What Is Stacking Insurance Coverage?

by Dan Ketchum ; Updated July 27, 2017
Stacking consolidates policies and multiplies coverage limits for each stacked vehicle.

Stacking insurance coverage is essentially a loophole that applies to uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury policies. Policyholders who take advantage of stacking merge their policies to expand their coverage limits. Stacking is something of an under-the-radar practice; some states even outlaw stacked insurance coverage. Contact your insurance provider to find out if you can benefit from stacking your auto insurance policy.

Basics

Stacking car insurance basically allows owners of multiple cars to combine the coverage of multiple uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury policies. For instance, if you are insuring two vehicles with uninsured motorist bodily injury limits of $50,000 and $100,000, you stack them to double the limits to $100,000 and $200,000. Stacking increases the limits for each covered vehicle based on the number of stacked vehicles. Most companies that allow stacking generally do not limit the amount of vehicles that can be stacked.

Advantages

Stacking results in increased limits for uninsured and underinsured motorist injury policies. These increases become especially significant with the addition of three or more vehicles. Additional policy limits may allow you to cover damages and medical expenses that result from an accident, covering both the driver and the passengers. If you're involved in an accident with someone who has insufficient coverage, increased policy limits may help bridge the gap between between your coverage and the insufficient coverage.

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Disadvantages

The increased level of protection -- and the increased limits -- offered by auto insurance stacking raises the insurance premium. This results in a higher payment for the insured. Stacking mostly presents disadvantages for insurers, as it results in higher payouts in the case of an accident. Insurance companies insist that they must increase premiums across the board to accommodate for the additional costs that result from insurance stacking.

Exceptions

Policyholders with only one insured vehicle cannot stack coverage. As of 2011, only Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia legally allow auto insurance stacking. Ultimately, each individual auto insurer determines whether or not to allow stacking. Inquire with your insurance agent about stacking uninsured and underinsured motorist policies.

About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.

Photo Credits

  • Leaning Cars image by Michael Wuelfrath from Fotolia.com
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