July 21, 2017

What is a third party injury claim, regarding insurance?

Sometimes the insurance company says you have a “third party injury claim” and you need to fill out a bunch of forms you never heard of before. You get frustrated and you wonder if they are giving you the runaround. They are not. I handled third party injury claims for Farmers Insurance for eight years. For two of those years I arbitrated claims between other insurance companies for Arbitration Forums. Let me explain to you what a third party injury claim is, regarding insurance.

Definition of Third Party

Princeton’s WordNet verifies that a “third party” is someone other than the two parties who sign a contract.[1] A familiar situation where people are called parties is at a restaurant. The hostess asks you how many people are in your party. The two parties who sign a contract could be two people, two companies, two families or a combination of these.

Definitions of First Party and Second Party

Regarding insurance, the contract is the insurance policy. A third party to an insurance contract is someone other than the insurance company or its customer. You are probably the customer, the first party, in several contracts with different insurance companies such as car insurance, health insurance and homeowners insurance. Your insurance company is the second party to each of these contracts. The customer is always the first party and the insurance company is always the second party.

How You Become a Third Party Claimant

You become a third party claimant by filing a claim against someone else’s insurance policy. The owner of the insurance policy is the first party. The insurance company is the second party. You, the outside claimant, become a third party. Some common situations where you might file a “third party injury claim” against someone else’s insurance policy are: car accidents, “slip and falls” and dog bites. You might have a valid third party injury claim against someone who causes a car accident, someone who leaves hazards in their home or business which cause you to slip and fall, or someone whose dog bites you.

Third Party Insurance Is Also Called Liability Insurance

In this video, licensed insurance agent Ned Leutz explains who needs liability insurance to protect them against the claims of a third party.

Liable Third Party

You become a liable third party in an injury claim if you cause injury or sickness to someone else. Tricare, the U.S. military’s health insurance company which used to be named Champus, sends a “third party liability form” to military personnel who appear to have been injured or sickened by civilians. Tricare hopes these civilians repay Tricare the cost for healing the injury they caused. In this case, you might be a third party if you caused injury to a Tricare customer. The Tricare claim form is linked at the bottom of this article. Have a look at it. It asks some revealing questions that might help you understand how injury claims work.[2]

Third Party Checks

Another common third party example is the third party check. In that case, the check is the contract, the writer of the check is the first party, the person the check is written to is the second party, and the person the check is endorsed to is a third party to the contract.


[1] Princeton’s WordNet entry on Third Party

[2] TriCare’s third party liability claim form

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Copyright©2010 Cherise Kelley


  1. […] of insurance it is. We adjusters have different requirements for health insurance claims than for third party bodily injury claims. These in turn differ from homeowner insurance claims, business insurance claims or car insurance […]

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