Auto insurance issues on the whole are confusing and sometimes it seems the insurance companies make them so deliberately. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is among the most confusing issues, and many insurance companies do in fact do everything in their power to deny lawful coverage.
Stacking of uninsured/underinsured coverage is among the most important aspects of UM/UIM coverage. In New Mexico, UM/UIM coverage stacks on all policies within the household unless the insured has properly refused the coverage. “
All cars” means all cars in the household, not just the one involved in the accident. Even though there are adjusters who will suggest otherwise, this would make no sense at all if you think about it.
If and when the auto insurance company suggests there is no stacking coverage despite multiple vehicles in the home, contact an experienced auto accident attorney right away.
Strict Requirements for Rejection of UM/UIM Auto Accident Coverage
You may take the exceedingly bad decision to reject stacking coverage but just as with the rejection of UM/UIM. Rejection of UM/UIM must meet strict criteria in New Mexico. How coverage might be properly rejected has been the topic of numerous New Mexico Appellate Court cases over the last several years. The same requirements for rejection of UM/UIM apply to the rejection of stacking. Suffice it to say that an insurance company cannot try to slip an exclusion of stacking by you.
Again, this means that all policies in the home under the same policy will stack. Naturally, this means that stacking applies even to those cars not involved in the accident. It also means that stacking applies even though the policy contains an exclusion of those vehicles, unless again there has been a proper and legal rejection of UM/UIM and/or stacking. An exclusion cannot be buried in the policy. There must be clear and knowing rejection of coverage.
Insurance Companies Tactics to Avoid UM/UIM Auto Accident Coverage
The question comes up in light of a recent South Carolina Supreme Court case that dealt with the attempted denial of stacking by an insurance company whose policy had an exclusion of stacking coverage for any vehicles not involved in the accident.
Nice try insurance company but really what is the point of stacking if it does not include the vehicles on the policy not involved in the accident. After all, how likely is it that the family will suffer a 5-car pile up involving 4 family owned vehicles and caused by the 5th driver? The exclusion would effectively negate stacking entirely.
It is these kinds of insurance practices that have lead to the rash of recent cases in New Mexico regarding UM/UIM coverage and the proper rejection of such coverage. As mentioned, some insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid UM/UIM coverage despite their contractual obligation.
In addition to attempting to avoid coverage even though it is clearly available under the policy, some insurance companies will do everything they can to get you to reject UM/UIM coverage. Think about that for a moment and you will realize how important this coverage is, as well the fact that it is a bargain to you and your family.
UM/UIM Coverage Critical in Serious Auto Accidents
Get as much UM/UIM coverage as you can afford, and get it on all vehicles within your home. It is vitally important protection for you and your familiy
Ask yourself why insurance companies would go to such lengths to avoid coverage that would actually result in additional premiums. The answer should be obvious. To the New Mexico Courts it was and this is why insurance companies are now required to provide information on the difference in premiums for coverage with and without UM/UIM.
The conclusion is equally obvious, get UM/UIM, get as much as you can afford, and get it on all vehicles within your home. It is vitally important protection for you and your family. This is so in every state but perhaps never more so than in New Mexico, which has among the highest rates of uninsured motorists in the country.