Do you have a first-party claim or a third-party claim?
A first-party insurance claim involves filing a claim directly with your own insurance company for damages or losses. This type of claim typically covers incidents affecting you or your property. On the other hand, a third-party insurance claim refers to the process of filing a claim with someone else’s insurance provider, usually after an incident where you are not at fault. This claim is filed against the insurance of the party responsible for the damages or injuries suffered.
Your insurance policy contains a set of promises that your insurer makes to you about what it will pay for if a “covered” event happens.
The insurance policy also contains a set of rules that you, the policyholder, must follow to receive payment from the insurer. This includes making timely payments of your premiums.
An insurance policy is therefore a contract between you and your insurance company.
Your insurance company will not pay for any event not covered in your policy (usually referred to as “exclusions”).
Common exclusions include injuries resulting from intentional or reckless acts like street racing, or from extraordinary sources like nuclear radiation.
Another exclusion that has become common in recent years is an injury that results while driving in a ride-sharing program like Uber or Lyft.
There are two types of insurance claims that an injured person may bring, depending on the factual situation.
What is a First-party Claim?
A first-party claim is filed with your own insurance company for damages covered by your own policy. For instance, if you damage the trunk of your car by backing into a pole, filing a claim with your own insurance company would be a first-party insurance claim.
After you file, the insurance company looks at your policy to determine whether you carry the type of coverage needed for them to compensate you for the particular type of loss. In this example, the relevant policy would be collision coverage. If you have the coverage, the insurance company will reimburse you for the amount of money your trunk repairs cost, less your deductible.
Making a claim on your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy is a first-party claim, which you can read more about on our page: Four Benefits of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance.
What is a Third-party Claim?
A third-party insurance claim is filed with someone else’s insurance company. For example, a drunk driver runs a red light and collides with your vehicle. In such an auto accident, you will likely file a claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company. In this example, the driver’s insurance company would be responsible for your damages. This is because a drunk driver’s liability coverage covers injuries caused by his negligent driving.
Because there is no contract between you and the at-fault driver’s insurance company, there are several benefits of filing a third-party claim. You may make claims for damages that your own insurance policy may not cover. Examples of such damages would be payment for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost wages.
Imagine you’re involved in a car accident caused by another driver running a stop sign, leading to vehicle damage, a broken arm, and whiplash. In such cases, you might file a third-party insurance claim. This claim involves notifying the at-fault driver’s insurance company, detailing the incident, injuries sustained, and seeking compensation for medical expenses and property damage.
The claims process can be complex and overwhelming. Regardless of whether you are dealing with a third-party or first-party claim, get advice from an experienced personal injury attorney.
The attorneys at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP are knowledgeable and experienced in the rules, procedures, and the law relating to first-party and third-party claims. Contact our Firm today for a free consultation regarding your claim or potential claim.
You may also find helpful information at the following links:
- Determining Who Is “At-Fault” for an Accident
- Three Types of Property Damage You Can Recover After an Accident
- Contacting Insurance Companies
We can Help with Your First and Third-Party Insurance Claim
Contact the experienced insurance claims attorneys at Armstrong Lee and Baker Today. We can help with your first and third-party claim insurance. If you need help with your first-party insurance claim or your third-party insurance claim, our Houston insurance lawyers are here to help.
Our car insurance lawyers have helped hundreds of victims and we have the experience and professionalism to help you. Contact Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP today for your free consultation.