How your family’s insurance can help you after a crash
A single car accident is enough to bankrupt the average person. You may be left with expensive medical bills, weeks to months out of work, and have to replace your car.
If another driver caused your injuries, you hope you can file a claim with his insurance company to cover the bills. Unfortunately, most drivers have only the legal minimum limit of insurance coverage, meaning after their insurance pays you the policy limits, you may still have significant bills left over. While you might have to pay the rest out-of-pocket, your own car insurance policy may be able to help. Here’s how:
What is insurance stacking?
Insurance stacking means that you are using multiple insurance policies to cover the costs of a single car accident.
For example, let’s say that you were T-boned by an uninsured driver in Gloucester County. After going to the hospital and getting treatment, you end up with a bill of $50,000. Luckily, you have uninsured motorist coverage, but only the minimum of $25,000 for a single person’s injuries.
What you may not realize is that if another member of your household has an auto insurance policy, you may also be able to file a claim under that policy to cover the full costs of your injuries. This means that your wife’s $25,000 uninsured motorist coverage may also apply to your accident, covering the full $50,000 hospital bill.
When can I stack insurance?
Insurance stacking is allowed when your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy is not enough to cover the full costs of your injuries. It only applies to your auto insurance policy.
To stack insurance, you need to:
- Have uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), both of which are required in Virginia.
- Have suffered more damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) than your UM or UIM policy will pay.
- Have a “resident relative” in your household who also has UM/UIM coverage, such as your spouse, your teen driver, your parents, or your siblings.
In most other parts of the United States, stacking insurance is not allowed, but here in the Commonwealth, it is legal.
Can I stack a MedPay policy?
MedPay policies can be stacked in the same way as UM/UIM coverage. MedPay is “no-fault medical coverage,” meaning you can receive immediate coverage for your medical bills after a car accident. MedPay is optional in Virginia, but if multiple cars in your household have these policies, it can be helpful after a crash.
When is stacking not allowed?
Some insurance policies do not allow stacking. You should review your insurance policy after an accident with a lawyer who can explain if it is an option. And if it is allowed by the company, stacking is only allowed for UM, UIM, and MedPay coverage.
Who should I talk to after an accident?
Dealing with the aftermath of a wreck is difficult. You may be in a great deal of pain from your injuries, be worried about how to pay your bills, and be tired of dealing with insurance companies. But there is help for you.
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we are dedicated Virginia car accident attorneys. We have worked on hundreds of cases for our neighbors in Virginia. We will sit down with you in a free consultation, talk about what happened, and review your insurance policy to get you help.
We bring you big-city experience and small-town care. We’ve worked for big insurance companies, in big cities, as trial lawyers. Now, we are proud to serve our neighbors here in Eastern Virginia with our experience and expertise.
Call us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to start working on your case. We’re here to help.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.