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My son was bitten by a dog at our friend’s house. My insurance, BC/BS, will not pay for the injury to be treated claiming that our friend’s ‘Homeowners” insurance should pay for it. However our friend’s are renters and have NO insurance, and NO money. Am I going to have to pay for this myself out of pocket? I feel like my insuance company has abaondend me and my son. If my son was to get injured at my house (which has happened before) BC/BS would and has paid for it and not claimed that my homeowners insurance should pay for it. Any ideas on how to proceed? Suing our friends who have no money will only cost me money and result in getting zero from them.

7 Thoughts on Should my insurance, BlueCross/BlueShield pay for a dog bite injury which happened at someone elses house?
  1. Reply
    mbrcatz17
    July 26, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Well, yes, and then THEY can sue your friend for reimbursement.

    Your friend should have had RENTERS insurance, to cover the bite. If your insurance pays for the bite, then they WILL sue your friend – so without insurance, your friend will have to pay for this, or have his wages garnished forever until they get reimbursed. That subrogation clause IS their right, and it’s in the health insurance policy.

    It’s HIGHLY unusual for an insurance company to say they won’t pay. Have you told them he has no insurance? I’d tell them that, AND ask them to put the DECLINATION IN WRITING, so you can submit it to your state insurance commissioner for review.

    That ought to light a fire under their rumps. And as soon as you have it in writing, submit it – but I don’t think you’ll have to, because I think they’ll pay when you tell them that.

  2. Reply
    Alan
    July 26, 2012 at 7:00 am

    There area few questions to ask here. First, how much are the medical bills and what is the deductible of your health insurance policy? I’m betting, if this is a routine dog bite, you may not exceed your policy deductible.

    But, assuming you exceed your policy deductible, you would typically expect your health insurance to cover the expense; HOWEVER, you may have some clauses in your policy which limit certain types of coverage (I can’t imagine you would in this situation, but you might).

    Either way, the issue at hand comes back to the dog. The dog is the property of the owner, and the owner’s dog bit you. As previously stated, the owner of the dog is responsible for maintaining their animals. If their dog bit your son, it would be their liability insurance that would cover the issue. Even if your health insurance pays it, they will subrogate, or come back after, the owner of the dog.

  3. Reply
    AD
    July 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Usually the health insurance sends you a form asking questions about the loss and if there is insurance.

    Keep an eye out for this form. Once you get it – fill it out completely and sign it. It will have a place on it for you to list any applicable insurance company. Be sure to put on their that there is no renters/homeowners insurance.

    It may take a few weeks for BCBS to send you the form. If you have not gotten it yet – call customer service and ask about it.

  4. Reply
    Yo' Mama
    July 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I am not aware of any health insurance company refusing to pay for a legitimate injury just because there is liability on someone else. Normally, they’ll pay the claim according to their policy provisions and then subrogate the at-fault party. I suggest you contact your insurance company and tell them that the responsible party has no insurance and you need to file your claim directly with your own health policy. If they refuse, then I suggest contacting your state insurance commissioner and filing a complaint. That will force someone in authority above the person you have spoken to to get involved and respond.

  5. Reply
    AZBlue
    July 26, 2012 at 9:27 am

    The owner of the house that your friend is renting from will have insurance, and it is that company that Blue Cross will go after through subrogation, I would think, after they have paid your claim. Agreeing with everyone else here, I’ve never heard of a claim being rejected in this situation. Something just doesn’t add up, and I’d sure want it in writing from Blue Cross the declination, and reason why.

  6. Reply
    PFS rep
    July 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I’m surprised noone else has mentioned it yet. I would be that the HOMEOWNER would have liability insurance for what occurs at HIS/HER property. It should cover your expenses.

    There may be ramifications for the renter not having renters insurance, but that is not your concern.

    If the amount is not that much, make an agreement with your friends to take care of reimbursing the amount over time.

  7. Reply
    adrianamedina25
    July 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Yes that is correct. Your health insurance will deny stating their homeowners insurance should pay for it. Does the owner of the house your friends are renting have Insurance? He should. Try filing a claim through the owners. It may or may not cause your friends to get evicted from the home, but you have to decide whether YOU want to pay for medical bills or the OWNER, who is ultimately responsible for their renters. If there owner is a good landlord, he or she should have known the renters have a dog and should have insisted they get renters insurance. Either way, the owner of the home is responsible for any injuries.

    You can try to appeal with your health insurance. Write them a letter explaining that there is no homeowners insurance to go after. Good luck!

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