The purpose of a sworn proof of loss is to document the amount claimed is accurate and a genuine loss. If it later turns out the claim was inflated or fraudulent, the sworn statement can be used by a prosecutor for insurance fraud in a criminal case or denial of the claim for insurance for fraud in Oklahoma.
According to Oklahoma insurance law attorneys, there is a wide and varied practice in the insurance industry concerning the requirement for a signed, sworn proof of loss before payment of an insurance claim. Some insurers insist on a signed proof of loss and others could care less.
Oklahoma law provides an insurer cannot assert the failure of the insured to tender a proof of loss as a defense to payment of the homeowners’ claim unless the insurance company has furnished the policy holder with two blank proof of loss forms and warned the insured that the proof of loss must be tendered to the insurer within 60 days from the date of receipt of the blank forms. An insurer adjusting a loss under a fire policy can waive the requirement for a signed proof of loss if it doesn’t make demand within a suitable time.
Insurers sometimes overlook the requirement to submit two blank proof of loss forms. Many Oklahoma insurance defense lawyers are critical of the requirement. The reason for providing two forms appears to be a carryover from many years ago when scanners, copiers, and other means of reproduction were not as common and convenient. The second blank form was so the insured would have a copy for their own records. Insurance attorneys in Oklahoma see the requirement for submission of duplicate blank forms as a requirement that no longer meets any real need of the insured.