Stacked auto insurance combines uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage limits for multiple vehicles or policies to increase the maximum amount an insurer will pay for a claim. Non-stacked insurance refers to auto insurance coverage limits that cannot be combined between vehicles or policies.
Stacked insurance is a great way to safeguard your finances in the event of an accident. Accidents can be expensive, and the higher your coverage limits, the less money you’ll have to pay out of pocket for an uninsured motorist claim.
key things to know about combined and non-combined insurance
- You can stack insurance vertically (within one policy) or horizontally (across multiple policies).
- Your ability to get combined insurance depends on your insurance company, state, and existing coverage.
- Non-stacked insurance is often cheaper than stacked insurance because it offers lower coverage limits.
- Combined insurance offers better financial protection against uninsured motorists than does non-cumulative coverage.
- um/uim insurance can only apply if an un/uim driver causes the accident. In some states, if you’re at fault, you may not be able to collect anything.
- Some policies and states do not allow the stacking of motorcycles or any vehicle other than a traditional four-wheeler.
- Depending on the state, you may not be allowed to accrue benefits for accidents in which you were acting as a driver. At the same time, you may be allowed to stack um/uim to cover yourself or family members when involved as a passenger or pedestrian.
how stacked insurance works
There are two ways to accumulate auto insurance. stacking can be achieved vertically within a policy or horizontally across more than one policy.
vertical stacked insurance
Let’s look at an example of vertical stacking of auto insurance within one policy. pretend you have five cars, all with one policy. each car has a um/uim limit of $50,000. If your state allows it, you can choose to stack the policy on each car. if you are in an accident in just one of the cars with an uninsured motorist, you can make a claim for $50,000 for each vehicle, for a total of $250,000.
safe stacked horizontally
Now consider horizontal stacking across multiple policies. As long as you use the same insurance company, you may be able to file a claim in an um/uim motorist accident on more than one policy. this applies even if the policies are for different cars. therefore, if you have a $20,000 policy on one car and a separate $50,000 policy on another, and you are injured by a um/uim driver while driving, you can make claims under both for a total of $70,000.
advantages of stacked insurance
Stacked insurance is a great way to safeguard your finances in the event you are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. Severe accidents can be expensive, and the higher your coverage limits, the less money you will have to pay out of pocket for an uninsured motorist claim.
how to obtain accumulated insurance
To get combination insurance, you must have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on multiple vehicles, provided by one policy or policies. Plus, you must live in one of the 32 states that allow insurance stacking.
Your ability to accumulate insurance also depends on your auto insurance company. Certain states, such as Arkansas and Ohio, allow insurers to deny customers the ability to accumulate coverage, as long as the policy is clear and unambiguous.
states that allow insurance accumulation
how non-stacked insurance works
Non-stacked auto insurance generally refers to having a single policy on a single vehicle. however, non-cumulative coverage can also take the form of owning more than one car or policy, but deliberately choosing not to accumulate them in exchange for lower monthly premiums. Or, state law or your policy wording may prohibit you from combining insurance limits. not all insurance companies offer the option.
When you have non-stacked auto insurance, your payments are limited to your policy’s standard limits for um/uim coverage, regardless of the severity of your injuries. If, for example, your policy limit is $40,000, you can’t collect more than that $40,000 if you make a claim.
Non-stacked insurance is the default for many insurance owners, especially since stacked coverage is not available in states like Michigan.
advantages of unstacked insurance
Because non-stacked insurance gives you a lower coverage limit than stacked insurance, premiums are typically lower. If you’re concerned about the additional cost of stacked insurance, non-stacked coverage might be the best option for you.
combined or uncombined auto insurance: how to choose
You may not have a choice when it comes to stacked or non-stacked auto insurance. some states ban stacking altogether, while others allow insurance companies to take the lead in structuring policies.
alabama, for example, allows stacking but only for three vehicles. And if you’re deciding between stacked and non-stacked insurance in Florida, not only are you allowed to stack UM/UIM policies, you can also decide to decline UM coverage altogether. The best way to make sure you’re getting the right coverage for the most manageable premium is to check your state laws and collect quotes from multiple insurance companies.
Other realities to consider when choosing between combined and non-combined insurance: