There still remains a vast amount of drivers in the U.S. without adequate auto insurance. There are also a lot of road users that remain without any insurance whatsoever. That is why uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage is so important.
These 2 policies will help you to pay for repairs to your car as well as the costs of your medical bill when you are involved in an accident with a driver with inadequate or no insurance at all. However, the limits of these policies will depend largely on whether you have opted for a stacked or unstacked plan.
How Does Stacked Differ from Unstacked?
When you stack your insurance, you are increasing the level of coverage that your UM and UIM policy offers when you have more than one vehicle. When required, you can combine the policies of your vehicles to increase your claim limit. For some driver, stacking your policies means that you are essentially doubling or even tripling their claim limits.
On the other hand, unstacked coverage means that you cannot combine these policies, and in the event of a claim, the coverage will be handled separately for each vehicle regardless of how many cars you have insured.
Advantages of Stacking Your Insurance
Should you ever be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, your standard insurance policy might not be adequate to take care of damages and medical bills. That’s where the major advantage of stacked policies come in handy. Depending on the severity of the accident, a $25,000 uninsured motorist policy may not be enough to pay for your hospital treatments, not to mention a scenario where you have multiple injured passengers in your vehicle. However, with a stacked policy you could increase your cap to $50,000, or $75,000 if you have a third vehicle.
Advantages of Unstacked Insurance
The only real advantage that unstacked insurance offers is the cost of the premiums. If you opt to stack your insurance, your premiums will see a significant increase. However, this does change depending on the state you live in, so it’s definitely worth it to discuss your options with your insurance carrier to weigh up your options.
Although there remains a percentage of drivers on the road without any liability insurance, it remains much more common in certain states than others. For example, stacked coverage holds more value in states like Florida and Oklahoma, where more than one-fifth of all drivers using the road lack adequate insurance. Depending on where you live, it might actually make more sense to spend your money on comprehensive insurance or better health cover. It’s always a good idea to discuss your options with a reliable, local insurer to ascertain what the best option will be for your particular location.
Weighing Up Your Options
If you only have one car to insure, you obviously will not be able to have a stacked policy. Also keep in mind that not all states allow for stacked coverage, and in some regions where it is allowed, they can be more restrictive. However, before you decide to stack your insurance or leave them unstacked, take a good look at your own circumstances. Look at factors such as your disposable income, the laws applicable to your region, how often you drive, and the percentage of underinsured motorist in your region. If you are unsure about whether or not stacked will be the best option for you, it’s highly recommended that you get in touch with a reliable insurance carrier to figure out what your best option will be.