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Last updated: November 15, 2023

Third-Party Car Insurance Claims

While the first party is your provider, the third party is the other insurance company.

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If you got into an accident that was not your fault, you will have to file a third-party claim to get your property damage and bodily injuries covered. However, depending on the state the accident was in, you may have to file a third-party claim for property damage only, as everyone pays for their own medical costs in no-fault states. Let’s learn more about third-party claims in car insurance and how they differ from first-party claims (i.e., claims with your own insurance provider).

What Is a Third-Party Insurance Claim?

A third-party insurance claim is a claim you file with someone else’s insurance provider when another driver hits you and the incident results in injuries, repairs, or replacement costs. You file a third-party claim so the other party’s insurer can reimburse you for car repairs, medical expenses, and any other transportation you’ll need while your car is being repaired.

How It Works

The way third-party insurance claims work depends on whether you live in a liability vs. no-fault state. See how fault systems vary by state below.

State No-fault or at-fault state?
Alabama At fault
Alaska At fault
Arizona At fault
Arkansas No fault
California At fault
Colorado At fault
Connecticut At fault
Delaware No fault
District of Columbia At fault
Florida No fault
Georgia At fault
Hawaii No fault
Idaho At fault
Illinois At fault
Indiana At fault
Iowa At fault
Kansas No fault
Kentucky Optional
Louisiana At fault
Maine At fault
Maryland At fault
Massachusetts No fault
Michigan At fault
Minnesota No fault
Mississippi At fault
Missouri At fault
Montana At fault
Nebraska At fault
Nevada At fault
New Hampshire At fault
New Jersey Optional
New Mexico At fault
New York No fault
North Carolina At fault
North Dakota No fault
Ohio At fault
Oklahoma At fault
Oregon At fault
Pennsylvania Optional
Rhode Island At fault
South Carolina At fault
South Dakota At fault
Tennessee At fault
Texas No fault
Utah No fault
Vermont At fault
Virginia At fault
Washington At fault
West Virginia At fault
Wisconsin At fault
Wyoming At fault

In no-fault states, everyone files their medical coverage claims under personal injury protection, which also covers lost wages and child care. Still, the at-fault party pays for all of the property damage. In at-fault states, the at-fault party pays for both bodily injury and property damage costs.

Types of Third-Party Claims

There are two types of third-party claims you can file.

  • Property damage claims: Property damage includes all damages from the accident, whether to your vehicle or to other property like a fence.
  • Personal injury claims: Personal injury claims include your bodily injuries, any wages you lost, and any child care you had to pay for as a result of the accident.


While no-fault states require personal injury protection (PIP), some at-fault states require medical coverage, which does not include coverage for lost wages or child care.

The Claims Process: How to File

Here’s how to file a third-party claim:

  1. Collect information. First, gather as much of the following information as you can about the accident itself:
    • The dollar amount of the property damage and injuries you incurred
    • The badge numbers of any police officers you deal with
    • The contact information for everyone involved including their names and insurance providers
    • A copy of the accident report
    • The location, weather, date, and time of day of the incident
    • The names of any officers you dealt with
    • Photos of the damages
    • The vehicle information of everyone involved
    • Who was at fault
  2. Get a repair estimate. Obtain repair estimates from several repair shops and include them with your third-party claim.
  3. Contact the insurance company. If a car accident wasn’t your fault, contact the other party’s insurance company to file a claim by using the below contact information.
Car insurance companies Mailing address Website Phone number Email address or
online form
21st Century P.O. Box 268994

Oklahoma City, OK 73126-8994

Medical/PIP documents involving FL, NJ, NY:
P.O. Box 268995

Medical/PIP documents involving all other states:
P.O. Box 268993
888-244-6163 claimsdocuments@
AAA The Auto Club Group Claim Department

P.O. Box 9001

Royal Oak, MI 48068-9826
Enter ZIP code to find claims number:

AARP The Hartford

P.O. Box 14219

Lexington, KY 40512

800-243-6860 N/A
Allstate Allstate Insurance Company

P.O. Box 660636

Dallas, TX 75266
800-255-7828 https://messaging.
Amica Amica Scan Center

P.O. Box 9690

Providence, RI 02940-9690
Autopom Autopom Office

22651 Lambert St., Suite 102

Lake Forest, CA 92630

800-654-8455 info@
Bristol West Bristol West Claims Service

P.O. Box 258806

Oklahoma City, OK 73125-8806
800-274-7865 N/A
Carchex Carchex

118 Shawan Road, Suite 210

Baltimore, MD 21030
877-227-2439 N/A
Carshield 1597 Cole Blvd., Suite 200

Lakewood, CO 80401-3418
800-531-1925 ClaimsDocs@
Clearcover Clearcover Insurance Agency LLC

33 W. Monroe St., Suite 500

Chicago, IL 60603

855-444-1875 support@
Concord Concord Corporate Office

4 Bouton St.

Concord, NH 03301

Maine: 800-482-7443

Massachusetts: 800-422-5246

New Hampshire: 800-888-6050

Vermont: 800-660-3838

Dairyland Dairyland Insurance Co.

1800 N. Point Drive

Stevens Point, WI 54481

800-334-0090 https://www.dairy
Direct Direct Auto Insurance Claims Department

P.O. Box 1623

Winston-Salem, NC 27102
800-403-1077 https://www.
Endurance Endurance Corporate Headquarters

400 Skokie Blvd., Suite 105

Northbrook, IL 60062

877-414-0134 https://www.endurance
Erie Erie Branch Claims Office

P.O. Box 13002

Erie, PA

800-367-3743 https://www.erie
Esurance Esurance Customer Service

P.O. Box 5250

Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5258
800-378-7262 https://www.
Farmers Farmers Customer Service

6301 Owensmouth Ave.

Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Foremost Overnight Mail

Foremost – Box #915

c/o Citibank Lockbox Operations

8430 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Third Floor

Chicago, IL 60631


P.O. Box 199023

Dallas, TX 75219-9023
GEICO Office locator:
800-841-3000 https://www.
GMAC N/A https://claims.
Good2Go Good2Go Auto Insurance

P.O. Box 1930

Blue Bell, PA 19422-0479

800-727-6664 claims@
Infinity Infinity Insurance

200 E Randolph St., Suite 3300

Chicago, IL 60601
800-334-1661 customer.
Kemper Kemper Claims

P.O. Box 2855

Clinton, IA 52733

For California customers: 800-508-5833 (formerly Alliance United)

800-234-3606 (formerly Kemper Specialty California)

Lemonade Lemonade Insurance Agency LLC

5 Crosby St., Third Floor

New York, NY 10013 844-733-8666 (for claim emergencies) carclaims@
Liberty Mutual Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

100 Liberty Way

Dover, NH 03820

800-225-2467 N/A
Mercury Mercury Insurance

1700 Greenbriar Lane

Brea, CA 02921

800-503-3724 https://cp.
MetLife – Farmers Auto Farmers Insurance Customer Service

6301 Owensmouth Ave.

Woodland Hills, CA 91367
800-435-7764 N/A
Metromile Metromile Inc.

425 Market St., Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94105-5418

888-595-5485 N/A
Nationwide Nationwide Headquarters

One Nationwide Plaza

Columbus, OH 43215-2220

800-421-3535 https://www.
Omega 5300 W. Cypress St., Suite 155

Tampa, FL 33607
877-850-0443 contactus@
Plymouth Rock Plymouth Rock Assurance

P.O. Box 55165

Boston, MA 02205

844-346-1225 rockcare@
Progressive The Progressive Corporation

6300 Wilson Mills Road

Mayfield Village, OH 44143
800-776-4737 https://www.
Protect My Car 570 Carillon Parkway, Third Floor
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
844-256-4762 N/A
Root Root Insurance Claims Department

80 E. Rich St., Suite 500

Columbus, OH 43215 New claims: 866-980-9431

Existing claims: 866-489-1985

Safeco Safeco Insurance

P.O. Box 91016

Chicago, IL 60680-1016

800-332-3226 N/A
State Farm State Farm Insurance Companies

Insurance Support Center – East

P.O. Box 588002

North Metro, GA 30029
800-732-5246 N/A
The General The General

P.O. Box 305054

Nashville, TN 37230-5054
800-280-1466 customersupport
Toco Toco Warranty

8501 Fallbrook Ave., Suite 225

West Hills, CA 91304
855-298-8626 info@
Travelers Travelers Personal Insurance

P.O. Box 660307

Dallas, TX 75266-0307
800-252-4633 https://www.

9800 Fredericksburg Road

San Antonio, TX 78288
Shortcut mobile number: #8722

210-531-8722 or


  1. File within the statute of limitations. Make sure you file a claim within your state’s statute of limitations for either property damage or personal injury claims. Car insurance claims can take a while, but if you miss the statute of limitations, the third party doesn’t need to reimburse you at all.
State Statute of limitations for property damage claims (in years) Statute of limitations for personal injury claims (in years)
Alabama 2 2
Alaska 2 2
Arizona 2 2
Arkansas 3 3
California 3 2
Colorado 3 3
Connecticut 2 2
Delaware 2 2
District of Columbia 3 3
Florida 4 4
Georgia 4 2
Hawaii 2 2
Idaho 3 2
Illinois 5 2
Indiana 2 2
Iowa 5 2
Kansas 2 2
Kentucky 2 1
Louisiana 1 1
Maine 6 6
Maryland 3 3
Massachusetts 3 3
Michigan 3 3
Minnesota 6 2
Mississippi 3 3
Missouri 5 5
Montana 2 3
Nebraska 4 4
Nevada 3 2
New Hampshire 3 3
New Jersey 6 6
New Mexico 4 3
New York 3 3
North Carolina 3 3
North Dakota 6 6
Ohio 4 4
Oklahoma 2 2
Oregon 6 2
Pennsylvania 2 2
Rhode Island 10 3
South Carolina 3 3
South Dakota 6 3
Tennessee 3 1
Texas 2 2
Utah 3 4
Vermont 3 3
Virginia 5 2
Washington 3 3
West Virginia 2 2
Wisconsin 6 3
Wyoming 4 44
  1. Get your car inspected. The other party may want to inspect your car or get their own repair estimates. Make sure the inspection occurs at a time and place that’s convenient for you so you can be present.
  2. Wait for the settlement. The insurance company will investigate the claim. They will offer you a settlement if they determine that their insured driver caused the accident.
  3. Sign the release for damages. If you agree to the settlement amount, sign the release for damages.2
  4. Negotiate. If the other insurance company denies your claim, you can file a suit at small claims court. The judge will decide who was at fault and what you’re owed, if anything.3

Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to filing a third-party claim vs. filing a claim with your own provider, also known as a first-party claim.


  • Pro: Filing a third-party claim means that you won’t have to pay a deductible for collision insurance. Rather, the insurance company will cover your damages up to their limits.


  • Con: In a no-fault state, you’ll still be responsible for your own medical costs. If the other party has to pay for your property damage out of pocket, you may have to sue them to get the money, which can be an expensive and arduous process.

Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers in Third-Party Claims

With uninsured or underinsured drivers, third-party claims work differently.

Uninsured Drivers

When dealing with people who drive without insurance, there’s no company you can contact to file a third-party claim. If you lack uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll need to subrogate the claim with the other driver directly to recover your lost funds.

Underinsured Drivers

Underinsured drivers are people who don’t have enough insurance to cover your damages. Either their liability limits are too low to cover your bills, or they’re less than your underinsured motorist coverage. If that’s the case, you would use your underinsured motorist coverage to pay for the gap between their limits and your bills. However, if you lack underinsured motorist coverage, you’ll have to file a claim with the third-party driver.


In our uninsured drivers research, we found that there were 29 million uninsured, licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2019.45

Suing the Other Driver

If your third-party claim was denied, you can sue the other driver if you meet the monetary or serious injury threshold in your state.

State Monetary threshold Serious injury threshold
Florida None Permanent injury

Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement

Hawaii PIP benefit amount Significant and permanent loss of use of a bodily function or body part

Permanent and serious disfigurement resulting in emotional or mental distress

Kansas PIP benefit amount Permanent disfigurement

Fracture of weight-bearing compound or bone

Comminuted, displaced, or compressed fracture of any bone

Permanent injury

Permanent loss of a bodily function

Kentucky $1,000 Permanent disfigurement

Fracture of weight-bearing compound or bone

Comminuted, displaced, or compressed fracture of any bone

Permanent injury

Permanent loss of a bodily function

Massachusetts $2,000 Permanent and serious disfigurement

Fractured bone

Substantial loss of sight or hearing

Michigan None Serious impairment of a bodily function

Serious and permanent disfigurement

Minnesota $4,000 60 days of disability

Permanent injury

Permanent disfigurement

New Jersey None Dismemberment

Significant scarring or disfigurement

Loss of a fetus

Displaced fractures

Permanent injury other than disfigurement or scarring

New York None Bone fracture

Significant disfigurement

Permanent limitation of use of a body member or organ

Significant limitation of a bodily system or function

Substantially full disability for 90 days

North Dakota $2,500 Permanent and serious disability

Disfigurement of at least 60 days

Pennsylvania None Serious injury
Utah $3,000 Permanent disfigurement

Permanent disability

Bone fracture

Washington, D.C. PIP benefit amount Substantial permanent disfigurement or scarring

Substantial permanent impairment

Substantially total impairment lasting 6 months

Note that the states not listed do not have thresholds for property damage/personal injury lawsuits. If you meet your state’s threshold or there is no threshold, find a lawyer using websites such as these:


What to Do at the Scene of the Accident

If you are involved in an accident, follow these steps to keep everyone safe and collect the information you’ll need in your claim:

  1. Pull over to a safe spot and make sure everyone is OK.
  2. If anyone is injured, call 911.
  3. Although you don’t necessarily need a police report for a claim, file a police report if your state requires it. See below for your state’s accident reporting requirements.
State When you’re required to file a police report How long do you have to file a police report? What happens if you don’t file a police report when you’re legally required to?
Alabama Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 due to an uninsured motorist 30 days Class A misdemeanor (up to $1,000 fine) for accidents resulting in property damages, Class C felony ($2,500-$6,000 fine) for accidents resulting in death or injury
Alaska Death, injury, or property damage worth over $2,000 10 days License suspension for up to 30 days; fine up to $200, imprisonment up to 90 days, or both
Arizona No state law requiring the driver involved in an accident to file a police report N/A N/A
Arkansas Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Right away (death or injury) or 30 days (property damage) License suspension
California Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 10 days 90 days to 4 years in prison and/or $1,000-$10,000 fine, based on severity of accident
Colorado Death, injury, or any property damage 10 days 10-90 days in jail, $150-$300 fine, or both
Connecticut Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 5 days $75-$600 fine, imprisonment up to 1 year, or both; for subsequent offenses, $100-$1,000 fine, imprisonment up to 1 year, or both
Delaware Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 Immediately $25-$75 fine; for subsequent offenses, $57.50-$95 fine
Washington D.C. N/A N/A N/A
Florida Death or injury, property damage worth over $500 As soon as possible $30 fine
Georgia Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 Immediately 3 points on driving record
Hawaii Death, injury, or property damage worth over $3,000 Immediately $100 fine
Idaho Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500 Immediately Fines or license suspension
Illinois Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500, or $500 if any vehicle is uninsured 10 days License suspension
Indiana Death, injury, or property damage worth over $750 Immediately License and vehicle registration suspension
Iowa Death, injury, or damage of $1,500 or more, unless police already investigated the accident 3 days License suspension
Kansas Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500 Immediately License suspension, fine up to $500
Kentucky Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 10 days $20-$100 fine
Louisiana N/A N/A N/A
Maine Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Immediately Imprisonment for 6 months and $1,000 fine
Maryland Death or injury 15 days 5 points and $140 fine
Massachusetts Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 5 days License suspension
Michigan Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Immediately Imprisonment up to 90 days, fine up to $100, or both
Minnesota Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 10 days License suspension
Mississippi Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 10 days License suspension
Missouri Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 5 days License suspension, fine, or possible misdemeanor charge
Montana Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Immediately Misdemeanor ($200-$300 fine or imprisonment for 20 days)
Nebraska Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 10 days Class V misdemeanor (maximum fine of $100)
Nevada All crashes Immediately Driving privileges suspension for up to 1 year
New Hampshire Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 5 days Not required if the police file a report. If not, operators will be given a felony if the accident caused death or injury, and a misdemeanor if there was only property damage.
New Jersey Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 Immediately License suspension, $30-$100 fine
New Mexico Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 Immediately License suspension
New York Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500 10 days Fine up to $250, 15 days of imprisonment, or both
North Carolina Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Immediately Up to $100 fine
North Dakota Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 (no report required for property damage only with an undomesticated animal) Immediately License suspension
Ohio All crashes Immediately Up to $150 fine
Oklahoma Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 Immediately (death or injury) or 6 months (property damage) License suspension
Oregon Injury or death (involved driver must call 911)

More than $2,500 in damage to driver’s vehicle

More than $2,500 in damage to any vehicle

Any vehicle towed from the scene

More than $2,500 of any property damage (not including a vehicle)

72 hours Up to $300 fine
Pennsylvania Death, injury, or disabled vehicle 5 days Driving privileges suspension
Rhode Island Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 21 days Up to $500 fine
South Carolina Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 15 days $100-$5,000 fine, 1 year of imprisonment, or both
South Dakota Death, injury, property damage worth over $1,000 to 1 person’s property, or $2,000 of total property damage Immediately Class 2 misdemeanor (up to 30 days of imprisonment, $500 fine, or both)
Tennessee Death, injury, or property damage worth over $50 Immediately (death, injury, or $50-$400 of property damage) or 20 days (death, injury, or property damage worth over $400) License and registration suspension
Texas Death, injury, or property damage of worth over $1,000 Immediately (death or injury) or 10 days (property damage) License suspension
Utah Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 10 days License suspension
Vermont Death, injury, or property damage worth over $3,000 3 days Fine
Virginia Death or injury Immediately Up to $250 fine
Washington Death, injury, or property damage worth over $700 4 days License suspension
West Virginia Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Immediately License suspension
Wisconsin Death, injury, property damage worth over $1,000, or government property damage of $200 or more Immediately (by quickest means of communication) $40-$200 fine
Wyoming Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 Immediately $200 fine
  1. Take pictures of the damage.
  2. Get the names, phone numbers, vehicle, and insurance information of everyone involved.
  3. Get a copy of the police report and write down the officers’ badge numbers and names.
  4. If the police are unable to come to the scene, file an accident report.

Car Insurance Terms You Should Know

If you have to file a third-party claim, familiarize yourself with the following car insurance definitions:

  • Liability car insurance coverage: Liability coverage includes bodily injury and property damage for coverage for accidents you caused. It applies to the other party who is not or less at fault.
  • Collision coverage: If you get into an at-fault collision, collision coverage will pay for damages to your car. However, no state requires collision or compensation coverage options; you can save money by dropping these coverages on an old car.
  • No-fault: In no-fault states, each party pays for its own injuries and deaths, while the at-fault party pays for property damages only.
  • Personal injury protection: PIP is a requirement in no-fault states. Regardless of fault, each party will cover their own medical costs, lost wages, and child care costs under PIP.


No matter what side of the third-party liability claim you find yourself on, the best way to avoid dealing with third-party claims altogether is to drive defensively. Avoid distracted driving like texting and driving and focus on the road. While it’s impossible to prevent all car accidents, remaining alert can greatly diminish your chances of being hit or hitting another car.

If you’re shopping for new insurance products and services, compare car insurance quotes and see if you can get a multi-policy discount by combining car insurance with home insurance or renters insurance. Your driving history will affect the cost of your insurance, as will any driver discount you are eligible for.


Read more about third-party claims below.

Will a third-party claim affect my insurance?

Yes, a third-party claim will affect your insurance. If the accident was your fault, your rates will go up. However, if the accident wasn’t your fault and your insurance company successfully files a third-party claim, your car insurance rates won’t go up.

How does a third-party insurance claim work?

A third-party insurance claim works by your insurance provider filing a claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver in an accident. If the claim is successful, the other insurance provider will cover your injury and property damage costs in at-fault states, or your property damages alone in no-fault states.

How do you handle a third-party claim?

Here’s how to handle a third-party claim:

  1. Collect all information relevant to your claim, like the date, time, weather, and location of the accident, the insurance, vehicle, and contact information of everyone involved, pictures of the damages, and a copy of the police report to give to your insurance provider.
  2. File a third-party claim.
  3. Get repair estimates.
  4. Have your car inspected by the third party.
  5. Wait for the adjusters to determine your settlement, if any.

What if someone claims you hit their car?

If someone claims you hit their car, here’s what you should do:

  1. Alert your insurance company immediately.
  2. Ask for a copy of the police report.
  3. Have your insurance company investigate by interviewing witnesses and checking surveillance camera footage.
  4. Read your state’s Vehicle Code and see if you violated any laws.
  5. Get your insurance company to provide you with a lawyer to defend you against fraudulent claims.


  1. Car Accidents: Statutes of Limitations. Enjuris. (2022).

  2. Filing a Third-Party Claim for Car Accident Vehicle Damage. NOLO. (2022).

  3. Filing a Claim with Another Driver’s Insurance Company. Illinois Department of Insurance. (2022).

  4. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).

  5. Highway Statistics 2019. U.S. Department of Transportation -Federal Highway Administration.(2019).