If you are looking for an auto insurance quote in Pennsylvania, you have an option of choosing stacked coverage vs. unstacked coverage. Don't feel so bad if you don't know what it means. Most states do not have this option, and thus not too many article insurance tutorials mention it. But it is very simple to understand.
To understand stacked vs. unstacked uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you must first have a grasp on what uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) protects you when the person you hit does not have auto liability insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) protects you when the person you hit does have insurance, but the levels of liability that they carry are not enough to cover your bodily injury expenses.
Both coverages are very important. There is an alarming percentage of people driving without insurance, or driving with only minimal levels of insurance. Many states combine UM and UIM coverage and offer them as one in the same. Some states require both UM & UIM coverage, some states only require UM coverage, and some states such as Pennsylvania require neither one. They are two separate coverages and both are optional.
When we talk about stacked and unstacked coverage, we're only talking about the UM & UIM part of the policy. Nothing else. The major difference between whether you should choose stacked or unstacked really only boils down to how many vehicles you're insuring on your policy. If you only have one vehicle, there's no need to select the stacked option. But the stacked option is a good idea if you are insuring more than one vehicle.
To help you understand the difference between stacked and unstacked coverage, consider the following scenario:
John has 3 cars on his auto insurance policy. His neighbor Dave also has 3 cars on his policy. Both John and Dave selected 100/300 UM protection and 100/300 UIM protection. But John selected the stacked option for both UM and UIM, while John decided to settle for the unstacked option for both.
Having the stacked option simply multiplies the level of UM or UIM protection by the number of vehicles that you have. So while john selected 100/300 UM and UIM coverage, because he has 3 cars on his policy and he selected the stacked option, he really has 300/900 in UM and UIM coverage. Dave on the other hand, selected the unstacked option, so he only gets the coverage he asked for, which was 100/300.
That's the only difference between stacked and unstacked coverage. Of course, it makes no sense for someone with only one insured vehicle to select the stacked option. But for those with multiple insured vehicles, the stacked option is a great idea. The difference in premium between stack and unstacked coverage is usually minimal and offers you levels of UM/UIM coverage that's not available in most states.
The companies my agency carries in PA all have reasonable rates for both the stacked and unstacked coverages.
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PA Auto Insurance: Stacked vs. Unstacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage FAQ’s
Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..