2 Texas Auto Policies – One Accident

Here is a situaton where a Dallas resident had a wreck in Mesquite, but it could have been Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, or out in Weatherford. The injured persons had two insurance policies with the same insurance company.
This happened in a 1984 case, The Travelers Indemnity Company of Rhode Island, v. Lenny and Terri Lucas. Mr. Lucas was accompanied by his wife, Ms. Lucas, in an ambulance. A drunk driver ran head-on into the ambulance causing injuries to the Lucas’. They had two separate insurance policies with Travelers Indemnity, for Personal Injury Protection benefits and underinsured motorists benefits. Travelers paid the full amount under one policy to each of the Lucas’ but refused to pay under the second policy. The damages to the Lucas’ exceeded the limit of both the policies combined.
The ambulance also had underinsured benefits with a policy through Aetna. Travelers tried to limit what it had to pay by citing an “Other Insurance” clause within the Travelers policy.
The court ruled that an insurance company may not reduce its underinsured liability to an amount less than the policy limit by crediting itself an amount paid under another policy. The same ruling was made regarding payments made for Personal Injury Protection benefits.
A case decided in 2007, was essentially the same. The 2007 case was Kelley v. Progressive County Mutual Insurance Company.
Here, Kelley was injured by a motorist while riding her horse and her claim exceeded $1,000,000. She received the policy limit of $100,000 from the at fault driver and then received the limit of $500,000 under a policy issued to her by Progressive. However, on a policy issued to her father by Progressive, which also named her, Progressive refused to pay. Progressive asserted a policy provision that prohibited “stacking” the policies and argued that her recovery was limited to just one of the polices.
The court noted that the policies were separate policies, with separate policy numbers and separate vehicles listed. Just because Progressive issued both policies to members of the same family did not allow Progressive to prevent a “stacking” of these policies.
There are situations where an insurance company may not have to pay where there is duplicate coverage. When there is more than one policy that may cover a claim it is important to seek the advice of an Experienced Insurance Law Attorney to insure your rights are properly protected.