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January 1, 2019

What is Insurance Policy Stacking?

Morrin Law Office

Auto accidents can be catastrophic, leaving injured individuals facing long recovery times before they can get back to their best health or any kind of normal life. Time in the hospital, countless rehab appointments, prescription medications, and other costs associated with the accident can be expensive and add up quickly when you are hurt and unable to work. There is coverage available that can help, namely the at fault driver’s liability insurance policy, but if that policy is the minimum insurance required by law then it will only cover up to $25,000.

This coverage usually does not provide the full coverage needed when you’ve been hurt bad, leading accident victims to wonder if there are any other policies they may be able to “stack”. They may be able to, but doing so in Kentucky can be very difficult. It is best to speak to a Kentucky car accident attorney who can review the case and the insurance policy, ultimately determining whether or not it will be possible to stack two separate policies.  When choosing your Kentucky injury lawyer it is important to speak with a lawyer who handles injuries every day, not just a lawyer who will take your injury case.  Many attorneys are willing to take your injury case because they would like to start handling more of those cases.  Allowing an attorney to “practice” on your case is your risk to take, but please consider speaking to someone who handles Kentucky injury claims every day to make sure you don’t leave thousands of dollars, that could go to much needed medical care, on the table.

What Is Stacking an Insurance Policy?

The definition of stacking insurance policies is collecting on multiple policies in order to receive a larger payment that will help pay for injury expenses. Stacking policies typically refers to the UIM (Underinsured Motorist) policy, or the UM (Uninsured Motorist) policy.

For example, if a person owns two cars and has $50,000 in UIM on one vehicle and $50,000 in UIM on the other, those policies may be stacked in Kentucky if the owner pays two separate premiums for each UIM policy on each car.  If that is the case, then, a claim could be submitted for $50,000 on the first UIM and then another claim submitted for $50,000 on the second UIM; for an aggregate UIM claim of $100,000 after the liability policy has already paid.

There are many different kinds of car insurance policies, and most can be stacked in certain situations.  Many, even other lawyers, don’t know that you can also stack excess PIP (Personal Injury Protection) if you have purchased excess PIP for any vehicle you own, not just the vehicle that was in the wreck.  It’s also true that you may be able to stack Liability policies if the vehicle the at faulty driver was driving was not their vehicle and they own another vehicle that is properly insured.

While approximately 30 states allow auto insurance policies to be stacked, not all do. This is why it is so important for anyone injured in a car accident to speak to an attorney who can review the case and advise on whether or not stacking is a possibility.  Again, speak with an attorney who is insured and who handles injury cases in Kentucky every day.

Can You Stack Insurance Policies in Kentucky?

Technically speaking, stacking insurance policies is allowed by law in Kentucky. However, an auto accident victim can only stack their policies if the insurance company has charged a separate premium for each vehicle. In the example above, an injured individual would be able to stack their insurance policies because they paid different premiums on their UIM insurance for each vehicle.

Insurance companies, of course, do not want to pay out on multiple policies. They are all for-profit businesses who focus on their bottom line above all else, and the fewer policy claims they pay, and the less they pay, the more money (your monthly premiums) they get to keep for themselves. For this reason, most insurance policies have changed the language of their auto insurance policies and how they sell the policies.  For example, when I last purchased auto insurance I was told that I could “save money” by simply paying for one UIM policy that will cover all vehicles.  Although I understood that such a payment method could leave me holding the bag if I’m seriously injured, the sales agent didn’t think it was important to mention that fact.  I knew better and I insisted on purchasing a separate UIM policy for each vehicle; you should do the same.

Insurance companies will either include a no-stacking clause within their policies that can eliminate stacking if the language is clear enough or they will simply try to charge the same UIM premium for all vehicles.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Kentucky

Although insurance companies are changing the way they write their policies, stacking insurance policies still occurs frequently and may be available for your injury claim with the help of a Kentucky injury professional. Insurance companies are even allowed to include language in their policies that is not enforceable in Kentucky; if you read it without knowing better then you would be believing a lie from the insurance company. Due to this, it is important that all accident victims speak to a Kentucky car accident lawyer who can review their policy, and determine if an accident victim is eligible to stack any insurance policies. A well-practiced Kentucky personal injury lawyer will be able to help you get back to your best health, and best life by making sure you recover from every insurance possible.  Call us today!

FREE PRO INSURANCE TIP:  Purchase UIM coverage on at least one vehicle (ideally paying a separate premium on all vehicles you own) and purchase excess PIP coverage (more than $10,000) on at least one vehicle.

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