Stacked vs. Unstacked Car Insurance

If you’re in a car crash caused by someone without insurance, it can be very overwhelming and stressful. Your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage helps, but there’s a limit. This is where Stacked vs. Unstacked Car Insurance comes in. Stacking lets you boost this limit by combining coverage for all your cars.

Stacked vs. Unstacked Car Insurance

Having a good knowledge of stacked vs. unstacked car insurance can help you select a policy with the right type and level of protection in case of an accident. This article explains everything you need to know about stacked vs. unstacked car insurance. In this article, you will also get to understand where in the U.S.A. you can get stacked coverage.

What is Stacked Insurance?

When you stack your car insurance, you combine the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage from multiple vehicles insured by one or more policies to increase your protection. This coverage pays for damages caused by drivers without enough insurance to cover the repairs your car needs after an accident.

It helps to give you more financial security in case of an accident. Stacking is only for bodily injury coverage, not property damage. It covers medical expenses, lost wages, and future bills resulting from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Remember, you can’t stack property damage coverage, and your limits are typically tied to your bodily injury liability limits. While stacking offers added peace of mind, it does come with extra costs.

There are two ways to get stacked uninsured motorist coverage. Vertical stacking contains coverage for more than one car on one policy. While horizontal stacking contains coverage from multiple policies with the same insurance company,

What is Unstacked Insurance?

Unstacked insurance is the standard amount of protection without combining coverage limits. Although it’s cheaper, unstacked coverage limits you to your policy’s per-car or per-policy limits. Unlike stacked insurance, where coverage limits are combined, unstacked auto insurance keeps UM and UIM limits separate, even if you have multiple vehicles or insured drivers in your household.

This means you can only claim up to the specified limits on your policy’s declarations page. While unstacked policies may have lower premiums, they also come with lower coverage limits. If you’re injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you might end up having to pay for medical expenses yourself due to these lower limits.

How Does Stolen Car Insurance Work?

Just like I have mentioned above, there are two ways to stack auto insurance. They are vertical and horizontal.

Vertically stacked insurance

Vertically stacked insurance is when one policy covers multiple vehicles owned by the same person. These vehicles are “stacked” together on a single policy, hence the term “vertical stacking.” With this method, you can increase your coverage limits, giving you more protection if any of your vehicles get into an accident. For example, if you have a vertically stacked policy and your car is in an accident, your policy would pay up to the coverage limit. If the damage exceeds that limit, you might be able to tap into the coverage of another vehicle on your policy.

Horizontally stacked insurance

When you stack policies horizontally, you put them side by side. This way, you gather all the coverage you have for various vehicles under different policies. The total amount your insurance will pay for claims in one term is called an aggregate limit.

For example, if you insure two vehicles separately, you can bring together your coverage for uninsured motorists. So, if you’re in a crash, stacking horizontally lets you use the uninsured motorist coverage from all your policies to cover the damage or loss of one vehicle with just one claim.

Both of these methods enable you to increase your coverage limits. And you will receive a good payout if you are in a car accident.

Who can Get Stacked Insurance?

Not everyone who wants this can get it. Keep in mind that before you stack your uninsured motorist coverage (UIM), you have to have about two cars. If you have just one vehicle and you still want more protection against underinsured and uninsured drivers, All you just need to do is increase your policy’s coverage limits instead.

Also, keep in mind that you will have to live in a state that allows staking. Only twenty states in the USA allow policyholders to stack across vehicles on the same policy or across two policies from the same insurer. These states include:

  • Alabama.
  • Arkansas.
  • Colorado.
  • Florida.
  • New Hampshire.
  • New Mexico.
  • Ohio.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • Rhode Island.
  • South Carolina.
  • Vermont.
  • Virginia.
  • West Virginia.
  • Wisconsin.
  • Wyoming.
  • Hawaii.
  • Indiana.
  • Kentucky.
  • Mississippi.
  • Missouri.
  • Montana.
  • Nevada.

While states that allow only horizontal stacking include;

  • Delaware.
  • Georgia.
  • Oregon.
  • Tennessee.
  • Texas.
  • Utah.
  • New Jersey.
  • New York.
  • North Carolina.
  • Oklahoma.

If you live in a state where many drivers don’t have insurance, stacking your UM and UIM coverage limits might be a smart move. This is particularly crucial if you or your passengers don’t have health insurance. Consider reaching out to an insurance company to find out if stacking is within your budget. You can also meet with an independent insurance agent to answer your entire question. They can also help you through the stack insurance process.

Stacked vs. Unstacked Car Insurance: Which is better?

Some believe stacked auto insurance provides better financial security after an accident, while others prefer unstack policies to keep premiums down. A stacked policy might be wise if you’re keen on more liability protection and stacking is allowed in your state. But remember, it often comes with a higher cost than unstacked insurance.

Since stacked insurance isn’t available everywhere, it’s best to confirm with your insurer or an independent agent if it’s an option in your area. If it is in your area, it is advisable to speak with your agent. And weigh the benefits against the coverage cost to know if it is a good choice for you.