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Understanding The Differences Between First- And Third-Party Insurance Claims

Following a motor vehicle accident, a claim filed with your insurance company is considered a first-party claim, while a claim filed with another person’s insurance company is considered a third-party claim. Third-party claims are made based on the fault of the other person and these claims are not subject to deductibles. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and it was not your fault, you will always make a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. On the other hand, if the accident was your fault and your car needs repairs, you only have a first-party claim against your insurance company and it will be subject to whatever deductible you chose when you bought your policy.

First-party claims are not based on fault. Another type of first-party clam is a health insurance claim; if you get sick, you’re entitled to health insurance benefits – that’s it. Same goes for your first-party collision coverage. If you cause an accident, crash into a tree, or incur property damages caused by another driver who is not insured, your first-party collision coverage pays for your property damage, minus your deductible.

Determining Fault In Car Accident Claims

Which insurance company ends up paying property damage benefits can sometimes be complicated. Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses that are focused on minimizing the amount they pay out in claims, the at-fault party’s insurance company may look for reasons it is not obligated to pay your claim. Other times, it may not be clear who was at fault. This happens most frequently in the classic red light / green light case, where both drivers claim they had a green light and there are no independent witnesses to “break the tie.” It can also happen when police reports contain inaccurate or incomplete information.

A situation could arise where an insured person causes a motor vehicle accident resulting in damage to your vehicle, but the damage exceeds the amount of coverage they have. In this instance, you may be able to recover property damage benefits from their insurance company and your insurance company. We can help you navigate these and other complexities that arise following a car crash; such as, if you were in a rented car or if you were in an accident with someone in a rental car.

We Help You Fight Insurance Companies

The recovery process is complex, and insurance companies may not be cooperative in helping you sort things out. In fact, insurance companies are always looking to save money and what is best for you is typically not best for them. Immediately after a motor vehicle accident, it is wise to enlist the help of the knowledgeable insurance dispute attorneys at Jontiff & Jontiff.

Regarding your physical injuries, depending on whether the at-fault person has bodily injury liability insurance, and if so, how much coverage they have, it may be necessary to file a claim against your own insurance company for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits. While your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will cover some of your medical expenses, there is a limit to how much of your medical bills your PIP will cover. It is very important that when you buy your auto insurance policy, you purchase as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as you can afford.

Here To Help With First-Party And Third-Party Claims

We work to make sure that automobile insurance companies meet their obligations and that individuals are not harmed financially. Call 305-674-1099 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.