Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss

Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss

Philadelphia Insurance Attorney

Unless you're a personal injury attorney or you have obtained compensation after an accident, you may not know how crucial insurance is to receiving payment for the expenses and impacts you incurred.

Insurance policies pay nearly every personal injury or wrongful death settlement or award. You may file a lawsuit against an uninsured person and even obtain a judgment in your favor. However, collecting on that judgment would likely be impossible, as most people cannot afford to pay accident expenses out-of-pocket.

Unfortunately, obtaining compensation for your injuries means filing a claim with a large company that an insurance adjuster will evaluate. The adjuster's job is to save the insurance company money by avoiding large payouts.

With your claim, you probably must complete a sworn statement in proof of loss. While the title of the document sounds daunting, the information contained in it is actually the basic details of your accident, along with evidence to prove your loss. Failing to fill out this document accurately or completely can result in a delay or denial of your claim.

What Is a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss?

What is a sworn statement in proof of loss?

A sworn statement in proof of loss is a formal statement most insurance companies require you to file a compensation claim. The document prevents insurance fraud by substantiating the value of the insured's costs through official documentation and a notarized signature.

What Information Does an Insurance Claim Require in the Statement?

The information provided in the statement includes:

  • The coverage amount available at the time of the loss.
  • The date and cause of the loss. When you provide your statement on the details of the incident that resulted in the loss, be sure to include details. For example, if the statement involves a car accident, you will want to name the approximate location where the accident occurred, the direction you were traveling, whether your view was clear, your estimated speed when the accident occurred, and the actions that led to the accident (such as someone cutting you off or failing to stop at the light).
  • Documents that support the value of the losses claimed, such as hospital bills, an invoice for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle after an accident, or even the amount of work you missed because of an injury, along with proof of the earnings and benefits you lost during your time away from work.
  • The names and contact information for the party filing the claim.
  • The names and contact information for parties having an interest in the claim, such as the bank that holds the mortgage to your home or the title to your car.
  • The policy number of the policy against which you are filing the claim.

How to Fill out a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss

If you are planning to file a claim against an insurance company, follow the steps listed below:

  • Obtain a copy of the Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss from the insurance company.
  • Fill out the required information, including the policy number, insurance agent's name, insurance agency, and the issue and expiration dates for the policy. On the line requesting the name of your insurance company, place that information next to the words “to the” and the city where your insurance is located alongside the words “of” so that the line reads “To the (insurance company) of (location).
  • Add your name and address and the cause of your loss. For example, you can write “fire” or “car accident.”
  • Complete the time of origin area of the document.
  • List the monetary damages you are claiming. As you must have the documentation to prove these expenses, never guess a number for this portion of the form, as it can result in a delay or denial of your claim.
  • Bring the document to a notary public. Sign and date the document in front of the notary.
  • Return your notarized sworn statement as proof of loss to your insurance carrier.

Common Mistakes Made When Filling out the Document

While many people find the sworn statement in proof of loss easy to complete, others find the document confusing. You must completely understand what the insurance company wants and avoid mistakes that could result in the insurance company rejecting your claim.

Some of the most common mistakes made when completing a sworn statement in proof of loss include:

  • Missing the deadline. Most insurance companies have a deadline by which you must file your claim, or they won't consider it. The deadline for filing this document to your insurance provider is generally 60 days. Depending on the laws in your state, the clock either begins ticking when you suffer the loss or when the insurance company requests the form. Either way, you should be aware that it is your responsibility to submit the required form through the process provided by your insurance company, even if they do not provide you with the form. Many insurance companies will grant exceptions to the deadline for hardship. However, you must formally request the extension.
  • Failing to obtain documentation for expenses. If you plan to include an expense in your claim, you must also have documentation to prove you incurred the expense. Many claimants keep a folder specifically for documentation relating to their claim so that they keep all of the information in one place and easily accessible.
  • Failing to know the insurance laws in your state. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they do this by avoiding full payouts on claims. They also do this by putting forth requirements that state law does not impose. You need to know your insurance company's requirements and the laws that help you avoid being mistreated or having your compensation delayed or denied.
  • Failing to include documentation of your losses. The insurance company will not settle your claim if they do not have proof of the expenses you want them to cover.
  • Failing to obtain notarization of the document. Most insurance companies will not accept the signature as yours unless a notary also signs the document.

What Happens After I Submit a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss?

Once you have successfully submitted your sworn statement in proof of loss to the insurance company, several consequential actions are set in motion. This process can be intricate and may often be daunting without a clear understanding of what each step entails.

Insurance Provider's Review

After submission, your sworn statement, along with any supporting documentation, undergoes a thorough review by the insurance provider. Their aim is to ensure that all necessary details are comprehensively included and supported.

Policy Examination

Following the detailed examination of your sworn statement, the insurance provider will then assess the policy under which you've made a claim. The focus here is to determine if the policy covers the specific type of damages you've claimed.

Potential Claim Denial

In certain situations, the insurance provider may decide to deny your claim. If this happens, you'll be officially notified via mail, along with a detailed explanation of the denial reason. It's important to note that claim denials can occur due to various reasons, such as missing the submission deadline for the sworn statement in proof of loss form, or because the claim surpasses the policy limit.

Other reasons can include the policy not covering the specific loss, the insurance company alleging that you caused the loss yourself, committed claim fraud, or delayed medical treatment after the injury. However, it's imperative to understand that the insurance company cannot deny your claim purely based on the financial amount requested.

Financial Valuation

The insurance company will then run a financial assessment of your claim. Each item in the claim is assigned a financial value based on its actual cash value or replacement cost. Any item deemed unaccommodated by the policy will be given a valuation of zero.

Settlement Calculation and Notification

Following this assessment, the assigned values are totaled to determine a settlement amount. This final figured sum will be formally issued to you.

Settlement Review

At this juncture, you have the chance to critically review the offered settlement with your attorney. This is a necessary step to decide whether the proposed amount adequately compensates your loss.

Negotiation for a Higher Offer

If you feel that the proposal falls short of fair compensation, your attorney can step in. They can negotiate with the insurance company, arguing for a revised, higher offer on your behalf. Keep in mind that an insurance company cannot deny your claim solely based on the amount you're requesting.

The insurance company has to review your claim thoroughly and fairly, basing any decision to deny it on lawful and valid reasons. Factors like the legitimacy of your claim, policy limits, the nature and extent of your loss, and the evidence to support your claim will play a role in approving or denying a claim ― not simply the amount of money you're asking for.

Settlement Acceptance and Claims Closure

If you opt to accept the settlement, you will agree to the stipulated amount and receive the funds. It's vital to ensure that the amount covers all your losses, as you won't be able to file for additional funds once the claim is closed.

Lawsuit Filing

Should the insurance provider fail to offer a fair settlement, there's still recourse. Your attorney can guide you in filing a lawsuit against the insurance company in civil court. Even after the lawsuit filing, settlement negotiations may continue up until the court issues its final judgment. This is to make sure that every possible avenue for securing a fair settlement is explored to the fullest.

Can I Negotiate an Insurance Claim Settlement Without Involving an Attorney?

While it's possible to negotiate your insurance claim settlement without legal representation, it is highly ill-advised. Insurance providers are skilled negotiators who work towards reducing the claim amount as much as possible. They have vast experience and expertise in dealing with claimants. They understand the claim process, the tactics insurance providers use, and the rightful worth of a claim. They know how to evaluate a claim considering all present and future damages, presenting a solid case that can help their clients get the maximum compensation they are entitled to.

Therefore, having a personal injury attorney can significantly improve the chances of achieving a higher settlement offer compared to negotiating on your own. Without a thorough understanding of the law and how insurance settlements work, you may end up with a smaller settlement than you rightly deserve.

An Attorney Can Help With Your Claim

Injuries and property damage are complicated issues to deal with in any personal injury case. This is especially so when filing a claim against an insurance company—even your own. An experienced attorney can use his or her deep understanding of the legal process involved in recovering compensation to ensure that you obtain the maximum amount in your case

When faced with the daunting task of seeking compensation after an accident, it's essential to understand how valuable the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney can be. Not only will your lawyer help you decipher your insurance policy and help you navigate the insurance claim process, but they will do so in a way that steers you toward the best possible outcome. Their services are comprehensive and designed to strategically navigate the claim process with your best interests in mind.

Comprehensive Case Evaluation

Your journey with an attorney begins with a free, no-obligation case evaluation. This is a crucial opportunity to have your pressing legal questions answered and understand the process of seeking compensation.

Fair Compensation Evaluation

An attorney can help you to establish a just value for your claim. This figure isn't a haphazard estimation. Rather, it is a meticulously calculated amount that accounts for both your current expenses and impacts as well as future ones you may likely incur. This evaluation paves the way for more informed negotiations with the insurance company, helping gauge the fairness of the settlement they offer.

Claim Preparation Assistance

When it comes to preparing your claim, including your sworn statement in proof of loss, an attorney is incredibly valuable. They possess not only the knowledge of what evidence and documentation will solidify your claim but also an understanding of the laws that protect you against unethical practices by insurance companies.

Negotiation with Insurance Companies

A seasoned attorney can also brave the storm of settlement negotiations with insurance adjusters. They champion a fair settlement that adequately covers the damages you've suffered due to the accident.

Settlement Offer Guidance

Attorneys guide you through the decision-making process of accepting or rejecting a settlement offer. They'll lay out the pros and cons for you, making sure you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Lawsuit Preparation

If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, an attorney can help you take the next steps. Together, you'll decide if and when to file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company.

Court Procedures

In the event of litigation, an attorney will ensure the timely filing of court-required paperwork, represent you at pre-trial hearings, and handle all necessary litigation processes.

Evidence Collection and Organization

Your attorney will take the lead in collecting and organizing evidence, coordinating witness testimonies, and generally preparing a robust case to be presented in court.

Court Case Presentation

During the trial, your attorney stands by your side, delivering compelling opening and closing arguments, presenting the gathered evidence, and examining witnesses.

Settlement Collection

Last but not least, your attorney will assist in the collection of your settlement or award, ensuring that you receive what's been rightfully awarded without additional stress.

We Will Fight the Insurance Company and Seek Your Rightful Compensation

In the tumultuous aftermath of an accident, trying to navigate the complexities of the insurance claims process alone can be stressful and draining. We believe that you should be allowed to focus wholly on your recovery while we shoulder the legal legwork and make sure you receive every dollar the insurance company owes you. Our highly experienced attorneys are ready to guide you and advocate on your behalf, magnifying your chances for a fair resolution.

No matter the extent or nature of your loss, we commit to providing you with a comprehensive understanding of your legal options and potential avenues for compensation. Our law firm operates on a contingency basis — you pay us only when we win your case.

Don’t let insurance complexities deter you from pursuing the compensation you deserve. Let our experienced team at The Levin Firm Personal Injury Lawyers simplify the process for you. To schedule a no-obligation case evaluation for your claim, contact us today. It's the first step towards the resolution you deserve, and it's absolutely free! Remember, at The Levin Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, the scales of justice balance in your favor.