What does the first-party insurance agent in a car accident do?
There can be two types of insurance claims in a motor vehicle accident case. The ’first party’ claim is your claim with your own car insurance policy. The ‘third party’ claim is the claim you bring against any responsible parties with the aim of having their insurance company pay you for your damages.
If you have purchased Medical Payment or Medical Reimbursement coverage on your policy, then the first party insurance company, in North Carolina or Virginia, pays medical bills up to the amount of coverage you purchased. To obtain payment of these bills, it is not required that you show fault for the accident. The bills are paid because you paid the premiums for the medical payment or ‘med pay’ coverage. The bills are only paid up to the policy limits that you purchased. In Virginia, the amount of coverage per person is multiplied times the number of vehicles on the policy. So, for example, if you bought $10,000.00 in med pay coverage, and there are four vehicles on the policy, then there is $40,000.00 in med pay coverage for each insured under the policy.
There is also first party coverage available for property damage, commonly known as ‘collision’ coverage. Most first party insurance companies also require you to have a deductible with respect to collision coverage. For example, if your damages are $1,500 and you have a $500 deductible, the first party insurance carrier will pay you $1,000. Typical bills paid by your first party automobile insurance carrier are:
- Medical Bills (Med Pay)
- Damage to your car and property damage (collision)
- Car rental expenses
- Some small payments for lost wages under med pay (usually $100/week).
The first party insurance company will also investigate the cause of the accident and the damages to your vehicle. They will also need verification of your medical bills. It is your responsibility to submit the bills and records, unless you direct that the payments be made directly to your health care provider.
The best thing about first party insurance coverage, specifically the med pay provisions, is that it is money you are entitled to in addition to any money you may receive from the other driver who hit you. If you do not have med pay coverage, we highly recommend that you call your insurance agent immediately and purchase as much as you can afford. It is not that expensive to add to your policy. In the event you are in a collision, you will be glad you did.
How our firm can help
After being involved in a car accident, whether in North Carolina or Virginia, that was caused by the carelessness of someone else might be eligible to pursue financial compensation. Contact Norfolk Injury Lawyer Joe Miller or call us toll free at 888-694-1671 to learn more about your legal options and to find out how we may be able to help you seek justice.