There are two ways to stack.
Table of contents
When does stacking uninsured motorist (UM) insurance cover you?
If you have stacking uninsured motorist insurance on your car, it covers you anytime an uninsured or underinsured vehicle hits you. In order for your UM to cover you, the uninsured driver must be at fault.
Stacking UM coverage is much broader (more generous) than non-stacking coverage.
For example, your stacking UM coverage from your car covers you if an uninsured driver hit you while you were on a uninsured motorcycle.
You could even own an uninsured motorcycle and your stacking UM from your car would still cover you.
But stacking uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t stop there.
To show you have generous stacking UM coverage is, look at this illustration:
Stacking coverage would cover you if you were on a submarine and an uninsured or underinsured vehicle hit you.
Of course, this assumes that the accident happened within the United States.
Stacking by Different Policies
Someone who is an insured under 2 or more different policies may add the UM coverage from each policy.
Example – Stacking by Different Policies
John has 2 vehicles, each of which is insured under a different policy. One is insured with $10,000 of uninsured motorist coverage with State Farm and one is insured with $20,000 of uninsured motorist coverage with Allstate.
John can stack the 2 policies which would give him $30,000 in UM coverage.
Stacking by combining policies = UM on policy #1 + UM on policy #2
= $10,000 + $20,000
Stacking = $30,000 in uninsured motorist coverage
The Florida uninsured motorist coverage statute does not allow an “other insurance” clause in the policy which tries to limit the insurer’s liability when coverage is available from another policy.
Adding coverage from 2 or more different policies is allowed if the insured selected stacked coverage for each one.
Stacking by Multiple Vehicles on one policy
The injured party who is insured under one policy that covers 2 or more vehicles is allowed to add or stack the coverage for each vehicle insured on the policy.
Example – Stacking by Multiple Vehicles on 1 Policy
Bob has an auto insurance policy that gives uninsured motorist coverage of $10,000 and covers 4 vehicles. Bob has $40,000 in UM coverage.
Stacking coverage for each vehicle insured on policy = $10,000 +$10,000 + $10,000 +$10,000
Stacking coverage for each vehicle insured on policy = $40,000
My Actual Settlement Example – Stacking by Multiple Vehicles on 1 policy – By resident relative
I represented a man who was driving in a car when he claimed that the negligence of an uninsured motorist caused the crash. He suffered a hip fracture and had surgery. The uninsured motorist left the scene.
My client was a resident relative of the named insured, his mother, who had $10,000 in stacking UM coverage on 1 policy with Geico for 5 vehicles. The car that my client was in one of those 5 vehicles.
Geico paid the $50,000 limits. All settlements on this site are before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
I also settled another car accident case for the same client for the $35,000 bodily injury liability limits of the liable parties. The liable parties were insured by Allstate and State Farm. In that case he had a wrist fracture and had surgery shortly thereafter.
But insurers can write policies that do not allow stacking and restrict coverage to the vehicle occupied by the insured at the time of the accident. F.S. 627.727(9) (a)-(9)(b).
Class I and Class II insureds
In order to know how an insured can stack coverages, it is important to know whether the insured is a Class I or Class II insured.
Class I insured may stack the UM limits of all vehicles under the policies which they are a Class I insured and may combine to that policy in which they are a Class II insured.
A Class II insured not allowed to stack coverage for vehicles under policy that insures him or her as Class II insured.
Bob has UM limits of $10,000 on the vehicle that they are in and 2 more vehicles.
Bob and Marcel are not resident relatives.
Marcel may stack the coverage for his 4 vehicles on his policy and may add that to Bob’s $10,000 coverage on the vehicle that they were in at the time of the crash.
Thus, he can’t stack Bob’s UM coverage for the 3 vehicles that Bob insures.
Marcel would qualify for $50,000 in UM coverage.
Total UM available = (UM limits of Class I Insured x number of vehicles to which Marcel is Class I insured) + (Limits of Policy to which he is Class II insured)
Total UM available = ($10,000 x 4) + ($10,000)
= ($10,000 x 4) + ($10,000)
Total UM available = $50,000
The same scenario applies to Florida underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. It is important to know how a setoff applies to uninsured motorist coverage.
Is An Employee Able To Stack Coverages from His Employer’s Auto Insurance Policy?
If the named insured is a corporation, the employee is, at best, a Class II insured if he is a driver or passenger of a vehicle. Varro v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., 854 So. 2d 726, 728 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003)
Thus, the employee cannot stack UM coverage from multiple vehicles on the employer’s insurance policy.
Let’s look at a real example.
Rigoberto Hurtado was severely injured in an automobile accident when the vehicle he drove collided with a vehicle owned and driven by an uninsured motorist.
Hurtado was employed as a mechanic by Miranda Groves and Nurseries, Inc. (Miranda). At the time of the accident, Hurtado was operating a vehicle owned by Miranda and provided to Hurtado as part of his employment benefits.
All insurance, maintenance costs, and registration fees were paid by Miranda. Hurtado was allowed to use the vehicle for both business and personal use. He also was allowed to use all other vehicles owned by his employer.
Miranda’s business auto insurance policy covered Hurtado’s vehicle as well as 10 other vehicles owned by Miranda.
If Hurtado isn’t the named insured on the policy, he can’t stack uninsured motorist benefits from the 10 other vehicles.
Hurtado is limited to the uninsured motorist insurance on the vehicle that he was driving. Fla. Farm Bureau Cas. Co. v. Hurtado, 587 So.2d 1314, 1317 (Fla. 1991)
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