Many insurance companies demand a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss (Proof of Loss). There are many possible reasons for a Proof of Loss, two of which are to give the insurer the necessary facts to facilitate its investigation of a claim of loss after it has received notice of claim and these facts help the insurer identify fraudulent claims.
Property insurance policies have requirements that set forth insured’s cooperation. The cooperation provisions are called the Conditions section of the policy. The Proof of Loss requirement is in the Conditions section of the policy.
A Proof of Loss is filled out by you, the insured, if you have had a property damage loss. The form helps to support the value of your claimed loss. It gives your insurance company important information required by the policy which includes the supporting evidence, information, and estimates of the amount of loss you are claiming to the insurer.
In an insurance claim, it is up to you to present and prove the amount of loss to the insurance company. The Proof of Loss form and the supporting documents you use assist you to make your claim.
The Proof of Loss form is notarized and is a sworn statement from the insured to the insurer concerning the scope of damage to their property. You must declare under penalty of perjury the information is true. The insurance company uses this information as a basis for determining their obligations to you for the property loss. Once the Proof of Loss is submitted by you, your insurance company will review the claim and respond with their position on the claim.
Properly completing and then submitting a Proof of Loss is critical to the claims process and your recovery; and if you do not properly or timely (or truthfully) fill it out, it can lead to underpayment, delays in getting paid or even denial of coverage.
Filling out a Proof of Loss form will potentially require a copy of your insurance policy. The policy determines what must be in a Proof of Loss; however, it will usually require information such as:
- Coverage amounts at the time of the loss;
- Date and cause of the loss;
- Documents that support the value of the property and the amount of loss claimed (i.e. estimates, inventories, receipts, etc.);
- Parties claiming the loss under the policy;
- Parties having an interest in the property – such as the bank holding the mortgage; and the
- Policy number
A public adjuster can help you prepare, negotiate, and settle your insurance claim but they can also help you with accurately filling out a Proof of Loss form. Public adjusters work for you, never for the insurance company.