Stacked Vs. Non-Stacked Car Insurance

Stacked car insurance was legal in less than half of the United States in 2012. Stacked insurance effectively multiplies your coverage by the number of cars you insure. The stacked version is most beneficial if you have a problem caused by an under insured motorist, but both versions have their good and bad points.


Some insurance plans automatically stack insurance for drivers with multiple cars. If yours doesn't, you may be able to opt-in anyway. You'll have to insure more than one vehicle, and be willing to pay an extra premium for the service. In some cases, the cost to stack will be the sum of your individual policies plus a fee for the additional risk the company is taking. On the other hand, non-stacked insurance is cheaper since you're only dealing with one car.


Most Americans carry non-stacked insurance, which is just a single policy to cover a given car and its driver. For example, your policy may provide $50,000 to $100,000 coverage with a $500 deductible. When you stack the policies, the coverage jumps to $100,000 to $200,000 since you're dealing with multiple vehicles.


Stacking should give you a large insurance cushion in case an incident does occur. The extra coverage applies to every vehicle you own. No matter which car you drive, it'll be eligible for higher payouts. You could get additional discounts if you bundle your stacked car coverage with some other insurance like a homeowner's policy. That's also a potential plus for single-car coverage plans.


Despite the extra cost, stacked insurance is extremely limited. Most insurance companies won't let you add liability, theft and fire coverage to stacked plans. You'll only benefit if there's an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. The drawback to non-stacked insurance is the much smaller payout you'll get for a claim. You stand to be more vulnerable to lawsuits and large out-of-pocket expenses.


About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.