Can stacking my insurance help me if I'm in an accident?
If you're buying car insurance, your agent should ask you whether you wish to stack your policies. Stacking protects family and relatives that live with you, and covers you if you are injured while operating a vehicle.
What Can I Stack?
“Stacking” insurance applies to (UM) coverage on your own vehicles.
In Florida, purchasing UM coverage is optional. If you are in a car crash and you have purchased UM, that policy will cover your medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering, up to the limit of the policy:
after your PIP protection limit of $10,000 is exhausted and
the driver who caused the wreck has no or not enough bodily injury liability insurance to pay your expenses.
Examples of Stacking vs. Non-stacking Insurance in Florida
The option to stack insurance lets you, the policyholder, add one car’s coverage on top of another car’s coverage to increase the total available coverage if you are injured in an accident.
You can stack within a single policy:
For example: You purchase one UM policy that has limits for a single car of $50,000 per person and $150,000 per accident. There are two cars on the policy.
If you are in a car crash with an underinsured or uninsured motorist, or in a hit and run accident, your available UM payment limits are “stacked” together so you now have available coverage of up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
You can stack across policies:
Say you and your husband have two vehicles, and each is insured on a different UM policy:
Your car is insured on one policy for $200,000 per person/$300,000 per accident, and
your husband’s car is insured for $100,000 UM per person/$300,000 per accident.
If you or your husband sustain injuries in an accident, the stacked coverage limit would be $300,000 per person and up to $600,000 per accident.
Various other possibilities exist, but these illustrations clearly show how beneficial stacking UM insurance can be. In the event that serious car accident injuries occur, medical bills, loss of work and wages, and pain and suffering costs quickly climb into the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more.
Stacking insurance is a great way to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected as much as possible financially.
The Choice “Not to Stack” is Yours
Under Florida law, uninsured motorist policies generally automatically stack for each premium, and in an amount equal to your bodily injury liability coverage.
However, when you purchase UM coverage, the law allows you to waive this option. In exchange for a lower premium, you may elect to execute a “non-stacking” provision in writing on the state-approved form.
When a coverage is "non-stacked," insurance payments are restricted to the face value of the policy. If a policy has limits of $50,000 per person/$150,000 per accident, that exact coverage is what is available no matter how many vehicles are covered by the policy.
Our attorneys are here to help you understand how your insurance works. Call us today at 904-608-3694 for a free consultation.