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Ironicaly, I realised our coverage was too low and increased it about 4 hours earlier. It takes 24 hours to go into effect... So this is what we had on the car at the time of the accident


First of all, it's unusual for a coverage change to go into effect the day following a request in personal auto insurance. Usually it's bound immediately, with the date and time noted on the request form, at least with all of the 10 or so auto insurers with which we have contracts in Illinois and Missouri - TX seems to be a somewhat unusual State though and I've noticed a lot of Lloyds carriers there - so 12:01 following date of postmark on changes could be possible. Do you have a copy of the request form (you should) and are you sure that the coverage increase wasn't immediately effective at the date and time of the request? Though many policies that we sell show effective date as 12:01 AM on the day following, the companies do that so as not to backdate/time coverage on the policy declaration page, but they actually honor the actual time and date requested.

Secondly, laws affecting legal liability in an auto accident vary from State to State. Illinois use to have a contributory negligence law in which (technically) if you could prove the other party contributed to the accident happening he couldn't successfully sue you. Illinois now has a comparative negligence law in which you have to prove what party is what percentage at fault and only the one who is minority at fault can collect, but he only can collect the percentage of his damages that the majority at fault driver is found negligent - It can take years to weed through the complexities. I don't know what kind of law TX has in effect, but be very careful what you say. Avoid words like: I was wrong, at fault, etc and I didn't see the car, etc.

Thirdly, you're usually judged by a "jury of your peers" and most lawyers rarely waste a whole lot of their time trying to go after more than policy limits, unless they can see something that is fat and juicy to go for and a good chance of getting it. In every instance over the last several decades that I've sold car insurance and seen an exposure of one's personal assets over policy limits, the insurer has advised the insured of the exposure, in writing.

As for the medical claims, I wouldn't lie on the forms you file - Doing so is called insurance fraud and can land a whole bunch of problems. PIP is common in "no-fault law" States - may be a holdover in TX - Dunno. If it is statutory coverage, your health insurer will know that and look for that. The purpose of asking whether or not there is "other collectible insurance" is to avoid your "making a profit" on your medical bills... But, they should end up at least being substantially paid, or in full. Some auto medical coverage pays in addition and regardless of other collectible insurance with that type of policy it is indeed possible to "make a profit" on your medical bills. In an accident in which I was once involved I collected both under my auto insurance Medical Payments coverage and my regular individual Major Medical Insurance (and made a (small) "profit"). If I had carried auto Medical Expense Reimbursement on my auto insurance, that would have only supplemented what my Major Medical policy didn't pay - But my total expenses still would have ended up being paid in full. It depends on how the coverage is written. My Major Medical company and my Auto Insurance company both knew I had both coverages. My auto insurer had subrogation rights (the right to collect from the responsible party) on the amounts they expended on my medical bills - My Major Medical insurer did not.

HTH,

Bob (Didn't proof read - please forgive... gotta get to work.)
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