First Party

By Daisy Rogozinsky
March 24, 2022

In most states, it’s legally required for drivers to have liability insurance. If you get into a motor vehicle accident, you can make an insurance claim to compensation for any injury or damage that resulted from the accident. There are two types of claims that you can make: first-party and third-party. In this article, we’ll define first-party and explain what it means to make a first-party insurance claim. 

Key Takeaways

  • In the event of a motor vehicle accident, there are two types of claims you can make: first-party and third-party
  • A first-party claim is a claim against your own insurance company
  • A third-party claim is against the other party’s insurance company
  • First-party claims are limited based on the terms of your insurance policy, whereas third-party claims are not
  • Which type of claim you make is usually based on who was at fault for the accident
  • If it is unclear who was at fault for your accident, it’s possible to make both a first-party and third-party claim

What Is First Party?

The two types of insurance claims that are available to you are first-party and third-party. A first-party claim is a claim you make against your own insurer. In contrast, a third-party claim is a claim you submit to somebody else’s insurer.

It’s important to note that making a first-party claim to your own insurance is limited by the terms of your contract. Your insurer will compensate you according to the rules of their policy. On the other hand, when you make a third-party claim, it is to an insurance company with whom you have no contract. This means that you aren’t limited by an insurance policy in terms of what you can request compensation for. 

In either a first-party or a third-party claim, if the insurance company that the claim is made to is unwilling to provide the requested compensation, it is possible to bring the claim to the legal system. 

The type of claim that is appropriate to make depends on the circumstances of your motor vehicle accident. In some cases, it will be appropriate to make both types of claims. 

How to Know Which Type of Insurance Claim to Submit

When you’re in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to make the right type of claim. The factor that usually determines what type of claim you make is which party is at fault for the accident. In most motor vehicle accidents, the person who caused the accident is the one who is responsible for paying damages.

Sometimes, fault is obvious, but other times it’s less cut and dry. For example, if the accident was caused because the other party was driving under the influence or drove through a red light, you can easily make a third-party claim. However, if it is unclear to you exactly who is at fault for your accident, it may be best to make both a first-party and a third-party claim. 

In either case, it’s recommended to work with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney who can help you make your claim(s) and get the best possible compensation.

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