What is a Recorded Statement?
Following an accident, and even before a claim is filed, an injured person may be contacted by an insurance company adjuster. The adjuster may work for your insurance company, or may work for an insurance company that insures another party involved in the incident. A recorded statement may be in written form, or it may be an oral statement that is recorded by the adjuster. A recorded statement can be very informal, and indeed it may even be made over the phone.
Why do insurance companies request recorded statements?
The purpose of a recorded statement, at least in theory, is to allow the insurance company to obtain your version of the events that caused your injury or loss. This in turn is meant to facilitate the insurance company’s investigation of your claim, which in turn is meant to provide the insured with a quicker resolution and faster payout. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often more interested in getting the insured to contradict themselves to then provide the insurer with grounds to deny your claim or minimize their liability. For this reason, attorneys frequently counsel their clients against giving recorded statements, at least when it is not a contractual requirement per the terms of your policy.
Do you have to provide a recorded statement?
If the request for the recorded statement is being made by an insurance company that is not your insurance company or by some other third party, then you are under no obligation to provide the recorded statement. If the request for a recorded statement is being made by your insurance company, you will likely be required, by the terms of your policy, to provide the recorded statement.
How do you prepare for a recorded statement?
It should go without saying, when dealing with an insurance company during the claims process you should be thoroughly prepared. Whether you are providing a written statement or an orally recorded statement, anything you say may form the basis of an approval or a denial of your claim. Before you provide a recorded statement, you should consult an experienced lawyer.
Are you entitled to a copy of your recorded statement?
In Florida, you have an absolute right to receive a copy of any recorded statements you have provided to an insurance company. The adjuster’s code of ethics, which applies to all adjusters, specifically requires that any adjuster that obtains a recorded statement furnish that statement to the maker of the statement upon request. Furthermore, a Florida Statute imposes an even greater duty to furnish recorded statements. The relevant statute applies to “any person,” not just adjusters, and provides that a person taking such statement must provide such statement to the maker of the statement at the time the statement is made. Furthermore, that statute requires any person in possession of such statement to turn it over upon request. The sanctions for violating this duty include inadmissibility in court, and in the case of an adjuster may include administrative action including loss of license.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].
FL. Admin. Code – Rule: 69B-220.201
Fla. Stat. §92.33