Depending on the state you reside in, you may have the opportunity to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage stacked or unstacked in your car insurance policy. Before making this decision, it is important to know what this uninsured/underinsured motorist does and how it can protect you in a car accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage helps pay for your injuries when you are in a not-at-fault accident. For example, although every state requires some limit of bodily injury liability coverage, not every driver, however, is responsible and follows the rules. If you suffer injuries after being hit by another driver and they do not have bodily injury, or they do not carry the limits required to pay for your injuries, or it is a hit-and-run, your uninsured motorist coverage would kick in and pay up to the limits for injuries you sustain. And in some cases, pain and suffering.
Nationally, one in seven drivers do not carry liability car insurance and in many cases, drivers that are insured purchase only the minimum limits required in their state. In most states, the minimum required limits will not be sufficient to cover your injuries. Your alternative is to sue the at-fault driver (who probably has little to no assets) or purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that will kick in and for injuries that the at-fault driver cannot pay.
Stacked or Unstacked
In some states, the insurance carriers will offer the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on stacked or unstacked basis. What this means in terms of car insurance coverage is:
If you purchase your coverage unstacked, then the limits you select are the same no matter how many vehicles are on the policy. For example, if you purchase 100/300, your insurance limits are $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, even if you have three vehicles.
If you purchase your coverage stacked, then your coverage limits are multiplied by the number of vehicles on the policy. Therefore, if you purchase 100/300 limits and have two vehicles on the policy, your limits are multiplied by the number of vehicles, or in this case, $200,000 per person and $600,000 per accident.
If you understand and are concerned about how many underinsured and uninsured drivers are on the road every day, then, by all means, purchase this valuable coverage. When you compare the rates for stacked versus unstacked, it is probably an even better idea to pay a little more premium and get a lot more coverage. If you have only one vehicle on your car insurance policy, the stacked and unstacked comparison is no longer part of the equation.