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Stacked vs Unstacked Insurance

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By Deanna McCarty on June 18, 2020 in Insurance Basics

Stacks can be great. Let’s get really real for a moment. Is anything better than a stack of Oreos, a stack of money, a stack of crackers with cheese, or a stack of books? We want to throw stacked car insurance limits in the mix! You might not be as familiar with stacked insurance limits as stacked Oreos, but don’t worry that’s why we’re here. Let’s jump right into the good stuff!

Understanding stacked car insurance limits requires a little background knowledge on two types of coverage – Uninsured Motorist, UM, and Underinsured Motorist, UIM. These coverages are designed to help with costs when the at-fault driver in a covered accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough liability coverage. Here at Say, we combined BOTH Underinsured Motorist and Uninsured Motorist coverage into one. Fewer decisions and likely a better price for you! Bingo!

Stacked insurance limits basically mean your Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage limits may be increased as related to the limits for all of your insured vehicles in case of an accident. Unstacked insurance limits on the other end basically mean your limits for each vehicle are separate.

Quick initial recap – when limits are stacked, the limits may increase in relation to the number of cars on your policy.

Stacked Coverage

Why Stacked vs Unstacked Insurance? Stacked insurance limits may come into play when multiple cars are insured. This means in the situation of a covered accident; your coverage limits may be combined and higher levels of coverage limits may be reached because both your limits may be combined

There are pros and cons to each option. What are they for stacked insurance limits you ask?

Pro: Likely higher coverage limits when you’re in a covered accident and the person at-fault is uninsured or underinsured.

Con: You could pay a higher premium.

Difference Between Stacked and Unstacked Insurance Coverage

Unstacked insurance limits treat every vehicle separately. This might seem like a no-brainer; why wouldn’t you choose a policy that allows for stacking if you need additional limits? Unfortunately, your monthly premium may increase to account for this. Further, some insurance policies have anti-stacking provision and some state laws and regulations don't allow for stacking. Whether your limits are able to be stacked depends on the language in your policy and your state.

More pros and cons:

Pro: Likely pay less for your premium.

Con: The unstacked limits might not cover the full amount needed after an accident


To wrap up the stacked vs unstacked car breakdown, stacked likely means higher limits and possibly a higher monthly premium. Unstacked means likely lower premiums, but also lower limits. Ultimately, the decision is up to you to choose a policy that meets your needs.

Deanna McCarty is the Director of Personal Lines Underwriting. She has overall responsibility for planning, directing and coordinating Personal Lines Underwriting operations. Deanna has been an Underwriting Director for 4 years, prior to that she was Manager of the St. Louis Claims Branch. She has been an employee of the company for over 20 years and has worked as Director for Say Personal Lines operations since its inception. Her experience in health claims, P&C claims, and underwriting has helped her gain knowledge of various aspects of the insurance world.