Explore the differences between stacked and unstacked car insurance and see which is right for you.
Why you can trust The Zebra
The Zebra partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed insurance agents, and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn more about how we make money, review our editorial standards, reference our data methodology, or view a list of our partners.
If you're confused by the terms “stacked” or “unstacked” in reference to your car insurance coverage, you're not alone. Here are the simple definitions of these terms:
Below we detail the pros and cons of stacked and non-stacked car insurance and explore the geographic limitations of stacked coverage.
Stacked car insurance usually works in one of two ways:
In either instance, if you own two vehicles with $25,000 in uninsured bodily injury coverage apiece, you could claim up to $50,000 to cover medical expenses. Your coverage limits can be found on the declarations page of your insurance policy.
A stacked car insurance policy will cost a bit more, but the additional coverage can come in handy. Plus, you can often find a better price by shopping around if the increase seems too steep.
The unfortunate truth is that there are many uninsured motorists on the road. If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, it can be difficult to get compensation for bodily injury.
Even if you are hit by a driver who has liability coverage, if they only carry the state’s minimum liability limits then you could still face issues. This is especially true in states like Pennsylvania or California, where the liability limits are quite low. Such limits can be exhausted pretty quickly if you are seriously injured. This is where underinsured coverage comes into play.
Underinsured motorist coverage picks up where the at-fault driver’s liability insurance leaves off. It can help to cover medical bills left over from the other party’s drained liability coverage.
Eligibility for a stacked car insurance policy depends on a number of factors. Not all insurance companies allow stacking: check with your current insurance provider to see if stacked auto insurance is available.
Furthermore, the ability to stack car insurance is not available in all states. Of the states who do, some may give insurers the option to opt-out of the practice with an anti-stacking provision.
Another important thing to remember is that this coverage does not offer reimbursement if you cause the collision. For uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to apply, the incident must be the fault of another driver. Specifically, a driver who is uninsured or who does not carry enough insurance coverage to properly cover your losses. Also, no-fault states may require you to go through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage before UM coverage or UIM coverage kicks in.
Also, to be eligible for a stacked car insurance policy you are required to have more than one insured car on your policy. Consult your current car insurance company to inquire about eligibility.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are great ways to protect yourself in the event of a hit-and-run car accident or a collision with a vehicle driven by an uninsured driver.
Some of the claims that uninsured/underinsured insurance cover may also be covered by your health insurance or — at least in some states — PIP coverage. However, the added peace of mind that these increased limits can bring makes the option appealing to many drivers.
If your insurance company and state allow it — and you can afford the additional cost — stacking your uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance limits can be a great idea.
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.