Pursuant to the new PIP law, under Florida Statute 627.736(6)(g), an insured or omnibus insured seeking PIP benefits under a policy is required to comply with the terms of the policy, including attendance at an examination under oath (EUO). However, that does not give the insurer the right to harass the claimant.
The questioning during an examination under oath is limited to relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information. This statute was adopted to curtail inappropriate conduct by insurers and their attorneys. An example of such conduct can be seen in the case of De Leon v. Great American Assurance Company, 78 So.2d 585 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2011).
In that case, the Court found that Mr. De Leon was completely justified in refusing to answer “wholly impertinent and improper questions which had nothing to do with the merits of the claim.” In that case, the insurer probed into details of, among other things, a prior, totally unrelated criminal conviction, and the person with whom the claimant was living at the time.
Since the new PIP law was enacted, we have seen an increase in harassment by insurance companies. While an insured must attend an EUO, they do not have to ask questions on matters completely unrelated to the claim. We have seen insurance companies deny claims for failure to produce bank and phone records at an EUO. Such conduct by insurance companies is not permitted by law.