In Illinois underinsured and uninsured motorist accidents, you generally cannot stack insurance policies on top of each other but you still can recover under the highest limit applicable.
Stacking Insurance Policies After An Accident
It depends. Illinois courts do recognize anti-stacking provisions in insurance policies. This means that in both uninsured and underinsured motorist situations, you can recover from multiple policies “even where the plaintiff has paid separate premiums for uninsured motorist coverage for separate cars.” Menke v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., 78 Ill.2d 420, 425 (1980); seeState Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. McFadden, Ill.App.2d 551, 554 (2012).
How Illinois Courts Interpret Stacking Provisions
There is some good news. Illinois law allows plaintiffs to collect from the policy with the highest limit. Armstrong v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 229 Ill.App.3d 971, 976 (1992). Also, in order for anti-stacking provisions to be enforced they must be clearly and properly drafted. If they are not, they will be tossed out. Vague or poorly worded anti-stacking provisions will be interpreted in favor of the plaintiff for coverage and not for the insurance company. Hobbs v. Hartford Insurance Co. of the Midwest, 214 Ill.2d 11, 17 (2005).
Applying Court Holdings To Your Situation
Now we want to give you some examples that show you how insurance policies and Illinois law interact with each other. They might help you understand what you could recover if you were involved in a similar accident.
#1: At-Fault Driver has no insurance, you have $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage and your injuries are worth $100k. After establishing that the responsible driver had no insurance you could recover $100,000 from your auto insurance carrier.
#2: At-Fault Driver has $25,000 in coverage, you have $100,000 in coverage and your injuries are worth $100k. You could pursue a claim from your insurance carrier in the form of an under-insured motorist claim for $75,000.
#3: At-Fault Driver $25,000 in coverage, you are driving a friend’s car with $50,000 in coverage and you have a $100,000 policy on your own vehicle. Assuming your injuries are worth $100,000, you could recover $25k from the at-fault driver, $25k from your friend’s auto carrier and $50k from your personal automobile insurance. The reasoning in this scenario is that there is an anti-stacking language in most policies.
In many instances, there will be exceptions and rules that can convolute your claim. However, these examples are instructive of how you could recover after a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Yet, to understand more clearly what you could get, contact our offices.
Want To Know More About Uninsured Motorist Claims?
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you identify the route to the most compensation possible after an incident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. After you decide which path to choose, we can represent you the whole way on contingency so that you only pay if you’re happy with the award at the end of it. To hear how to get to the recovery that you deserve, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.
If you would like to learn more about uninsured motorist accidents in Illinois, please read the following pages: