With the rising costs of healthcare, serious auto-accident injuries can seriously cost a lot. Fortunately, Florida and 28 other states allow an insurance strategy known as “stacking”. Put bluntly, two policies can literally be “stacked” together in the event of a major injury in an auto accident. One form of this is stacking UM and UIM (uninsured and under-insured) coverages.
Uninsured motorist coverage aids in two ways: 1) if an at-fault driver is not insured to cover your medical and property damages and 2) if you are the victim of an accident commonly known as a “hit and run” where the liable person is not known. In both instances UM coverage will kick in and cover your expenses to a certain limit.
Under-insured motorist coverage is meant to cover the difference between an at-fault driver’s coverage and your UIM coverage. If the liable driver carries a mere 10k in bodily injury (BI) coverage and your UIM exceeds that, then if your injury costs more than driver’s 10k, you will still be thoroughly compensated even though the driver was technically “covered”.
By stacking these coverages you multiply the amount of coverage for these types of unpredictable situations. There are two ways you can “stack” your UM/UIM coverage. The first is by combining the multi-car coverages under the same policy. So say you have three cars covered by X Insurance Co. with 100k/300k, UM/UIM coverage for each. You could have them stacked to cover one incident in the amount of 300k/900k depending on which (UM or UIM) situation applies to the liable driver.
Another way coverage may be stacked under Florida law is through multiple policies. In one example, one spouse may be covered through their place of employment and the other vehicle, elsewhere. Because spouses and immediate family are usually covered under UM/UIM, there is a potential for the two completely separate polices to be stacked.
The only way that this procedure can be barred is by your policy explicitly stating so. Otherwise, there is no limit to the amount of stacking that can occur. If you are involved in a situation where you think stacking may apply to your accident, contact Wooten, Kimbrough, Gibson, Doherty & Normand, P.A.
If you are contemplating what coverage to buy and don’t have a clue, give me a call at 407 843 7060 and I will help you out for free. –Ed–