A Kentucky lower court has thrown a wrench in the campaign to combat the growing scams involving PIP crashes in the Bluegrass State. The court agreed with two claimants in an auto crash. They’re suspected of fraud. Insurers have no right to compel them to attend an examination under oath (EUO), the lower court ruled.
The Coalition and NICB filed an amicus brief this week asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to overturn the decision and restore insurer rights to use EUOs.
EUOs are a powerful weapon to get at the truth. When summoned, many fraudsters don’t bother showing up —especially lower-level ring members. They feel the few dollars they’re making don’t offset the potential of getting caught.
EUOs are a deterrent as well. Knowing there’s a chance you might have to give details of a claim under oath helps keep people honest.
Take the EUO away, and more fraud rings likely will escape detection and feel emboldened to commit more fraud.
The Kentucky claimants contend insurers use EUOs to harass and intimidate honest claimants. We’ve found no evidence to support this contention. We determined that insurers use EUOs very infrequently, and only when necessary to discover truth about a claim.
In fact, EUOs can be an important tool to validate legitimate claims.
Sometime later this year, the Kentucky supreme court will announce its decision. Here’s hoping they support uncovering the truth about potentially fraudulent auto claims.
About the author: Dennis Jay is executive director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.