You may have heard the terms “stacked” and “unstacked” when reviewing your automobile insurance policy. But what exactly do these terms mean and how could they affect your coverage in the event of a claim?
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Stacked or unstacked coverage applies only to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. To protect ourselves in the event another individual’s insurance is insufficient to pay for damage they cause, we can purchase uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can pay for your bodily injuries suffered by an uninsured or underinsured driver. This coverage may be required or optional in your state. Additionally, some states also allow UM / UIM coverage to pay for property damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Stacking Car Insurance
There are two ways stacked car insurance can work.
First, you can purchase a single automobile insurance policy to insure multiple vehicles. The limit of UM / UIM for each vehicle insured can be added together in the event of a claim. For example, if you insured three vehicles under the same policy, each with $20,000 of UM / UIM, you could claim up to $60,000 of UM / UIM.
The second way to obtain stacked UM / UIM coverage is to have two or more automobiles insured on separate policies but under the same named insured. For example, you could insure one vehicle with $25,000 of UM / UIM and a second vehicle for $50,000 of UM / UIM. In the event of a claim, you would have $75,000 of UM / UIM coverage available to you.
Should You Purchase Stacked UM / UIM?
The only advantage to not purchasing a stacked UM / UIM policy is lower premiums. If your budget allows, most insurance professionals recommend stacking your limits if allowed in your state and by your insurance company.
Most of us think of uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage applying in an auto accident like we might see at an intersection. But UM / UIM coverage also responds in the event of a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault party is not determined.
Additionally, UM / UIM will also pay whether you or an immediate family member living in your household is struck as a pedestrian or bicyclist. This protects children who may wander into the road. If such an unimaginable accident occurred, you will want to have as much UM / UIM coverage possible through stacked coverage.
To learn more about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, please contact my office.