Making a claim with “the other driver’s” insurance company? That’s a third-party claim. Driving a company car and sustain an injury? You’re making a third-party claim there, too. Injured while driving your own car in the course of your job? A third-party claim with your employer’s insurance company would be your mechanism for recovery of medical and repair costs. Any claim made to an insurance company other than your own is considered a third-party claim.
In third-party car accident claims where fault is in dispute, lengthy investigations can be the norm. Insurance adjusters will investigate the claim thoroughly, often hiring outside parties to conduct interviews, take statement and review any and all records (medical or otherwise) pertaining to the case. You may even need to attend an independent medical examination. The adjuster will then make his or her own determination as to fault and the settlement value of the case.
Pretty much all drivers are subject to the risks mentioned above, so the short answer to the question is, "Almost everybody." Take animal collisions, for example. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions every year, resulting in over $1 billion in vehicle damage — and that's just deer-vehicle collisions.
Comprehensive car insurance covers damages from an "act of God," or events that are not caused by a car driving into something else. An "act of God" can include things like damage from a heavy tree branch falling on your car. Since you have no control over when or why a tree branch would fall on your car, this kind of accident would be covered under your comprehensive policy.
The price of car insurance can vary greatly between states. One company may be expensive in Utah, but inexpensive in New York. In some states, a small, local company could even offer the best price. Below, click through to your state to see which company and cities have the least expensive car insurance based on the numerous studies we've conducted.
There are two types of automobile third-party liability coverage. First, bodily injury liability covers costs resulting from injuries to a person. These injuries' costs could include expenses like hospital care, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to the accident. Second, property damage liability covers costs resulting from damages to or loss of property. Examples of property damage include the payment to replace landscaping and mailboxes, as well as compensation for loss of use of a structure.
Liberty Mutual actually tied Erie insurance for this category, but since we already called Erie the best overall company, we'll describe how Liberty Mutual is well known for a strong shopping experience. Customers of Liberty Mutual report in the study they were particularly satisfied with the flexibility of policies offered by Liberty Mutual, as well as their relationship with Liberty Mutual agents. If Erie is not located in your state, Liberty Mutual can be a good alternative if you can get a competitive rate.
Third-party claims occur with less frequency in no-fault car insurance states, where you first look to your own insurance company to recover, regardless of who is actually at fault for an accident or injury. Generally, no-fault states have mandatory minimum insurance requirements, meaning that every driver carries a statutorily dictated minimum amount of insurance. If, after you’ve made the appropriate claims to your own insurance company, your claim meets your state's monetary threshold or "serious injury" threshold for stepping outside of no-fault, you may be able to initiate a third-party claim.
Bodily injury coverage is written with two limits: the first applies to each person; the second is related to each accident. As an example, minimum recommended coverage levels are usually $100,000/$300,000, which translates to policy limits of $100,000 per person in an accident and $300,000 total per incident. Required coverage levels vary by state, but can be as low as $10,000/$20,000, which is hardly sufficient for a serious accident.
Let's use the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy as an example to illustrate the differences between collision and comprehensive. Within that storm, let's consider two events that might have happened: 1) a heavy tree branch fell on your car, or 2) you swerved to avoid a falling tree branch and wound up crashing into a tree. In the first event, you had no control over when or why a tree branch would fall on your car. This kind of accident would get reimbursed under your comprehensive policy. In the second situation, you were driving the car and ultimately swerved into the tree, which makes it a collision, and collision insurance therefore pays for the damages. Events like the hypothetical ones stated above are why it's important to differentiate between the two types of coverage.
Product liability insurance is typically mandated by legislation, the scale of which varies by country and often varies by industry. This type of insurance covers all major product classes and types, including chemicals, agricultural products, and recreational equipment; and protects companies against lawsuits over products or components that cause damage or injury.
Comprehensive insurance is commonly confused with collision. They both insure your car but cover different events. Collision covers car accidents, and comprehensive covers events out of your control. Think of it like this: Collision is colliding with something else (other than animals). Comprehensive is basically all other events. Accidents with animals are covered by comprehensive (and not collision) because these accidents are considered out of your control.