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  • Billing Insurance Companies for Car Wrecks?

    Does anyone bill insurance companies for responses to car wrecks? I
    am not referring to EMS billing for EMS service and transport.
    I am referring to a fire department sending a bill for responding to a car wreck to the insurance company of the party determined to be at fault by law enforcement.
    A member of our department has brought this up as a suggestion for us to look into and I was wondering how common it was, if at all.
    I have no direct knowledge of any departments who do this.
    Can anyone offer any insight?
    Anyone on a department that does bill?
    Can anyone refer me to a department that bills?
    Thanks and stay safe!

  • #2
    Chief,

    If you do a search "MVA billing" a number of threads pop up that discuss insurance billing, along with departments that do it, which may be of help.
    Last edited by onebugle; 07-24-2006, 04:10 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ChiefSquirrel
      Does anyone bill insurance companies for responses to car wrecks? I
      am not referring to EMS billing for EMS service and transport.
      I am referring to a fire department sending a bill for responding to a car wreck to the insurance company of the party determined to be at fault by law enforcement.
      A member of our department has brought this up as a suggestion for us to look into and I was wondering how common it was, if at all.
      I have no direct knowledge of any departments who do this.
      Can anyone offer any insight?
      Anyone on a department that does bill?
      Can anyone refer me to a department that bills?
      Thanks and stay safe!
      Bill the vehicle owner.
      It is their responsibility to turn it into the insurance company.
      We have been doing it for years.
      90% success rate.
      It is a great source for additional income.
      CR
      Visit www.iacoj.com
      Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
      RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChiefReason
        Bill the vehicle owner.
        It is their responsibility to turn it into the insurance company.
        We have been doing it for years.
        90% success rate.
        It is a great source for additional income.
        CR
        Chief this billing question has been kicked around for our department. We are a district. If the vehicle owner lives within the taxing district can you bill him/her for services? Has this ever been questioned?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by enginehouse2
          Chief this billing question has been kicked around for our department. We are a district. If the vehicle owner lives within the taxing district can you bill him/her for services? Has this ever been questioned?
          We are a district also.
          No; we do not charge for in district users. Technically, they pay fire tax, so we do not charge them. Only out-of-district users.
          However; be careful when charging residents of neighboring departments that you have mutual aid agreements with.
          That all changes if we have a DUI who wrecks. Then, we can notify the states attorney that we intend to assess the "special" fee granted us under Illinois law. It is currently $500 and it must be paid by the drunk driver through the states attorney, so you are guaranteed the money.
          Illinois is currently looking to raise that to $1000, I believe.
          Since we started billing for non-residents, our fire department has taken in several thousand dollars. The state allows us to charge $35 per hour per man and $125 per hour per apparatus. Use your head and be fair. Tell the user to turn over the bill to their insurance ASAP. When they don't pay, we turn it over to our attorney who has a very good collection rate.
          It's never personal; it's strictly business.
          CR
          Visit www.iacoj.com
          Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
          RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

          Comment


          • #6
            insurance billing

            being an insurance adjuster a lot of policies will not cover this. I have seen bills for responses, flares, absorbant and man hours. Most of this is not considered property damage or a bodily injury. Absorbant and haz mat supplies may be covered.

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            • #7
              Someone has to pay for the tools.

              The local rescue squad gets $1000.00 every time they use there tools. Most insurance companys pay. They make a killing. We have tools here in town, but they jump most the calls. Were not mad. We may only use the tools once a month. They do it two or three times a week. Just think thats a little to much $$$$$.


              www.pineblufffire.com

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              • #8
                Each state is different- are you sure that is how much they are getting versus how much they bill??

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                • #9
                  The Georgetown KY fire dept proposed that idea earlier this year, and it was overwhelmingly disapproved by most of the city council and the local media and citizens. You may find some archived articles by searching the local newspaper's website: www.georgetownnews.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LFD2203
                    The Georgetown KY fire dept proposed that idea earlier this year, and it was overwhelmingly disapproved by most of the city council and the local media and citizens. You may find some archived articles by searching the local newspaper's website: www.georgetownnews.com
                    Then apparently the Georgetown KY Fire Dept. is flush with cash.
                    Billing can make the difference between red ink vs. black ink for many small departments.
                    When done properly, non-residents will pay it and STILL thank you.
                    We are not in it to make money. We do it to survive.
                    CR
                    Visit www.iacoj.com
                    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We charge everyone for MVA's(unless they are from our town), malicious fire calls, repeated false alarms(to the point where they are simply becoming way to much), anything where extreme stupidity is involved. We dont charge anyone from our town unless they like set their house on fire, or intentionally crash or something. We make a decent amount of money off it but it actaully goes into the town and they get to decide who gets it. We have priority but the highway dept could tap into it if they suddenly needed a chunk of cash. Calls like accidents with HAZMAT can yield huge amounts of money.

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                      • #12
                        Years ago, Harris County Hospital District (Houston, TX) hired some Houston FD employees to be 'reimbusement specialists' at their largest County Hospital, Ben Taub. I am fuzzy on details, but I know that if there was an MVA pt that came in, the 'reimbusement specialist' would gather the insurance (medical and vehicle) information and work on getting the cash for HFD AND the Hospital District.

                        Not sure if it is still going on, but I reckon they found some lost funds.
                        Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

                        "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ChiefReason
                          Then apparently the Georgetown KY Fire Dept. is flush with cash.
                          Billing can make the difference between red ink vs. black ink for many small departments.
                          When done properly, non-residents will pay it and STILL thank you.
                          We are not in it to make money. We do it to survive.
                          CR
                          The first estimate, and I'm not sure of what it was based on, involved using a collection agency to do the billing. The "net" was guesstimated to be $20K to $30K per year. The city didn't feel it was worth the political capital they would lose if car insurance rates for people living in/near the city went up as a result of the practice.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LFD2203
                            The first estimate, and I'm not sure of what it was based on, involved using a collection agency to do the billing. The "net" was guesstimated to be $20K to $30K per year. The city didn't feel it was worth the political capital they would lose if car insurance rates for people living in/near the city went up as a result of the practice.
                            We don't use a collection agency. We do it ourselves. The lawyer will send one letter as a freebie to us, but any further effort on his part will cost us 20% of the funds recovered.
                            Does your city council actually believe that an MVA in your city will raise the rates on everyone else?
                            If that's the case, I hope that don't have any fires!
                            CR
                            Visit www.iacoj.com
                            Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                            RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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                            • #15
                              Around here, we generally will bill for service performed on a State or Federal Highway, but not on a local or county road. The prevailing thought is the local taxpayers and towns are already paying for protection on the roads through thier taxes, but the local people/govt. do not pay for the upkeep of federal and state highways, and conversely get no $$$$ for protection on those roads so they are billed.

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