FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Misrepresentation?
A misrepresentation is any statement (written or oral) made by an insured, relied upon by the insurance carrier, which is not true. This applies to both representations about the loss (exaggerating the value of property) as well as any other representations in the investigation.
It is absolutely imperative that you tell the truth in all dealings with your insurance carrier. Oregon law provides that any misrepresentation may be a basis for the carrier denying the entirety of your claim. So a minor fib regarding the loss could end up costing an insured the full replacement value on the loss.
If you have been accused of a misrepresentation, or if you have questions regarding the investigative process, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.
- What is a Proof of Loss?
A proof of loss is a formal document required by an insurance company that gives the insured's details regarding a particular loss. The document itself and the information requested will vary from carrier to carrier. Almost all carriers will ask the insured to provide: the date of loss, the type of loss, the estimated value of property lost, and personal information about the insured.
If your carrier asks you to provide a proof of loss, you need to do so. However, it is also important to note that Oregon Courts have ruled that providing a carrier with notice of the loss may be sufficient to act as an informal proof of loss, thereby making the insurer responsible for certain acts and obligations under the policy.
If you have any questions regarding your proof of loss, or what your obligations are in an insurance claim investigation, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.
- What are Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost?
Actual Cash Value (or ACV) is a method of determining the value of property at the time of a loss. The formula to determine ACV is:
Replacement Cost - Depreciation = ACV
Replacement cost being what it would cost to go to a store and buy the item new, and depreciation being a deduction for the age, condition and use of the item. Generally in the context of a loss, your carrier will pay ACV on your loss, then allow you the option to go out and replace your lost property. Once you complete replacement, you will be paid Replacement cost on your loss. ACV can be a very subjective formula, as one person's opinion of how much to deduct for age, condition or use may vary dramatically from another person's.
If you have any questions regarding ACV or the valuation of your property in an insurance claim, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.
- What is an Examination Under Oath?
An Examination Under Oath (or EUO) is a formal interview conducted by an insurance company, or more likely, an attorney working for an insurance company. The insurance company will ask for an EUO to help make a determination of coverage or value for a claim. The process is very similar to a deposition in a civil Court case. The insured is sworn to tell the truth, and then asked questions regarding the loss, the claim, their finances, and any other topic the insurance company feels will assist in its investigation.
If your insurance company has informed you they are requesting an EUO, you should seriously consider retaining an attorney to assist you. Anything said at an EUO can be used by the carrier if they deny your claim, and frequently a EUO will either cause a carrier leaning toward payment or denial to make a final determination one way or another.
If your carrier has requested an EUO, or if you have any questions regarding your obligations are in an insurance claim investigation, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.
- My insurance company is requesting lots of information from me, what should I do?
Every insurance policy comes with the Duty of Cooperation. An insured must provide the insurer with the information they request up to a point. If an insurer is intentionally bullying an insured, or if they have no legitimate reason for their requests, an insured can refuse, however, this is can result in a denial of the insured's claim.
If your carrier is requesting information that you do not want to provide, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.
- My insurance company is offering me less than what my property is worth, what should I do?
If your carrier has made a determination regarding the value of your property that you disagree with, you have several options. You may be able to convince them of your property's worth with documentation or by discussing the issue. You may wish to consider requesting an appraisal under the policy to determine the property's worth, or you may consider litigation as an option to determine your property's value.
If you and your insurance company cannot reach a fair determination of the value of your property, call us, one of our attorneys will be happy to have a free phone consultation to help you determine the best way to deal with the problem.
- What is Scope of Loss?
Scope of Loss refers to what was lost and why. Frequently insured's and their carriers dispute the cause of a loss, or the extent of damage caused by an agreed upon source of loss.
If your carrier is denying coverage for your loss due to the cause of the loss, you need to discuss the situation with an attorney immediately. To discuss the situation with one of our attorneys, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation.
- What is Valuation?
Valuation is the value of your insured property. Valuation frequently comes into dispute when you and your carrier agree as to the scope of the loss, but disagree as to the value of the property lost. These types of disputes may be resolved with the production of documentation, or discussions with your carrier regarding the type and condition of your property. However in the event you cannot reach an agreement with your carrier, you may need to litigate the issue.
If your carrier is disputing the value of your property, and you have questions or wish to discuss the situation, please call or submit a contact form today for a completely free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.