Stacking Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Virginia
Car accidents can be life-changing experiences. The consequences of a catastrophic accident can leave you with long-lasting injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and a damaged (or totaled) vehicle. Insurance is designed to mitigate the financial impact of a car or truck accident, but sometimes, the at-fault driver may not have enough insurance to cover the damages.
In such cases, underinsured motorist coverage can provide a safety net. However, in Virginia, there is also an option to stack underinsured motorist coverage, which can significantly increase the amount of coverage available in case of an accident.
In this blog post, we will explain the concept of insurance stacking, how it works in Virginia, and what happens if your underinsured motorist coverage is not enough to cover the value of a car accident case.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Virginia and would like to learn more about insurance stacking, we invite you to call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt to schedule a free consultation. We represent injury victims on a contingency fee basis, meaning we are only entitled to a fee if compensation is recovered, and we also advance litigation expenses while a case is ongoing (which are typically fully covered by a settlement or jury award).
What Is Insurance Stacking?
Insurance stacking refers to the practice of combining the coverage of two or more insurance policies to increase the amount of coverage available in a car accident case. In other words, if an individual has two or more insurance policies that cover the same type of loss, the policies may be “stacked” together to increase the total amount of coverage.
Stacking is commonly used for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which are types of insurance that protect injury victims when an at-fault driver either has no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover the damages. Underinsured motorist coverage can pay for the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance limit and the total damages incurred.
What Happens If Virginia Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is Not Enough To Cover The Value Of A Car Accident Case?
Virginia law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, which is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $20,000 per accident for property damage. If you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who has only the minimum required insurance, and you have significant injuries, the at-fault driver’s insurance may not be enough to cover your losses.
In such cases, underinsured motorist coverage can help cover the shortfall. However, the amount of coverage available under a policy may not be enough to fully compensate you for your losses. For example, if you have $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, and your damages exceed $50,000, you may be left with a significant gap in coverage.
This is where insurance stacking may be highly beneficial. If you have multiple insurance policies that provide underinsured motorist coverage, you may be entitled to stack them together to increase the amount of coverage available. For example, if you have two stackable insurance policies, each with $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, the total coverage of the combined policies would be $100,000.
Can You Stack Insurance Policies In Virginia?
Yes, insurance policies can be stacked in Virginia, but it depends on the terms of the policies.
Virginia law allows insurance companies to offer non-stacking policies, which means that the coverage limits cannot be combined. Non-stacking policies are generally more affordable, but they provide less coverage than stacking policies. Conversely, stacking policies allow an individual to combine the coverage limits of multiple policies, which can significantly increase the amount of coverage available.
It is critical to note that stacking policies can be complex, and there may be limitations and exclusions that an injury victim should be aware of. For example, some policies may limit the number of policies that can be stacked or may exclude coverage for certain types of accidents or injuries. Therefore, it is vital to carefully review the terms of an insurance policy with an experienced car accident attorney with a deep understanding of Virginia insurance stacking laws.
Can I Stack A MedPay Policy in Virginia?
MedPay policies can be stacked in the same way as an underinsured motorist (UM) and uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage. MedPay, or medical payments coverage, is a type of optional insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses incurred by the policyholder or their passengers in the event of a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. It is often referred to as “no-fault medical coverage,” meaning an injury victim can receive immediate coverage for medical bills after a car accident.
Like UM and UIM coverage, MedPay policies can be stacked in Virginia. If you have MedPay coverage on multiple policies, you may be entitled to combine the coverage limits to increase the benefits. This can be particularly helpful if you or someone in your household is involved in a car accident and requires medical attention.
How Can An Insurance Stacking Lawyer Help With My Car Accident Case? Top of Form
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Virginia, hiring the best car accident lawyer possible can be a valuable asset to your case. As a car accident attorney with over two decades of experience, firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt can assist with the following:
- Evaluate your insurance policies. As an insurance stacking attorney, Mark can evaluate your insurance policies to determine whether stacking is an option and help you understand the terms and limitations of each policy.
- Determine your damages. As a dedicated car accident lawyer, Mark can help determine the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies often try to limit the amount of compensation they pay out. As a tenacious car accident attorney, Duke Law graduate Mark Hurt can negotiate with insurers on your behalf to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.
- File a lawsuit. If insurance negotiations are not successful, insurance stacking attorney Mark Hurt can file a lawsuit on your behalf in seeking maximum compensation for your damages.
- Represent you in court. If your case goes to court, Mark can help build a compelling case and tenaciously advocate for justice and compensation for your car accident injuries.
As a Virginia car accident injury lawyer with over two decades of experience, Mark Hurt can help you navigate the complexities of insurance stacking and help pursue the maximum compensation to which you are rightfully entitled. If you have been involved in a car accident in Virginia, we invite you to call our offices to schedule a free consultation with experienced car crash attorney Mark Hurt to learn more about your legal rights and options.