Proof of loss

From CEOpedia | Management online

Proof of loss is defined as a formal declaration (not a claim) made by the policyholder to the insurer to report the partial or total loss and proceed with the further claim. This form helps to validate the value of the insured's property to the insurance company. In most of the cases it is one page document, which states a summary of the critical information required under the policy[1].

The proof of loss have to be:

  • official (recognized as authorized)
  • notarized (acknowledged as a notary public)
  • sworn (given under oath)

The document gives the supporting evidence and estimates of the present value of loss to the insurance company. It is the obligation of policyholder to fill up such a documentation to support the claim of the proper compensation from the side of the insurer[2].

The insurance company uses this information as a basis for determining their liabilities for the property loss. Once submitted by the insured, the insurance company will need to review the claim and respond with their position on the claim. The main purpose of proof of loss is to allow the insurer to form a reliable estimate of its rights and liabilities and give the opportunity to investigate the loss and prevent fraud[3].

What should be included in proof of loss

The policy define what should be included in the proof of loss. In most of the cases, it includes[4]:

  • The amount of loss claimed;
  • The documents that support the amount of loss claimed;
  • The parties claiming the loss under the policy;
  • The date and cause of the loss;
  • The people who have an interest in the claim.

On many occasions, this information is the first confirmation that is provided to the insurer which details the specifics of a claim. As such, it is in both the insurer and the policyholder's, best interests to comply with the proof of loss requirements, so that the claims process can proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible[5].

Sixty-day requirement

The large amount of policies states that an insured return the proof of loss within sixty days after the loss, or after the insurer requests it. It is the time allowed by the insurer to the policyholder to prepare the necessary documentation, based on which further claim and amends would be considered. However, many life examples shows that courts after the investigation notice that the sixty-day requirement is not the condition precedent to recovery and allows the delay in submitting the policy by policyholder[6].


  1. Murphy L (2007)
  2. Kramer A (2014)
  3. Mathias J, Shugrue J (2006)
  4. Hennin (2011)
  5. Meadows H (2010)
  6. Murphy L (2007)

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Author: Weronika Włodarska