What is Stacking of Uninsured/Underinsured Auto Insurance?

People often do not understand stacking of insurance uninsured/underinsured coverage (UIM) in car accidents. In fact, many are not aware that it is a possibility. Many others have waived coverage based upon a basic misunderstanding of UIM. Sadly, many others have been deliberately deceived by insurance companies to encourage waiver of coverage.

Because many do not understand UIM coverage, this will be addressed briefly below following the discussion of stacking.

Stacking of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Stacking is automatic where there are multiple vehicles with underinsured coverage
The law in New Mexico requires stacking of coverage. This means it is automatic when UIM is available.

Stacking means that you stack or combine UIM coverage from all vehicles in your household. In short, if you have 2 cars with $25,000 in UIM, you have $50,000 total UIM coverage. This is true if you have 2 cars or 10 cars.

Stacking applies to all cars in the household which means it applies to any auto insurance policy on any car carried by anyone living in the household.

When you understand the facts regarding auto insurance in New Mexico, you will understand how important stacking is to protect you and your family. On a more basic level, you will also understand the importance of having UIM coverage on each and every vehicle in your household.

Basic Facts of Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured protects you in accidents with the large percentage of drivers who have no insurance or insufficient insurance.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage is just what it sounds like. It is insurance coverage that protects you in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

“Uninsured” is pretty clear and needs no explanation other than to say New Mexico leads the nation in uninsured drivers.

Underinsured is pretty straightforward as well. New Mexico law requires only $25,000 in liability coverage. The great majority of New Mexico drivers carry only the minimal requirements. This means that in the vast majority of accidents in New Mexico, the driver will have only $25,000 in coverage if he or she has any at all.

In serious accidents, $25,000 is grossly insufficient to cover even basic medical care much less other damages such as lost income. This is an underinsured situation where your UIM coverage will kick in if you have which you should. Not only should you have it, but you should carry a lot of it. It is the best deal in insurance which explains the aforementioned reference to insurance companies trying to talk you out of it.

An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Likely Necessary to Protect Your Rights

If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, you will likely need an attorney for fair compensation from your insurance company.  Do not expect your insurance company to freely offer up this coverage or even to advise or otherwise guide you through the process.  You will likely need an attorney to encourage their full cooperation.

The Albuquerque auto accident attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can help. We can be reached at (505) 242-5958

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