While car insurance is required in Connecticut, unfortunately not every motorist purchases the required coverage, and sometimes even when a motorist does have insurance, they do not have enough to cover the costs of an accident that they cause. In these situations, the accident victim’s own insurance policy or policies may kick in to help provide the accident victim with much-needed compensation for their injuries. This is because Connecticut requires all drivers to carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist protection provides coverage in hit-and-run accidents, as well as when the at-fault party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance.
What is Stacking?
Stacking refers to seeking compensation from two separate insurance policies. For example, assume that a driver incurs $200,000 in medical bills after a hit-and-run accident. The at-fault driver effectively has no insurance because they cannot be located, so the accident victim’s uninsured motorist coverage kicks in as the sole means of compensation. However, what if the motorist has an insurance policy that covers several vehicles? What if the accident victim has two insurance policies?
Stacking Insurance Policies in Connecticut
Connecticut is an anti-stacking state, meaning that as a general rule, accident victims are not permitted to stack coverage within a single policy. This means that an accident victim who has a policy that covers three vehicles at $50,000 per vehicle will not be able to obtain $150,000 for a single accident by stacking the coverage for the three covered vehicles. In this situation, the accident victim will be limited to the $50,000 per vehicle limit.
If the accident victim has two separate policies, however, each naming the covered vehicle, according to a 2010 Connecticut appellate court opinion, the accident victim may be able to stack the two policies together. The case involved a plaintiff who was involved in an accident when a piece of equipment from an unknown vehicle crashed through his front windshield while he was driving on the highway. The accident resulted in over $200,000 in medical bills. The plaintiff had two separate insurance policies, each of which named his truck as a covered vehicle.
The plaintiff sought compensation up to the $100,000 limit of each policy. The insurance companies objected, but the court held that the plaintiff should be entitled to the coverage of each policy. The court explained that there was no law preventing a motorist from obtaining multiple policies on the same vehicle, and since each policy specifically named the plaintiff’s truck, the anti-stacking provision should not apply.
Have You Been Involved in a Connecticut Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Connecticut car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, there may be more than one insurance policy involved. However, as more insurance companies get involved, the likelihood of at least one of them rejecting your claim increases. The skilled attorneys at Brickley Law are dedicated to serving the residents of Fairfield County, including New Canaan, Norwalk, Wilton, Darien, and Stamford. Attorney Brickley has extensive experience dealing with insurance companies in both the pre-trial settlement context as well as in courtroom litigation. Call 203-599-3600 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Brickley today.