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Stacking UM/UIM Auto Insurance

Stacking UM/UIM auto insurance is a technique that is legal in some states to help insurance consumers better protect themselves in the event of car accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers. When you get into a car accident with a driver that has no insurance or whose coverage is insufficient to cover all costs, it is critical to be protected so that you do not end up paying out of pocket for expenses that never should have been yours to deal with in the first place. Stacking your UM/UIM (uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist) protection is one way to make sure you have plenty of coverage if a situation like this ever happens to you.

Stacked Policies Not Always Legal

It is important to point out right off the bat that this technique is only legal in certain states across the country. And some of the states that include stacking provisions in the language of their auto insurance laws have special rules for ways and means of getting it done. As a consumer, you have the responsibility of making sure your coverage is in compliance with the laws of the state in which you live and your vehicle is registered. Your state insurance department and your auto insurance provider both ought to be able to provide expert help in this regard, pointing you to resources to help you know and understand exactly what your options are and how to decide among them.

But in states where stacking is legal, it can be a life saver in the wake of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Having some alternate means to cover all of your medical bills and property losses is huge, because if you do not have such means all those expenses will at least temporarily have to come out of your pocket. And no driver relishes the thought of inheriting that kind of financial difficulty following an accident that was not even her fault.

The concept of stacking is really quite simple - there are even smartphone car insurance apps that can help you understand it. It means that covered policy holders can buy coverage from more than one insurance company. This gives you the ability as a driver to collect from multiple sources to satisfy all of the expenses that might come out of an accident involving a driver with no insurance or an underinsured motorist. Again, not every state allows this method of putting together multiple policies, so drivers are advised to check out the legality of the idea in their home state. But if you do live somewhere that allows stacking, this is how you do it.

How to Stack UM/UIM Coverage

There are a few different ways drivers can set up stacked coverage against the auto insurance costs related to uninsured and underinsured motorist collisions. One method is to make claims against the policies of more than one vehicle that you have insured. These policies could each be with the same insurance company or with different ones. In this scenario, the policy holder reaches the limits of one policy and simply makes a claim on the other to reach the limits of both or the full expenses associated with the collision.

In another method, drivers could have multiple policies on one vehicle. In the event of an accident, they make a claim on both plans to get all of the coverage they need to make up for their losses in the accident. The specifics of the way these are set up and the methods by which we make claims against the policies are all determined by the laws of the individual states and the regulations of the insurance industry within those states. Drivers have to do their research and find out what's allowed and how they can go about doing it in order to make sure they remain in compliance with the law. Even if you managed to get a company to unknowingly sell you a second UM/UIM policy on a car, you would not be allowed to make a claim on that second policy in the event of an accident if the laws in your state prohibited you from doing so. Thus it is a waste of money to do anything that's not allowed, and it pays to find out what your state permits. Some form of stacking is permitted in over half the states in the U.S., although numbers do fluctuate because of occasional changes back and forth in legal provisions.

Another significant fact to note regarding stacked policies is that in many states allowing the practice, insurers are nonetheless allowed to insert language into policies expressly forbidding the practice by their policyholders. It is obvious that drivers considering this insurance technique need to get the full scoop from their insurance provider before going ahead with any purchase of additional UM/UIM coverage of any kind.


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