The Freeport City Council on Monday discussed a potential ordinance change that would allow the Fire Department to bill insurance companies for auto accidents.
If approved, the Fire Department would start billing the responsible driver’s insurance company $500 for every accident that firefighters are dispatched to and $1,400 if the driver is extricated from the vehicle. The insurance company would also be charged $675 for a vehicle fire.
The Fire Department does not respond to minor accidents, such as fender benders, Fire Chief Todd Allen said.
Allen said the ordinance change would generate a conservative estimate of about $60,000 per year in revenue, after Andres Medical Billing, the company that would handle the billing process, takes its 20 percent commission. Andres currently handles the billing on similar accident fees for 104 fire departments in Illinois.
Funds the Fire Department raise through fees go into a capital improvement fund.