The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an insurance carrier need not provide an insured with any of its investigation prior to the taking of an examination under oath.

In Lester v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3349, after a fire damaged her house in 2012, Amelia Lester filed a claim against Allstate, her insurance company. In investigating the fire, Allstate asked Lester and her husband to answer questions about the claim under oath. Lester responded that she and her husband would submit to examinations only if Allstate first showed them its investigative files. Allstate refused to turn over the files, explaining that doing so could jeopardize the integrity of its investigation. After two months of this back and forth exchange between Allstate and Lester, Allstate gave Lester ten days to schedule an examination. Allstate warned Lester that if she did not submit to the examination in accordance with the conditions of her policy, Allstate would deny the claim. Lester never responded to Allstate’s demand and instead sued Allstate seeking payment of her claim.

On February 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that insurance companies have the right to question a policyholder under oath without providing its investigative files, stating that the purpose of these examinations is to allow insurance companies to sort out the fraudulent from the genuine and the exorbitant from the warranted when analyzing the abundance of claims being made day by day.