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Q

Please explain stacked UM and stacked UIM coverage. Also advise as to what states allow stacked exposures on auto policies.


A

Stacking UM/UIM coverages means you are able to collect from more than one auto insurance policy to receive full payment for your injuries and property damage

There are about 20 states nationwide that allow stacking (see the list of states at the bottom). You have the option to choose uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury stacking option in states such as Florida. Typically this is the only type of automobile insurance coverage that can be stacked.

Stacking uninsured / underinsured motorist policies is an option that allows you to increase the limits you select for your UI/UIM bodily injury coverage. Limits increase based on the number of cars you are insuring. Keep in mind this increased level of protection typically will raise your insurance premium.

An example of stacking is John has limits of $100,000/$300,000 for his uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and is insuring 2 vehicles. If he leaves them "unstacked" John's limits would stay at $100,000/$300,000. If John instead chooses to "stack" his UMBI coverages then his limits would double to $200,000/$600,000.

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Since "stacking" is the application of more than one policy limit to the same loss or occurrence, if you only have one vehicle on your policy than there would not be coverage to stack. With a single car policy there is not multi-coverage to stack thus no benefit since this option would not be available to you.

So by selecting stacking for your uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, you increase your limits for each of these coverages by the number of cars you're insuring. Generally there is not a limit on the number of vehicles that can be insured and thus stacked this way.

To the best of our knowledge there are currently nineteen (19) states whose statutes, rules, and/or case law either do not address the issue or specifically allow it. However, in many states that allow stacking, auto insurers are permitted to include policy language that prevents policyholders from stacking UM/UIM coverage. So while your state might permit stacking, if your policy explicitly forbids it, you will not be able to stack your benefits.

The 19 states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

Since laws in each state vary widely for UM/UIM BI stacking in accordance with each situation and sometimes depending upon case law, (and state insurance laws are continually being changed and update), it is best to check with your state's insurance regulator as well as your insurance agent to find out if you can stack your UM/UIM benefits.


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4 Responses to "Please explain stacked UM and stacked UIM coverage. Also advise as to what states allow stacked exposures on auto policies."
  1. Visitor

    I had uninsured and underinsured motorist and was hit by stop sign runner nearly killed and still had to pay $27,000 of my own hospital bill. Wish I understood my coverages better at the time.

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  2. Anonymous

    Good information, but you did not address stacking when the second vehicle is insured by a different company. In my case, this is an antique vehicle that my current insurer will not cover.

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  3. Anonymous

    Good explanation

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  4. Anonymous

    very informative

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