In Pennsylvania, all drivers must have car insurance before they take to the road. However, some drivers may not have enough coverage to cover the costs of a crash, or some drivers may simply overlook this law and drive without insurance altogether. In order to protect yourself from uninsured or underinsured drivers, it is important that you choose to accept uninsured motorist insurance coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist insurance coverage (UIM) from your insurer. You also should not waive stacking of UM or UIM coverage, which could provide you with added benefits in the event of a crash.
However, if you waive your right to stack UIM benefits, you could be depriving yourself of valuable protection.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance can be used to pay for any damages you sustain in a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. If the other driver lacks insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for the cost of your pain and suffering, your medical care, lost wages, and other important expenses, your UIM will kick in and supply you with the difference up to your coverage limit.
Drivers in Pennsylvania are permitted to stack their insurance to add extra protection if they should get into a crash. Stacking UM/UIM coverages means you are able to collect from more than one car insurance policy to receive full payment for your injuries and property damage. Retaining coverage from multiple sources will provide the insured person with more financial security after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. So, if the damages are extensive, the injured driver or passenger could use the benefits from the stacked policies to receive more benefits than he or she would have received with a single limit. Household residents, or resident relatives, could be entitled to UM benefits or UIM benefits under the household policy in addition to the policy covering the vehicle if insured under another policy.
When You Can't Stack UIM
However, UIM cannot always be stacked– class one insureds who are the policy’s named insured and resident relatives can stack whereas class two by virtue of their occupancy in the vehicle may not under the same policy. However, the individual may be able to inter-stack the coverage, depending upon the circumstances and policy language. Business policies may be different, and may not allow for stacking.
UIM coverage cannot be stacked if the policyholder waved his or her rights to stack coverage, or if the policyholder waives the right to UIM coverage altogether. If you wish to stack UIM benefits, make sure you review your auto policy and do not reject or lower your limits for UIM coverage. If you ever get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you could face serious financial consequences for waiving this crucial benefit that must be offered to you.
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, make sure you reach out to our firm for help. At The Law Offices of Anthony Urban, P.C., we can work with you to determine what your auto policy covers and what benefits you are entitled to.
If your own auto carrier offers to pay you UM or UIM benefits, contact the attorneys at Urban Law to review your case to determine if you are entitled to additional money such as stacked benefits. If you are informed that you are not entitled to UM or UIM benefits under your own policy, the car crash lawyers at Urban Law can review your case to determine if the carrier has a valid waiver; if it does not, the carrier must offer the benefits. Likewise, if the carrier informs you that you are only entitled to UIM or UM limits which are less than the third-party limits, you should contact the motor vehicle accident attorneys at Urban Law to review your case to determine if the carrier should offer you benefits equal to the third party limits. Each case and policy is different so it is important to consult with an attorney.