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Does Arizona Allow Crash Victims to Stack Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jan 21, 2022 in Auto Accidents

red puzzle piece not connectedSome states allow crash victims to stack uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage from multiple car insurance policies. Some states may even allow uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to be used in the same claim.

These options can help ensure crash victims receive full compensation for their damages if they can validate their claim. Stacking this coverage may also help crash victims avoid paying out of pocket for their damages. This is a significant benefit, because many crash victims cannot afford to pay for costs on their own. When injured victims have to foot the bill for medical expenses and other damages, they may go into debt. Those who cannot pay may skip treatment altogether, which could worsen their injuries and hurt their quality of life.  

What does Arizona law say about stacking these coverages?

Our experienced attorneys discuss this complex issue below. As there are multiple factors to consider, it is important to meet with a licensed attorney to discuss your claim for compensation. At Phillips Law Group, we are dedicated to pursuing full compensation for damages. We have obtained more than $750 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.

What Does Arizona Law Say?

You cannot stack uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages together. You can apply one coverage but not the other. It is important to note these coverages cannot be used unless all other available coverages have been exhausted. This includes primary and secondary coverage.

What About Stacking Coverage Between Multiple Policies?

This is a question that should be discussed with a licensed attorney, as it may depend on the situation. Under subsection H of Arizona Revised Statutes § 20-259.01, car insurance companies have the right to limit coverage if a crash victim has purchased multiple policies. The insurance company can require the victim to pick one policy to apply to the accident.

Arizona Supreme Court Decision

It is important to note that in 2012, the Arizona Supreme Court stated that this section of the statute only applies to certain cases. Specifically, it applies if the victim owned multiple cars and took out multiple policies to try to obtain coverage for the same crash.

The Arizona Supreme Court made this distinction in a case involving a defendant who was injured while riding on her husband’s motorcycle. The victim’s husband had obtained a $100,000 liability policy on the motorcycle. The victim had a separate policy with liability coverage and underinsured motorist coverage on her car. The policy on her car was in her name, while the husband’s policy on the motorcycle was in his name.

The victim settled with the husband’s liability insurance for the policy limit and then filed a claim against the underinsured motorist coverage in her own policy. However, the insurance company denied this claim. The insurer said the policy had an anti-stacking clause prohibiting her from recovering liability and underinsured motorist coverage from the same policy or insurance company. The husband and his wife were insured by the same company.

The case made it to the Arizona Supreme Court, which, despite both policies being from the same company, ruled for the victim. The wife was deemed entitled to receive compensation from the husband’s liability policy as well as her underinsured motorist coverage.  

In short, Arizona law prohibits one person from stacking coverage from multiple policies in their name. However, if you exhaust the limits in a claim against another party’s insurance, you may still seek compensation against the underinsured motorist coverage in your own policy.

Since Arizona does not allow you to combine multiple policies, it is important to have a significant amount of coverage to protect you in case of a crash. You do not want to be stuck paying out of pocket for damages. While many drivers purchase more than the minimum required coverage, it could quickly be exhausted in a serious crash.

You should also strongly consider hiring an experienced attorney to help you seek compensation. That way you do not need to concern yourself with state laws and complex-worded insurance policies. You can focus on your treatment while your attorney handles the insurance company.

Phillips Law Group is Here to Help. Call Today to Learn More

You can be sure the insurance company is going to pull out all the stops to avoid paying full compensation for your damages. That is why you need an experienced advocate fighting for your best interests.

Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix-based car crash lawyers are here to help you seek maximum compensation to help you move forward. For nearly three decades, we have represented crash victims in Arizona and have a proven track record of results.

No upfront fees or legal obligations. Call today: 1-800-706-3000

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