be no dispute as to anything you are asked to do. Lastly, do not hesitate to give our staff a call if you are at all uncertain about your insurance claim rights and responsibilities. Our staff is always willing to arrange for you to consult with one of our attorneys.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.