Florida Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Stacked vs. Unstacked

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is a component of an auto insurance policy that provides coverage for you, the policyholder, when you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance.

Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is an addition to your auto insurance policy that protects you, the policyholder, if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have sufficient insurance of their own.  

Stacked auto insurance is a way to maximize your medical coverage when you are involved in an accident caused by someone who is uninsured or underinsured. Stacking insurance allows the UM/UIM coverage limits from multiple policies to be combined and force a higher cap on what insurance will pay for post-injury care. Stacked car insurance is available to drivers in about 30 states, including Florida, who insure more than one vehicle or have more than one insurance policy on a single car.

When you have only unstacked insurance, you’re not allowed to combine policy limits. Unstacked insurance is for drivers who only own one policy on a single car or those who own multiple vehicles but are prohibited from stacking by either their insurance carrier or state law. Unlike drivers with stacked insurance, unstacked insurance drivers may file medical claims only on the actual car involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage. Because of this, premiums tend to be lower with unstacked insurance.

Stacked insurance may help you with your claim if you have been involved in an accident. 

Do You Need Stacked Insurance in Florida?

Unfortunately, there are far too many uninsured motorists on the road, despite the legal requirement for insurance coverage in many states. Although all states do not require insurance coverage, every state requires that you meet financial responsibility requirements, either through insurance, a bond, or other approved means that show you can pay if you damage another person or their property in an automobile accident.

Regardless, if you are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, it can be challenging to obtain full compensation for your bodily injury. Even if you are hit by a driver who has liability insurance coverage, you could still face issues if they only carry the state’s minimum liability limits coverage. Such limits can be exhausted quickly if you are seriously injured. 

This is where stacked insurance comes into play. Stacked insurance coverage kicks in where the at-fault driver’s liability insurance leaves off. It can help to cover medical bills left over from the other party’s exhausted liability coverage.

The only real disadvantage of stacked insurance is that you’ll typically pay higher premiums for higher coverage limits. This means when you stack UM and UIM limits, you’ll likely pay more for that coverage.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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