Generally, when a person gets into a car accident with an insured driver, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for any damages sustained according to the limits of the driver’s policy. However, in some situations, the other driver may not have enough insurance to cover the damages, leaving the injured person to cover some costs. Fortunately, if the injured person has his or her own insurance, including uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, these costs can be covered by that insurance.
Underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance, as the names suggest, is insurance that helps cover the costs when the insured gets in a car accident with another driver who either does not have enough insurance or who is uninsured. Drivers are often urged to get as much uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance as they can in order to absorb the costs of the damages of a car accident.
Another way to absorb the costs of a car accident if the at fault driver’s insurance does not cover all the costs of an accident, is to stack insurance. Stacking refers to a method of applying multiple insurance policies with a goal of covering all outstanding costs after a car accident. For example, Sam is in a car accident caused by Bob, and Bob is uninsured. Sam’s damages total $150,000. Sam has an uninsured motorist policy on his car with a $50,000 limit. Sam also has uninsured motorist insurance in the amount of $50,000 on another car, and his wife, who lives in the same home as him, has a $50,000 policy on her car with the same insurance company.
If Sam relied on his primary policy, he would only have $50,000 to cover his $150,000 worth of damages. However, if Sam can stack his policies, including the one on his wife’s car, he would have $150,000 to cover all the damages caused in the accident with Bob. Not everyone may have the opportunity to stack policies in this way, the terms of the insurance policy outline what the insured can do. If you have access to multiple insurance policies but are unsure as to whether or not you will be able to stack the policies, you can consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Even when someone is allowed to stack policies, he or she cannot take more from the stacking than the cost of the damages. For instance, if Sam’s damages only total $100,000, Sam can only stack his policies up to $100,000. He would not get the additional 50,000 dollars simply because it is available.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist and want to find out more about how you can use your insurance policies to cover your costs, you need to contact the law firm of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to set up a consultation to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. If you do not have multiple policies to stack, consulting with an attorney could help you identify other parties who can be held liable for damages caused in your accident.