Stacking is a term that means treating multiple policies that apply to a single loss as cumulative—as a “stack” of coverage—rather than each as mutually exclusive. Therefore, stacking issues can arise almost any time multiple policies cover a single loss. Stacking refers, literally, to the stacking of policy limits. In other words, stacking is the ability of the insured, when covered by more than one insurance policy, to obtain benefits from a second policy on the same claim when recovery from the first policy would alone be inadequate to compensated for the actual damages suffered. Also, stacking refers to the stacking of policy limits across different policy periods. For example, a continuous loss can occur across multiple policy periods and may be covered under every policy applicable to every such period, and each such policy may provide coverage up to the entire amount of the loss. In fact, in January 2009, the California Court of Appeal, 4th district, made a landmark decision when it ruled that a policyholder facing long term property damage or personal injury claims may stack liability policy limits across policy periods to maximize recovery. The decision was especially important for policyholders in manufacturing, pharmaceutical, construction, and chemical industries that face claims for continuous injury which occured in past years.
If you have questions about how to recover damages for long-term property damage or personal injury claims under your insurance policies, please contact our firm for a free consultation. Our expert insurance attorney will be able to explain the complex, complicated world of insurance policies in an uncomplicated, easy to understand language. We have over 10 years of substanstial experience helpingpersonal injury clients navigate complex insurance matters and manage negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring that they receive the compensation they deserve. For more information on how we may possibly help you, call our firm today.