What Is Stacked Auto Insurance and When Is It the Right Choice?
Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2016.
Auto insurance is one of the most important protections that you can purchase. It is also legally required for all motorists. Unfortunately, there are drivers on the road who don’t comply with the law and don’t purchase auto insurance, or don’t purchase enough coverage. You can use Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM and UIM) coverage as part of your auto policy to protect yourself in case you’re involved in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have proper coverage. Additionally, “stacking” your insurance can provide even more protection. Read on to learn more about stacked auto insurance and some of its benefits.
How Does Stacked Insurance Work?
When you stack auto insurance, you combine the coverage limits for several different policies, increasing your UM and UIM coverage. You use these types of coverage to take care of medical and property damage expenses when you’re involved in an accident where the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient liability coverage.
Not every state allows stacked auto insurance, but Alabama is one of 30 that does. State law permits motorists to combine policies on up to three different vehicles. You can stack insurance in one of two ways: within one policy or across policies. You can stack insurance within one policy if you have more than one vehicle covered by the same policy, by combining the UM or UIM coverage for each vehicle to double or triple the coverage limits. You can also stack across policies if you have different auto insurance policies on two different vehicles, and they both have UM or UIM protection. As long as both policies are in your name, you can stack the coverage on one vehicle to double your coverage in the event of an accident.
What Are the Benefits of Stacked Insurance?
Without stacked insurance, it’s possible that the limits of your UM or UIM coverage might not cover all your medical or property damage expenses in the event of an accident. Stacking your auto insurance increases your limits so you can reap greater benefits if you’re injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. For example, if you have a policy with $25,000 in UIM coverage and your policy covers two cars, you can stack UM coverage within the policy to have coverage of up to $50,000 on a single vehicle in case of an accident.
What Are the Drawbacks to Stacked Insurance?
The biggest drawback to stacked auto insurance is that it’s likely to cost more. You’re getting added protection, so your insurance company is likely to charge a higher premium for UM and UIM coverage.
Insurance companies themselves tend not to like stacked auto insurance very much, complaining that it requires them to raise insurance rates on UM and UIM coverage in states that allow stacking. In fact, the idea of stacking originated not with the insurance companies, but from judgements in lawsuits and legislation that found stacking to be in keeping with the intent of UM and UIM protections in individual policies.
So Should I Stack My Insurance or Not?
The decision whether or not to stack your auto insurance generally comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you’re concerned about being involved in a hit-and-run or the prevalence of uninsured drivers on the roads, it may make sense to stack your insurance and give yourself this peace of mind. This is especially true if your UM and UIM coverage limits are relatively low. If your existing insurance policy already has adequate protection, the higher premium you’ll likely pay for stacked insurance may not be worth it for you.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are battling with an insurance claim denial, our experienced accident lawyers can takeover the process for you. Contact The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation to review your individual case.