One of the questions we frequently hear sounds something like this:

I was hit by another driver and we both agree that he/she was the at-fault. We both have insurance.  Should I have my physical therapist/chiropractor bill his/her insurance company?

The answer to this question is No, not unless you have no other options. Usually, this question is motivated by the concern that your insurance rate will go up for making a no-fault claim. However, Washington State law prohibits the insurance company from raising your rates for making a claim for which you are not at fault. RCW 46.52.130(2)(e).

There are good reasons not to bill to a 3rd party’s insurer. First, your insurer has a legal duty of good-faith towards you because you have legal contract with your insurer. This means, your insurance company is legally obligated to pay medical bills and respond to your inquiries promptly. With a 3rd party insurer, there is no such duty. In fact, the goal of the 3rd party insurer is to minimize payment to your provider.

In addition, you would be opening the door to doctor/patient interference when bills are sent to the 3rd party insurance. A 3rd party insurance may contact your provider to say they will only pay such an amount for a procedure. If you have a nagging injury and required treatment over a longer duration, a 3rd party insurer may contact your provider to say your injury should have healed by now, and that it would not pay for any more treatment.

In short, generally it is not a good idea to submit bills to a 3rd party insurer. The only situation where you might consider approach is if you have no other way of paying for medical bills.

Why Not Have the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Pay?