Sometimes road accidents happen and you’re not the one at fault. Regardless, the damage has been done, and it needs to be paid for.
If the other person is at fault, naturally their liability coverage will cover for your medical and car damage. But what if they don’t have insurance? Or what if it was a hit-and-run case and you’re the one badly affected by it. What about such expenses?
Well, not everything needs to be paid out of your pocket. Uninsured motorist coverage helps you if that’s the case.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Just an add-on feature to your existing auto insurance policy, uninsured motorist coverage pays for the damages you bear if the other driver is uninsured and is at fault. Even though the amount is only a little bit to add to the policy, it could be beneficial in unforeseen circumstances.
Every US driver must have auto insurance because it is illegal to drive even a yard without insurance. Still, some people don’t have a valid auto insurance policy. So there is a chance that you encounter an uninsured driver in an accident.
The uninsured motorist coverage will cover your medical expenses as well as the damage is done to your car, and this could ease down on your financial burden.
What is Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Stacked uninsured motorist coverage is an option that lets you increase your motorist coverage or ‘stack’ up uninsured and underinsured coverage to have a greater total.
Underinsured motorist coverage is when you’re in an accident with an insured driver who is also at fault. Still, his insurance capacity isn’t enough to cover for all of your expenses. That is when stacking helps you!
Stacking within one policy
If your insurance company allows you to stack the coverage amount of two cars under one policy, it could be an excellent option for you. For instance, you have an uninsured motorist coverage of $400,000 on each vehicle, if you get into an accident, you could double or ‘stack’ it up to a total coverage amount of $800,000.
Stacking on multiple policies
If you have two different policies for two other cars, you can add both coverages amounts to have a fair lump sum amount of total coverage.
If in one policy you have $20,000 coverage and $30,000 coverage in the other policy, the insurance company could pay a collision with an uninsured driver of $50,000 which could save you a lot of money.
States that allow Insurance Stacking
It is important to note that all states might not allow insurance stacking, and even if they do, your insurance company might not.
According to American Property Casualty Insurance Association, here are the state laws about insurance stacking.
|State||Stacking with multiple policies?||Stacking within one policy?|
|Alabama||Yes. If there are separate policies, there is no stacking limitation.||Yes, up to three vehicles.|
|Arkansas||Yes, unless policy unambiguously disallows.||Yes, unless policy unambiguously disallows.|
|Colorado||Yes||Yes; however, anti-stacking provisions are allowed. A single policy or endorsement for UM or UIM coverage issued for a single premium covering multiple vehicles may be limited to applying once per accident.|
|Delaware||Yes||No; however, when two or more vehicles are insured under one policy, the limits of liability apply separately to each vehicle, but the recovery must not exceed the highest limit of liability under any one vehicle.|
|District of Columbia||No, so long as policy language is clear.||No, so long as policy language is clear.|
|Florida||Yes, unless waived in writing on state-approved form.||Yes, unless waived in writing on state-approved form.|
|Hawaii||No||Yes; insurers must offer insured options to purchase stacking; stacking of fleet vehicles not allowed.|
|Idaho||No, if policy language clearly and unambiguously prohibits stacking.||No, if policy language clearly and unambiguously prohibits stacking.|
|Illinois||No. Anti-stacking clause is enforceable if unambiguous and not in violation of public policy.||No, when anti-stacking provision is clear and unambiguous.|
|Indiana||No, unless policy language is ambiguous.||Yes, if a separate and specific premium is charged for UM coverage and policy is ambiguous. If policy language is clear and unambiguous, the stacking of coverages under a single policy is not permitted.|
|Iowa||No; however, if more than one policy or coverage applies to an accident, insured may choose to apply coverage with the highest limits.||No, if policy language is clear.|
|Kentucky||Yes, if a separate premium is charged for each vehicle.||Yes, if a single premium is paid.|
|Maine||No, unless anti-stacking language is ambiguous.||No, unless anti-stacking language is ambiguous.|
|Maryland||No||No, if policy language is clear and unambiguous.|
|New Hampshire||Yes, whenever policy terms are ambiguous.||Yes, unless policy prohibits stacking through clear and unambiguous policy language.|
|New Mexico||Yes, but injured people not in the policyholder’s household may not stack.||Yes; however, a policy containing anti-stacking language must be “truly unambiguous” and specify a single premium for single coverage.|
|Ohio||Yes; unless clearly excluded by policy.||Yes; unless clearly excluded by policy.|
|Oklahoma||Yes, unless policy contained a clause excluding multiple recoveries and only one premium for UM coverage was paid.||No, if policy language is clear.|
|Oregon||Yes; anti-stacking clauses are unenforceable.||No|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||Yes, but only members of the policyholder’s household can stack.|
|Rhode Island||Yes, if insured pays separate premiums.||Yes, if insured pays separate premiums.|
|South Carolina||Yes, limited stacking is permitted.||Yes, unless policy includes an anti-stacking clause.|
|Utah||Yes for UM; no for UIM||No|
|Vermont||Yes, where the insured has paid separate premiums.||Yes; unless policy clearly and unambiguously precludes stacking.|
|Virginia||Yes; unless policy contains clear and unambiguous language prohibiting stacking.||No; if an anti-stacking language is clear.|
|Washington||No, if anti-stacking language is clear.||No|
|West Virginia||Yes||Yes, but anti-stacking provisions allowed.|
|Wisconsin||Yes, but anti-stacking language is permitted.||Yes, but anti-stacking language is permitted.|
|Wyoming||Yes||No; so long as anti-stacking language is clear.|
What is the rejection of Stacked Uninsured Coverage Limits?
In simple words, the rejection of stacked uninsured coverage limits is the insurance company rejecting the claim of you adding two coverages for one reason. This would mean that each range will be treated and claimed separately.
How much Uninsured Motorist Coverage do I need?
For the states that have uninsured motorist coverage, the minimum amount is $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 per accident. But according to each person, they can choose how much coverage they want from the policy.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage options are simply add-ons to your existing auto insurance policy, to stay ahead of the chance of you being hit by an uninsured driver. In this scenario, insurance companies pay the uninsured person’s damages they caused you when they were at fault.
Stacking these insurance policies means to add both uninsured and underinsured coverages to have a more significant amount paid for the damage and medical bills. Some states might not legally allow it, but some may. So it is always better to keep searching for state laws and what they say about stacking uninsured motorist coverage. And if one insurance company rejects the option of stacking, you can always look for another company.