What does unstacked car insurance mean?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2017

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Stacked auto insurance coverage allows you to combine the coverage limits of multiple vehicles
  • Stacking is not allowed in all jurisdictions
  • Consider uninsured and underinsured motorist protection to make sure you’re not financially liable if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver

Unstacked car insurance coverage is regular protection for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. How much protection you have is what is set out in the policy documents, no matter how many vehicles are covered.

This plan differs from stacked car insurance coverage. In Florida, for instance, a policyholder can get a higher level of coverage for multiple vehicles by stacking the policy.

The same dollar value of insurance for two or more vehicles is added together to give a higher level of protection.

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Uninsured Motorist Coverage


Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in all states, but it is a good provision to add onto your car insurance policy. It pays out for injuries and damage to your vehicle when the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance coverage.

Under this type of coverage, you, your family members and any other occupants of your vehicle are protected. This protection is not available as a stand-alone policy, but it would be added onto your car insurance policy.

Here’s what it covers:

  • The bodily injury portion of an uninsured motorist policy would pay for medical bills incurred as the result of the accident
  • It would also pay for rehabilitation expenses incurred after you have received primary medical care for your injuries
  • The policy will also provide reimbursement for lost wages directly related to the accident

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Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage pays out when the at-fault driver’s policy limit is not sufficient to pay for the damages he or she caused in an accident. Here’s how it works: the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage will pay out first, up to the available policy limit.

Any damages that remain over the amount of coverage available from the at-fault driver would be paid from your underinsured motorist coverage. You will only be protected up to the policy limit you choose, however.

If, after the at-fault driver’s insurance has paid out, there is $25,000 in damages owing and your policy covers $20,000 of underinsured motorist coverage in place, you would only be compensated for $20,000.

When considering adding underinsured motorist coverage to your policy, consider the minimum level of protection required by the state where you live and the neighboring states.

In a situation where a neighboring state does not require drivers to have a high level of liability protection in place, look at buying an underinsured motorist policy with a higher limit.

Comparing rates is always a good idea when you are looking for car insurance coverage, and you can request pricing information for different levels of protection easily by doing so online.

Stacked Coverage


Stacking car insurance coverage is an effective strategy for getting a higher level of protection.

If a policyholder has three cars insured under his or her policy and each car has $10,000 in coverage, the policyholder has $30,000 in protection in place on each vehicle. If an accident occurs, it doesn’t matter which vehicle he or she is operating at the time.

With unstacked car insurance coverage, you would have the same level of protection, no matter how many cars are included on the policy.

Using the same example of a vehicle owner who had three vehicles to insure and a policy with a face amount of $10,000 for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, he or she would be covered for up to $10,000 only.

Since stacked car insurance coverage is only available in certain jurisdictions, the advantages of getting this type of auto insurance coverage do not apply to drivers in all parts of the United States.

All drivers should take appropriate measures to ensure that they are adequately protected, though.

The cost of adding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not usually a major expense, and shopping around to compare rates from a number of car insurance companies can help you find the right level of coverage at a price you can afford.

It’s worth your while to go online and request pricing information a couple of months before your current policy expires.

Each car insurance company licensed to do business in your area sets its own rates for coverage, and that includes your unstacked car insurance for uninsured and underinsured motorist protection.

By spending a bit of time educating yourself about your options and then getting several quotes, you can avoid spending more than you have to for your coverage.

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