Do you know how many uninsured motorists you are sharing the roads with in New Mexico? According to the Albuquerque Journal in 2021, 21.8 percent of New Mexico drivers are uninsured. That means 1-in-5 drivers you see on the road are uninsured.
You may already know that state law requires all drivers to be covered with at least minimum liability insurance. But what happens when an uninsured motorist causes an accident? New Mexico does not require uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage. However many individuals choose to obtain $25,000 in uninsured motorists coverage, and that money can go quickly if a serious accident requires a hospital, or worse, an ICU stay.
Hopefully, you are never in this position, but there is something you can do that may help in this worst-case scenario.
What it means to “stack” insurance policies
If the idea of stacking insurance policies is unfamiliar to you, you are not alone. Insurance companies often avoid discussing this option for people paying premiums on multiple policies by asking if you just want the cheapest premium or slipping the policy stacking form into the larger group of policy documents you sign, hoping for you not to notice it is in there.
This is to your detriment as the ability to “stack” or aggregate these policies to file multiple claims can allow you to receive more or all the money you need to help in your recovery. For example, if you and your spouse pay the premiums on both of your vehicles and the vehicles of your two teen drivers. If you were to get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, you would be able to claim the UIM coverage from all four policies – or stack them – instead of the one policy. Even with the minimum UIM coverage of $25,000, you could receive $100,000 instead of $25,000.
What can you do next?
It might be a good idea to discuss your coverage with your insurance company and ensure that you would have this ability if worse came to worst. While it typically costs more to enable stacking on your policies, you would be glad you had the ability to stack if you ever needed to use it. If you are going to look into stacking, you need to do it before an accident and cannot do it after.
Those who do not have multiple policies can also discuss raising their UIM coverage with their provider if they would like.
You never really know who may be sharing the road with you and it is impossible to tell who is insured. If you do find yourself looking for just compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver, a skilled car accident attorney will know to look for options like stacking policies and more.