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Will raising my automobile liability insurance coverage be a good idea if I think someone is going to sue me?

Marlboro, NJ |

I got into a minor motor vehicle accident with a Postal Service worker (in a USPS truck) several months ago and she claimed to have injuries since she went to the hospital right after the accident. Because of a possibility of a lawsuit, should I raise my liability coverage now? In other words, if I had a $100K liability coverage at the time of accident and increase the coverage to $500K today, and the other party decides to sue me 2 months from now, will I be covered at $100K or $500K?

Attorney Answers 13


  1. Best answer

    Raising your limits after the fact is not going to help you; the same way that if you didn't have insurance at the time, and you got it after, it would not cover the incident. You will be covered only at limits that you had at the time of the collision.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not take action based upon this information without consulting legal counsel. This answer is not intended to create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship. PLEASE REMEMBER: All claims and legal matters have statutes of limitations and/or other important time periods that apply to them. This means that you must take action on all claims or legal matters within the required time period(s) or your claims could be barred by the statute of limitations or dismissed.


  2. $100,000.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  3. the coverage in effect on DOA controls. But it is never a bad idea to review you coverage limits, especially medical payments and un/iunderinsured motorist coverage to protect your self.

    I am licensed to practice law only in Illinois. Any advice that I render is for general information purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Also it is very important to keep in mind that all legal claims have statues of limitation to file that cannot be missed. A local attorney should be consulted to learn the time limits applicable to a particular claim.


  4. If you're concerned, you probably don't have enough coverage. Raising it won't help on this case but will protect you in the future.


  5. The date of the accident, not the date of the lawsuit is what matters. Increasing your insurance limits now will not have any impact on that accident, but it is probably a good idea in the future. If you have multiple vehicles or an umbrella policy there is the possibility that coverage could stack.

    This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. To get legal advice, consult an attorney in your local area or the area where the issue is located. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response is based on the limited facts provided, and without any independent investigation of the author. Given additional or different facts, the response would likely change. The attorney providing this response is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and you should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction if it is outside those jurisdictions.


  6. Your coverage depends on the coverage you had AT THE TIME of the subject incident. Raising or lowering your limits will not affect your coverage for a prior incident. Best of luck.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


  7. For future accidents, you can bump up your limits. Consider getting an umbrella policy.


  8. Unfortunately, it is the insurance coverage you had on the date of the accident that governs, not the date of the lawsuit. Increasing your insurance limits now will not have any impact your coverage for the accident which will be limited to the $100,000.00.

    This response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. For more information on our firm, visit our website: www.njpa-law.com.


  9. You should take a copy of the police report and contact your insurance carrier who can respond to these issues.

    View my website & give me a call for a FREE consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com www.KingofPersonalInjuryLaw.com I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  10. Most policies are from the date of the accident, however; some policies are when the claim is made. Check your policy to be certain. Good luck.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


  11. As the other attorneys wrote, you cannot retroactively increase your coverage for this accident.

    It is always a good idea to have enough insurance for any possibility to protect your assets and it's a good idea to review your "uninsured motorist" and "under-insured motorist" coverage which provides *you* with more coverage if you are injured in an accident with someone who took the minimal policy of insurance.

    Many people in this economy are selecting the minimal coverage of $15,000 and people with serious injuries are not being properly compensated.

    Also, to save money, some insurance carriers will offer you a policy where you have 100K in liablity coverage but only 25K or 50K in uninsured motorist or under-insured motorist coverage. You should be sure you are getting as much coverage as you're offering to others.

    The postal worker many only collect workers compensation benefits without ever making a claim against you for injuries, if the injuries were minor. But if they do elect to sue, they have two years to file a lawsuit, and it's more likely that it will happen 1-2 years from now than in 2 months. It can be very difficult to wait.

    I always suggest that once a person has been in an auto accident, it's a good time to take an online defensive driving course to feel safer on the road and to reduce your insurance rates.


  12. Unfortunately, increasing the amount of liability coverage you have now will not affect the amount of applicable coverage that was in place on the date of your accident. You should, however, check to see if you have any other potential sources of liability insurance coverage such as an umbrella policy or any other automobile insurance policies in which you are a named insured. Additionally, if you were in someone else's vehicle or doing something for someone else when the accident occurred, then their insurance policies may be a potential source for coverage.


  13. $100K. The date of the accident, not the date of the lawsuit is what matters. Increasing your insurance limits after the fact will not have any impact on the coverage limits for that accident.

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