Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Feb 22, 2022 in Auto Accidents
Texas allows auto insurance policyholders in the state to stack their Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage under certain circumstances. Stacking means you can combine UM/UIM coverage from multiple insurance policies, which can dramatically increase the limits of your insurance coverage.
Even if you have UM/UIM coverage in case you get into an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, it might not be enough for a severe injury. Being able to stack coverage from multiple policies could be the difference between a favorable settlement and significant out-of-pocket expenses after a crash.
Below, our Fort Worth auto accident attorneys discuss the importance of selecting UM coverage for your policy and how stacking it may help you recover the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other economic damages.
What Does it Mean to Stack an Uninsured Motorist Policy?
UM/UIM coverage is not a mandatory insurance option in Texas, as drivers can choose to reject it. However, insurers are required to offer it. Rejection of the coverage must be done in writing, whether through an electronic or wet signature.
Drivers who select UM coverage for their policies can choose between stacked and unstacked coverage. When a driver chooses to stack his or her UM/UIM coverage, he or she can increase the policy payout limit by combining coverage from two policies. For example, if you have policies on two vehicles, you may be able to combine them to increase your policy limit – if both vehicles have $100,000 in coverage you may be able to stack and increase your coverage to $200,000.
Not every state allows drivers to stack their insurance policies. Some states outright prohibit insurance stacking while others limit the option in other ways. In Texas, stacking is allowed except where specifically prohibited by the insurance company’s policy. However, only “inter-policy” stacking is allowed. “Intra-policy” stacking is not allowed.
Intra-Policy Stacking vs Inter-Policy Stacking Explained
Intra-policy stacking, also known as horizontal stacking, is when a policyholder combines the liability limits of multiple vehicles under the same policy to increase their overall coverage limits.
Inter-policy stacking, or vertical stacking, is when a person combines the liability limits across multiple insurance policies that have his or her name on them.
It is important to note that not every insurance company offers the option to stack insurance, and Texas law allows insurers to choose whether to offer it. Therefore, you should review your insurance policy with an experienced attorney to see what coverage options may be available to you when filing a claim.
How Can Stacking My Uninsured Motorist Policies Help My Crash Claim?
Deciding if stacking your UM coverage is the right option is often based on several factors. Cost is one of the most important, as choosing to stack your UM policy may raise your premiums. However, the increased rates generally do not come out to be more than $10 a month.
Paying slightly more for robust coverage may benefit you due to the number of uninsured drivers in Texas, or even those who have just enough insurance to meet state requirements.
Auto accidents, especially serious ones, often result in hefty medical bills or leave injury victims unable to work for days, weeks or months at a time. If the party responsible for your injuries does not have insurance to cover the cost of your damages, you may be left in serious debt.
Having UM coverage may help you but stacking your policies may provide even more coverage in case of a catastrophic accident.
Call a Knowledgeable Attorney Today
If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, let our attorneys help you through the process of filing a claim.
Our attorneys have the legal knowledge to review your policy and see what options may be available to you when pursuing compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Call (877) 920-9009 to schedule a free consultation.