The Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss is a document the insured must provide upon request in order to support their property loss claim. A provision requesting a “proof of loss” is included in nearly all homeowners policies. The purpose of the “proof of loss” is to obtain a truthful statement from the insured regarding the property loss, and to allow the insurance company to assess its liabilities, further investigate and assess the loss, and reduce insurance fraud. Unless otherwise stated in the homeowner’s policy, the “proof of loss” is not automatically triggered when filing a claim. However, if the insurance company formally requests it, the policyholder must comply and submit the “sworn statement in proof of loss”, typically within 30 to 60 days after the loss, or after the request.
The insurance company will provide a blank “proof of loss” form that must be fully completed, signed, and returned in the allotted amount of time. Information requested in a proof of loss following a property loss claim usually includes:
The insurance adjuster is not allowed to help with the “proof of loss” as the insurance company wants all the information about the property loss to come exclusively from you. The document has to ‘sworn” in the presence of a public notary, and by signing it you agree that all information accurately represents to the best of your knowledge how and when the loss occurred and what you are claiming as your loss.
In most instances, the “proof of loss” document ask the policy owner to include both “actual cash value” and “replacement cost” in the “proof of loss” document. The two numbers can be challenging to determine, and they will be the basis for your settlement. Thus, it’s important to work with a professional appraiser and public adjuster to arrive a value that is fair to both parties.
For example, you know that it will cost you $5000 to replace your wooden floors, but if you have an “actual cash value” policy, you need to calculate depreciation. If you claim too much, the insurer may get suspicious and reject your “proof of loss”, you claim too little and you end up paying out of pocket for losses that would have otherwise been covered.
The insurance company will use the information you provide in the “proof of loss” to determine the value of the loss, their liability and the settlement amount for your property loss claim; thus, the “sworn statement in proof of loss” is a critical document in the claim process. The insurance company will then rely on that “Proof of Loss” while processing your claim. That might work against you, for several reasons. If the insurer finds inconsistencies in this document, they can use that information against you; it may also come up if they request an Examination Under Oath. Failure to provide all information requested can result in a denial of your claim.
The insured has the right, however, to retain the services of a public adjuster to help prepare the “proof of loss”. Ohio Fire Claims’ public adjusters provide complete assistance with filing the proof of loss and helps the policy owners avoid the errors and omissions that might jeopardize their chances a full settlement. We help appraise the loss, document it fully, and complete the “proof of loss” timely and accurately. We also provide our customers with an amended proof of loss document that includes additional language to reserve your right to amend and correct the document as needed.
Ohio Fire Claims’ public adjusters will assist you in any way possible to help you steer clear of all the pitfalls insurance companies are counting on. We work for you!
Contact us today for a free consultation or site inspection, and you’ll be impressed with what we can do for you.