Stacked vs. Unstacked Car Insurance in Florida
On average, approximately 12.5 percent of drivers on U.S. roads are uninsured. If you are in Florida, however, the number almost doubles to 23 percent, according to the Insurance Research Council. That translates to a total of 3.2 million uninsured drivers on Florida roads. UM, uninsured motorist insurance, and UIM coverage, or underinsured motorist insurance, which is an insurance policy that steps in to help cover post-car accident medical and property expenses if you’ve been involved in a car accident with a driver who has too little (or no) insurance, are often beneficial to drivers involved in accidents. While UM and UIM coverage can vary by state – and some states do not even allow drivers this option – it is important to understand what UM and UIM does, and how you can combine these for the most liability coverage.
Stacking UM & UIM Coverage
Stacked insurance increases UM and UIM coverage limits. This is done specifically in relation to how many cars are insured. The ability to “stack” UM or UIM – or combine the coverage limits – is an available option in a handful of states across the nation. If this option is available, then you will likely be able either stack across policies or stack within one policy. Under Florida law, drivers have the option to stack UM/UIM within one policy or across multiple policies.
- Stacking across policies: assume you have two separate car insurance policies for two cars, and each has $50,000 of UM bodily injury coverage. If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver and you chose to stack your coverage, you can combine the limit to $100,000 (as long as both policies are under your name) to cover any medical or property bills in excess of the $50,000 on one policy.
- Stacking within one policy: on the other hand, if you have multiple cars insured within one policy, you may be able to stack UM bodily injury coverage. An example of this is if you have three cars each with $25,000 limits and you choose to stack this coverage. If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, you can have a coverage limit of up to $75,000 no matter which car was involved in the crash.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Stacking Coverage
The obvious advantage of stacking coverage – no matter if within one or across multiple policies – is that you benefit from having higher coverage limits when involved in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Without stacking, you would have to raise your liability limits to get the same coverage. Of course, with the advantage of having the option to stack comes higher premiums. This is especially true in Florida, which ranks second in the nation for the highest percent of uninsured drivers.
Alternatively, having unstacked insurance coverage results in lower monthly premiums because the policy treats each vehicle differently when it comes to limits on liability. If coverage limits are too low to pay for post-accident expenses, you will likely be stuck paying out of pocket.
Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another – whether or not the other driver was underinsured or uninsured – contact a compassionate yet aggressive Orlando car accident lawyer today for an initial consultation. The skilled legal professionals at the law offices of Reed & Reed will inform you of your legal rights and obligations under Florida law and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. Do not go through this difficult time alone. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.