Case Law Wednesdays – Can a Public Adjuster Appear at an EUO?

Insurance policies typically contain post loss obligations that the insured must abide by before filing a lawsuit. Post loss obligations are conditions that the insured must perform after they have experienced a damage. These obligations can include providing prompt notice of the loss, providing a sworn proof of loss, and/or attending an examination under oath. An examination under oath is a formal proceeding where an insured is questioned by an insurance company representative under oath. During the examination under oath the insured will be asked questions regarding their current loss.

In Nawaz v. Universal Property [1], the insurance company scheduled the insured for an examination under oath. The insured arrived to the examination under oath to comply with his post loss obligation, however the insured appeared with his public adjuster. The insurance company refused to conduct the examination under oath with the public adjuster present and asked the public adjuster to leave. After the insured refused to allow the public adjuster to leave, the insurance company suspended the examination. The Fourth Court of Appeals was faced with deciding whether public adjusters could be present during an insured’s examination under oath.

In this case, the court concluded that a public adjuster could be present during an insured’s examination under oath because of the insurance company’s policy. The insurance company’s policy stated that the insured had to submit to an examination under oath, while not in the presence of any other insured. Additionally, the policy defined insured as residents of the household who are relatives of the insured or under the age of 21. The court reasoned that a public adjuster was not categorized as an insured under the policy; thus, the public adjuster could be present while the insured’s examination under oath took place.

It is crucial that after you report a loss you are aware of your obligations. Your post loss obligations may be found in your policy or by going on your insurance company’s website. If you are unaware of your post loss obligations, you can always contact your insurance company to gain more information or seek the assistance of an attorney.

If you would like to discuss your post loss obligations or an examination under oath, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Alvarez Law Group today. Call us at (786) 620-2820 or email to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. *

[1] Zafar Nawaz v. Universal Property & Casualty Ins. Co., No. 4D10-4288 (Fla. 4th DCA June 12, 2012)

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