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Stacked vs. Unstacked Insurance: Everything You Need to Know – Kelley Blue Book

Stacked and unstacked insuranceStacked and unstacked insurance

Stacked insurance allows you to combine policy limits from multiple vehicles. If you need insurance for more than one car, it can provide greater coverage after an accident. Stacked insurance is especially helpful if an uninsured driver or someone without much insurance hits your vehicle.

But be aware, stacked insurance costs more than unstacked insurance. It’s not available on all types of coverage, and not all states allow it. Here’s what you need to know.

What Does Stacked Mean?

If you live in a state that allows insurance stacking, you can add the policy limits from different vehicles together to get a higher limit. But you must be a named insured on each of the cars to stack coverage.

Stacking only applies to uninsured and underinsured motorist (UI/UIM) coverage. UI/UIM helps protect you if a driver who doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured hits you.

There are two types of UI/UIM coverage — bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury helps pay for your and your passengers’ medical bills that result from injuries you sustain during an accident. And property damage helps pay for vehicle repairs if your car receives damage in an accident.

Stacking only applies to bodily injury coverage. You can’t stack property damage limits, and you can’t stack other types of coverage you might include in your auto insurance policy.

By default, the policy limits for UI/UIM coverage match the policy limits you have for bodily injury coverage. You can’t increase the UI/UIM limits alone, says Shane Page, president of Piedmont Insurance Associates, an independent insurance agency in North Carolina.

“So stacking is the way you could get a higher uninsured motorist payout because you’re able to pull from multiple vehicles in states that allow it or in more rare cases, from multiple policies,” Page says.

How Does Stacking Auto Insurance Work?

There are two ways you can stack insurance — by combining coverage limits for different cars on the same policy or by combining coverage limits for vehicles on separate policies.

Adding the coverage limits from multiple vehicles together gives you more protection if you’re in an accident where an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you insure two vehicles on the same auto insurance policy. They each have a coverage limit of $100,000. If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, your insurance company will pay up to $200,000 for accident-related medical bills.

Now, let’s say you insure three vehicles on three different policies. They each have a coverage limit of $50,000. If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, your insurance company will pay up to $150,000 for accident-related medical bills.

Some states only allow policyholders to stack limits across multiple policies, while others allow both types. However, some states prohibit insurance stacking altogether. If you live in a state that allows stacking, there may be a maximum number of policy limits you can add together.

What States Allow You to Stack Insurance in 2021?

Laws governing insurance stacking vary by state. So, it’s important to check the laws where you live and review your policy carefully to make sure you understand how your coverage works.

For example, in Florida and Pennsylvania, insurance policies typically default to stacked. But you can waive the option to stack your coverage to get a lower premium. In Wisconsin, you can only stack coverage limits on up to three vehicles.

Here’s a list of states that may allow stacking. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurer.

Alabama New York (across multiple policies only)
Arkansas North Carolina (across multiple policies only)
Colorado Ohio
Delaware (across multiple policies only) Oklahoma (across multiple policies only)
Florida Oregon (across multiple policies only)
Georgia (across multiple policies only) Pennsylvania
Hawaii Rhode Island
Indiana South Carolina
Kentucky Tennesse (across multiple policies only)
Mississippi Texas (across multiple policies only)
Missouri Utah (across multiple policies only)
Montana Vermont
Nevada Virginia
New Hampshire West Virginia
New Jersey (across multiple policies only) Wisconsin
New Mexico Wyoming

Source: Allstate

RELATED STORIES: Average U.S. Car Insurance Costs by State for 2021

Which Insurers Offer Stacked Insurance?

It depends where you live. Some states that allow insurance stacking also allow insurers not to offer stacked insurance as long as they disclose it to their customers, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

But Page says that if you live in a state that allows stacking, most insurers that operate in that state will offer it. “It would be foolish [not to] because most of the other companies do,” he said.

But the insurer can cap maximum policy limits. For example, if you live in a state that allows stacking, the insurance company may set their maximum policy limit at $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. And a company in a state that doesn’t allow stacking may offer customers higher limits.

What is Unstacked Insurance?

If you have unstacked insurance, you cannot combine policy limits from multiple vehicles — whether on the same policy or different policies. The individual limit you have for each car is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay.

For example, let’s say you have insurance for two cars. The policy limit for UI/UIM coverage is $100,000 for each vehicle. If you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and they are at fault, your insurance company will pay up to $100,000 in accident-related medical bills.

Stacked vs. Unstacked Auto Insurance: Which Should You Choose?

If you have a choice, stacked insurance provides more protection than unstacked insurance. It’ll cost a little bit more upfront, but according to Page, the difference in premiums between stacked and unstacked coverage will probably be less than $100 in most states. And it could help you save money if you’re in an accident.

“If you’re in a bad accident, your injuries could easily exceed the per-person limit for one vehicle in an accident. If it’s not a big cost difference, then stacking can offer a higher limit, and it would be preferable,” Page said.

Related Insurance Stories:

Stacked insurance allows you to combine policy limits from multiple vehicles. If you need insurance for more than one car, it can provide greater coverage after an accident. Stacked insurance is especially helpful if an uninsured driver or someone without much insurance hits your vehicle.
But be aware, stacked insurance costs more than unstacked insurance. It’s not available on all types of coverage, and not all states allow it. Here’s what you need to know.
If you live in a state that allows insurance stacking, you can add the policy limits from different vehicles together to get a higher limit. But you must be a named insured on each of the cars to stack coverage.
Stacking only applies to uninsured and underinsured motorist (UI/UIM) coverage. UI/UIM helps protect you if a driver who doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured hits you.
There are two types of UI/UIM coverage — bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury helps pay for your and your passengers’ medical bills that result from injuries you sustain during an accident. And property damage helps pay for vehicle repairs if your car receives damage in an accident.
Stacking only applies to bodily injury coverage. You can’t stack property damage limits, and you can’t stack other types of coverage you might include in your auto insurance policy.
By default, the policy limits for UI/UIM coverage match the policy limits you have for bodily injury coverage. You can’t increase the UI/UIM limits alone, says Shane Page, president of Piedmont Insurance Associates, an independent insurance agency in North Carolina.
“So stacking is the way you could get a higher uninsured motorist payout because you’re able to pull from multiple vehicles in states that allow it or in more rare cases, from multiple policies,” Page says.
There are two ways you can stack insurance — by combining coverage limits for different cars on the same policy or by combining coverage limits for vehicles on separate policies.
Adding the coverage limits from multiple vehicles together gives you more protection if you’re in an accident where an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you insure two vehicles on the same auto insurance policy. They each have a coverage limit of $100,000. If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, your insurance company will pay up to $200,000 for accident-related medical bills.
Now, let’s say you insure three vehicles on three different policies. They each have a coverage limit of $50,000. If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, your insurance company will pay up to $150,000 for accident-related medical bills.
Some states only allow policyholders to stack limits across multiple policies, while others allow both types. However, some states prohibit insurance stacking altogether. If you live in a state that allows stacking, there may be a maximum number of policy limits you can add together.
Laws governing insurance stacking vary by state. So, it’s important to check the laws where you live and review your policy carefully to make sure you understand how your coverage works.
For example, in Florida and Pennsylvania, insurance policies typically default to stacked. But you can waive the option to stack your coverage to get a lower premium. In Wisconsin, you can only stack coverage limits on up to three vehicles.
Here’s a list of states that may allow stacking. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurer.
Source: Allstate
RELATED STORIES: Average U.S. Car Insurance Costs by State for 2021
It depends where you live. Some states that allow insurance stacking also allow insurers not to offer stacked insurance as long as they disclose it to their customers, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
But Page says that if you live in a state that allows stacking, most insurers that operate in that state will offer it. “It would be foolish [not to] because most of the other companies do,” he said.
But the insurer can cap maximum policy limits. For example, if you live in a state that allows stacking, the insurance company may set their maximum policy limit at $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. And a company in a state that doesn’t allow stacking may offer customers higher limits.
If you have unstacked insurance, you cannot combine policy limits from multiple vehicles — whether on the same policy or different policies. The individual limit you have for each car is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay.
For example, let’s say you have insurance for two cars. The policy limit for UI/UIM coverage is $100,000 for each vehicle. If you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and they are at fault, your insurance company will pay up to $100,000 in accident-related medical bills.
If you have a choice, stacked insurance provides more protection than unstacked insurance. It’ll cost a little bit more upfront, but according to Page, the difference in premiums between stacked and unstacked coverage will probably be less than $100 in most states. And it could help you save money if you’re in an accident.
“If you’re in a bad accident, your injuries could easily exceed the per-person limit for one vehicle in an accident. If it’s not a big cost difference, then stacking can offer a higher limit, and it would be preferable,” Page said.

Stacked uninsured motorist coverage combines the bodily injury policy limits of multiple vehicles to give you added protection if you’re in an accident.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage on multiple vehicles, insurance stacking lets you combine the bodily injury policy limits of multiple vehicles. If you have unstacked insurance, the insurer will reimburse you up to the policy limit of the vehicle that was in the accident.
A stacked insurance limit adds together the policy limits for multiple insured vehicles. It increases the maximum amount the insurance company will reimburse you. An unstacked insurance limit is the policy limit for a single vehicle.
In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage helps protect you if an uninsured driver hits you and damages your vehicle or injures you and your passengers.
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