A third party claim is when a person other than you, or your family residing with you, seeks to recover money from you, usually as a result of an accident. This third party is often referred to as the injured party and/or the plaintiff. Whenever an accident occurs on your property, you should notify your Insurance Agent or Company as soon as possible. It would be helpful to record as many details of the accident as you can remember.
If the plaintiff decides to present a claim against you, the plaintiff’s attorney normally completes the legal work. This may be accomplished through a letter to you from the plaintiff attorney or by a summons. In either case, you should send these legal papers immediately to your Agent or Insurance Company. Your Insurance Company will normally respond and defend you. In order for your Insurance Company to build a proper defense, you are requested to cooperate with your Company and any of its representatives such as an independent adjuster or defense attorney. If someone contacts you and you are not sure who they are, before cooperating or allowing them on the loss location, contact your Company first to verify that they are indeed a representative of your Insurance Company and not a representative of the plaintiff.
It is very important that you do not communicate directly with the plaintiff or plaintiffs representative regarding the claim. If you are approached by the claimant’s Insurance Company, plaintiffs attorney or investigator, or you are asked to do any of the items below, decline the request and refer them to your Insurance company’s claim department. The items include, but are not limited to:
- all requests to sign a statement
- requests to take photos of involved area
- requests for inspection of items involved in loss
- requests to complete questionnaires
- requests to provide coverage information