Followers of our weekly blog know that an insured has certain obligations under an insurance policy and know that the failure to comply with those conditions may prejudice your claim. One of those obligations is to produce a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss, or more simply, a Proof of Loss.
A Proof of Loss is a form, typically drafted by the insurance company, summarizing an insured’s loss. The form includes information regarding the date and time of the incident and the monetary value of the claim. Under a typical homeowner’s policy, an insured must submit a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss within 60 days after an insurance company’s request. In addition, an insured must submit documentation supporting the loss and the amount claimed. This documentation may include estimates, invoices, police reports or a contents inventory. The insurance policy will outline the specific information and documentation required when submitting the Proof of Loss.
The policy also requires the insured to sign the Proof of Loss and swear to the accuracy of its contents. This is most often accomplished by executing the document in front a notary and attesting that the information contained in the Proof of Loss is true and accurate to the best of the insured’s knowledge and belief.
If an insured fails to produce a Proof of Loss when requested by the insurance company, it can prejudice an insured’s right to recovery and may be deemed a material breach of the insurance policy.
In the event your insurance company requests a Proof of Loss, it is important to review your policy and determine the requirements to produce a properly supported form. Additionally, if you are relying on a third party to assist you in determining the value of your claim, it is prudent to understand their assessment of your loss prior to executing the Proof of Loss attesting that their valuation of your loss is accurate.