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  Collection fee companies:  Much to gain—everyone else loses
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Cresson (PA) Chief John Briel has a less than 10 percent return, and… Richland sees an insurance-company return of about 10 percent, said Jason Ober, fire company business manager and assistant chief.
—The Tribune-Democrat, November 20, 2006
Other fee-related questions

I live in a city that bills for fire and/or police accident services.  But only nonresidents are being billed.  Why should residents care?

A.  Residents should care.  Many nonresidents work in communities that charge an income tax.  So, nonresidents working in your community may be a revenue resource for your city if they are paying an income tax.  If their insurers are asked to subsidize resident-funded city services, you actually may end up paying for police and fire protection twice…through taxes and through your insurance.



If more than one car is involved in a crash, who gets billed?

A.  There is no one answer. In some cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company gets billed.  However, this is not always the case.  It’s been reported that multiple drivers have been billed, with invoices going to the same insurance company for different amounts!   In some cases, there may not be clear liability on who caused the crash.  In this situation the billing process can vary by jurisdiction.  Another result could be that all insured drivers (or all insured nonresident drivers) involved in the crash could be billed.  



I understand that collection companies are only billing drivers who have insurance.  Why don’t uninsured drivers have to pay?

A.  Billing companies and city officials may not welcome the possible citizen backlash that could result if residents find out that all citizens are not being treated equally.  These fees are being billed to your insurance company, which have been targeted as the payment source.  So if the driver doesn't have insurance, there’s no source for payment.  In reality, responsible insured drivers end up subsidizing irresponsible uninsured drivers involved in crashes in your community.  

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