Homeowner wants us to file a claim with our health insurance first?

by Amanda
(Carriere, MS)

My husband was working on a friend's car at the friend's house and got his finger caught in the engine. My husband went to the hospital and had emergency surgery. Our "friend" wants to wait until our health insurance is done processing the claims and then submit a claim to his homeowners insurance for our out of pocket expenses.

Is this right? Will this make things worse on us in the long run? What should we do? Thank you for any perspective you can give on this situation.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Homeowner wants us to file a claim with our health insurance first?":

Amanda (Carriere, MS):

While your husband’s friend should file a homeowners claim, it appears he doesn't want to...at least not at this point. Your husband doesn't have to wait. He can simply ask his friend for his homeowner's insurance company's contact information. Once he has that information, your husband can file an injury claim himself.

There is no legal requirement under which your husband must first exhaust his own medical insurance. However, if your husband's insurance paid his medical bills promptly, it may have been a good idea to use that medical insurance while waiting for the homeowners insurance company to investigate the claim and compensate your husband for the injury and it's resulting medical bills.

Doing so does not constitute a bar to your husband’s filing the homeowners claim promptly as well. In the event your husband's friend refuses to give you his homeowners insurance information, your husband has a right to sue him. Hopefully, that won't be necessary.

There is a caveat... If your husband does file a homeowners claim under his friend’s policy and your husband wins a settlement, your husband's medical insurance may want to exercise their "subrogation" rights under your husband’s medical insurance policy.

To subrogate means your husband's medical insurance company has a right to be reimbursed for the money they paid for your husband's’ medical bills and related expenses.

This means your husband's medical insurance company can either seek reimbursement for those monies from your husband's friend, or seek reimbursement from your husband if he receives those monies first. It's important for your husband to read the fine print in his medical insurance contract.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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