Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

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What is Insurance Stacking, and Can it be Done in Washington State?

Posted Friday, February 26, 2021 by Chris Thayer

When you buy car insurance in Washington State, you often will notice that you are given the option of selecting “stacking” or “non-stacking.” These terms are somewhat confusing until you put them in context, so to help you better make a decision about whether the extra cost is worth it, it may be helpful to understand what stacking is and is not, and how it actually helps you in Washington State. When you get into an auto accident, it is best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer near you who can help you maximize your economic recovery. But before you ever have a crash, you have to choose car insurance. Your choices can make a huge difference if you are ever in a car accident.

*What is Stacking?*Stacking does not really apply unless you have multiple insurance policies. Also, when we talk about stacking, most of the time we are talking about something called uninsured motorist insurance. This is coverage for those situations in which the other driver causes your injuries but has no financial means or insurance to pay. Thus you must use your own coverage.

When you have one car and one policy, then your coverage is whatever you decided to purchase. If you bought a policy that covers up to $50,000 in coverage, then that is what you have to work with. But let’s change the scenario and say you have two vehicles, and each is on a separate policy. Now you would have the option of choosing stacking or non-stacking. If you opt to not stack, then if you should ever require coverage, you will only have that $50,000 per person amount to pay for your injuries. But if you choose to stack the policies, you could have double that amount available ($100,000).

*Is it Worth it?*Only you can truly decide what risk tolerance you are willing to accept. But the best way to think about it is to assess your own assets, financial means, health insurance and life situation and ask yourself how you would deal with an unanticipated $30,000 to $60,000 hospital bill, along with long-term loss of a vehicle and possibly loss of work and wages.

If you are not concerned about your ability to make ends meet, then you may not need to stack. If, on the other hand, you want to be a bit more certain to receive compensation, then the stacking policy may be just the right choice.

*How to be Compensated if the Other Driver is Not Insured*If you are injured by a driver without insurance, it will likely be okay. Assuming you carry the minimum limits of coverage and carry uninsured motorist insurance, as many Washingtonians do, you should be fine. Washington State law requires your insurance company to offer you this type of insurance, though you can decline it in writing.

If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury in the Seattle metro area, then you need aggressive and caring assistance through the process. Call Pivotal Law Group today, and speak with an attorney about your injuries.