Understanding the Differences between an Examination Under Oath and a Deposition

By Ronald Mund, JD, MBA

Examinations under oath (EUO) and depositions each have a distinct and important role in the claims process. Understanding these proceedings can help individuals and businesses alike navigate the claims process.

Examinations Under Oath

An examination under oath is a proceeding in which an insurance company representative questions a policyholder while the policyholder is under oath and a court reporter is present. This is a formal process used to gather information about a claim while the insured is sworn to tell the truth. Most insurance policies require the insured to attend an examination under oath when requested by the insurance company.

An EUO usually occurs when an insurer needs more information regarding a claim. While an examination under oath can be used to detect and identify fraudulent claims, an insurer requesting an EUO does not inherently mean that the insurer suspects fraud or wrongdoing. For most claims, individuals and businesses can usually interpret a request for an EUO as the insurer collecting more information to decide how to handle a claim.

Depositions

While an EUO is built into most policies and can happen at nearly any point in the claims process, a deposition occurs when a lawsuit has been filed regarding the claim. The processes for an EUO and a deposition are similar but have key differences. Each is a form of statement taken through questioning while the subject is under oath, but a deposition is part of the litigation process rather than the claim investigation process. In both processes, it is important to act appropriately under oath. Questions must be answered truthfully and to the best of one’s ability.

Knowing the differences between an EUO and a deposition can help individuals and businesses prepare for the proceedings and find appropriate legal help.

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