Attorneys who handle insurance claims know that almost all insurance policies have a cooperation clause in them. This means that the insured has a duty under the policy to cooperate with the insurance company in its investigation of the claim. One of these duties is to file a proof of loss.
As discussed as early as the 1926, Texas Supreme Court opinion styled, Commercial Union Assurance Company v. Preston, policies sometimes require that the insured file a proof of loss, as a condition precedent to enforcement of the policy. This was restated in the 1954, Fort Worth Court of Appeals opinion styled, Whitehead v. National Casualty Company. A “proof of loss” is a statement to the company, stating, among other things, the cash value of each item of property lost or damaged by fire, and the amount of loss. Further, the company may require that the insured swear to the accuracy of the proof of loss.
A 1960, Fort Worth Court of Appeals opinion styled, International Service Insurance Company v. Brodie, says the policy provision requiring a proof of loss is for the insurer’s benefit and may be waived by the company. In the Brodie case, the insurance company was found to have waived the proof of loss requirement where it would only accept proof asking for amount its adjusters agreed to, although the insurer wanted more.