According to a recent court ruling, insurance companies do not have to provide information to policy holders regarding an automatic “opt out” of stacked insurance on their multi-vehicle policy.
On March 21, 2016, a three-member panel of the Superior Court determined that both single-vehicle and multi-vehicle insurance policies should contain the same benefit choices when it comes to uninsured or underinsured motorists.
Previously, multi-vehicle policy holders were permitted to insure their vehicles by stacking their choice of benefits for each vehicle—something known as stacked insurance.
With stacked insurance, policy holders who have been in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist are permitted to collect uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury benefits from all vehicles covered by their policy, even if only one of their vehicles was involved in the accident.
However, the Superior Court has ruled that insurance companies have the right to waive a policy holder’s ability to have stacked insurance when adding a vehicle to an existing policy. The court also ruled that insurance companies are not required to inform policy holders of this automatic denial of stacked insurance.
Opponents of the new ruling have said the Superior Court is erroneously making the assumption that adding an additional vehicle to a single-vehicle policy is the same thing as having a multi-vehicle policy to begin with, as all multi-vehicle policies do not require the insurance company to provide the policy holder with a waiver of stacked insurance for any vehicle added after the initial two or more.
Attorney Scott Cooper of Schmidt Kramer is currently involved in the petition for re-argument of the case that led to the court’s ruling. Mr. Cooper has said the three-member panel failed to consider a landmark case regarding stacked insurance when making their decision. Mr. Cooper referenced the case of Bumbarger v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance, in which the court ruled that policy holders were allowed to stack uninsured/underinsured benefits when adding a third vehicle to their policy, even after waiving stacked insurance for the first two vehicles.
If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, the knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer can help you file a lawsuit and receive the financial compensation you deserve.