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What does stacked and non-stacked mean?


A

Question:  What does stacked and non-stacked mean?

Answer: Stacking normally refers to an option you can select for uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM) and/or underinsured motorist bodily injury (UIM) coverages. 

Stacking uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist policies is an option that allows you to increase the limits you select for your UM/UIM bodily injury coverage. Limits increase based on the number of cars you are insuring. For this increased level of protection, you will pay a higher car insurance premium.

Here is an example of stacking:

John has limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident (written as 100/300) for his uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and is insuring two vehicles. If he leaves them "unstacked," or non-stacked as you called it, John's limits would stay at 100/300. Instead, if John chose to stack his UM coverages, then his limits would double to $200,000 per person and $600,000 per accident (200/600).

By selecting stacking for your uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, you simply 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.

The Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCIAA) lists nearly 30 states whose statutes, rules, and/or case law either do not address the issue or specifically allow stacking. 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.

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

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 you would not have coverage to stack. So, if you have a single car policy, then stacking would not be an option for you.


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17 Responses to "What does stacked and non-stacked mean?"
  1. Visitor

    I understood the answer after being confused for so long, so thanks.

      Reply»  
  2. Anonymous

    This explanation was helpful. With 4 cars in my household, I am reducing the UM coverage but selecting the stacked option.

      Reply»  
  3. Anonymous

    I would have like to have an advise related to this issue

      Reply»  
  4. Anonymous

    last paragraph was precise

      Reply»  
  5. Anonymous

    Excellent explanation. Just a short note, I have had Progressive Insurance for three years and they have charged me for stacked benefits the whole time, even though I only own one vehicle. Years ago, I had stacked with another company when I did own two vehicles, and just continued to ask for it, not knowing what it really meant. You would think the insurance company whould advise me when it is not necessary. The only way I found out was by going insurance shopping and found several quotes on line would not offer me stacked coverage, and rightly so. Very annoyed that Progressive never informed me that I did not need it. Thank you for your excellent explanation.

      Reply»  
    1. anonymous August 09, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      My insurer has been charging me for stacked for four years and I have only ever owned one vehicle. Not till I just change insurers did I find out that I didn't need it. Read over your policy people!

        Reply »  
  6. Anonymous

    The answer was clear and the examples were spot on.

      Reply»  
  7. Anonymous

    It got right to the point and answered my question without having to find it hidden somewhere in the middle of a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

      Reply»  
  8. Anonymous

    BECAUSE I DIDNT KNOW THANKS

      Reply»  
  9. Anonymous

    You thoroughly answered the question and cleared up the confusion

      Reply»  
  10. Anonymous

    Very clear, gave me more information than i needed. thanks-

      Reply»  
  11. Anonymous

    Because I still not understand to which car apply the uninsured policy. It is to my car or to the other car that hit my car that do not have any coverage?

      Reply»  
  12. Anonymous

    (AIG) Now 21st Century insurance was pretty vague in details and explanations of this option when mailed its waiver for us to sign or reject

      Reply»  
  13. Anonymous

    YOU TALK ABOUT STACKING: BUT DO NOT GIVE A DEFENITIVE ANSWER.

      Reply»  
  14. Anonymous

    All my answers were stated clearly.

      Reply»  
  15. Anonymous

    made more sense and very helpful

      Reply»  
  16. Anonymous

    This sure explained it better than Progressive did.

      Reply»