Car insurance rates are increasing. Here’s what that means for you.
Car Accident - July 26, 2023
Auto insurance coverage is designed to protect you if you are responsible for causing an accident. The insurance company will compensate victims for their damages as described in the policyholder’s insurance policy.
However, with the substantial car insurance rate increase seen over the last year, you may be wondering how this will affect you personally and what to expect if you need to file a claim after an increase. With help from a reputable Chicago car accident attorney, you can protect yourself and make sure the insurance company compensates you fairly after a collision.
Why are car insurance rates increasing in Illinois?
The car insurance increase we have seen over the last couple of years is, in part, due to the rate increases by Illinois’ top five largest auto insurance companies. In fact, since January 2023 alone, rates have increased by more than $500 million. There was a $1.1 billion car insurance rate increase in 2021 as well.
Illinois’ largest auto insurance providers include:
- Country Financial
- State Farm
Collectively, these auto insurance providers make up more than 60% of the auto insurance provider market in the state. Although Illinois generally does not regulate insurance rates, there have been calls for government officials to take action due to the enormous increases over the last couple of years.
This is, in part, because many of these insurance companies are considering “non-driving factors” when they increase auto insurance rates. For example, insurance companies may consider a person’s occupation, their homeowner status, and gender when setting auto insurance rates in Illinois. This means women could be required to pay more for auto insurance simply because they are women, without regard to their driving record.
Recent legislation has been introduced to hold insurance companies accountable and prevent them from increasing insurance rates excessively without state approval. The goal of this bill is to prohibit prior insurance relationships, credit scores, homeownership, age, gender, education, wealth, and marital status from impacting a motorist’s auto insurance rates.
Illinois insurance laws
Illinois is a fault state for car accidents. This means your insurance will pay out when you are responsible for causing an accident. An increase in your rates means you will pay more for your auto insurance coverage.
If you only purchase the bare minimum amount of coverage, it could mean you lack enough coverage to fully meet an injury victim’s needs in the event of a collision. However, if you cannot afford the additional protection due to the state’s auto insurance rate increases, it may be difficult or impossible for you to protect yourself financially if you are found liable for causing a collision.
Minimum auto insurance requirements
According to 625 ILCS 5/7-601(a), Illinois motorists are required to have the following mandatory minimum types and amounts of coverage:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $15,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage, gap insurance, rental car coverage, comprehensive, and collision are not required but may be helpful in protecting you if you are responsible for causing a crash. Unfortunately, due to exorbitant car insurance rate increases, you may not be able to cover the additional costs that come with these optional types of insurance coverage.
How to protect yourself
The best way to protect yourself from financial liability after a collision is to make sure you have enough auto insurance coverage in place. The bare minimum amount of coverage, as required by Illinois law, is more than likely not going to be enough to meet the injury victim’s needs after a crash.
For this reason, it may be in your best interest to get as much auto insurance coverage as you can despite current rate increases. It may also be a good idea to add no-fault insurance coverage so the insurance company is required to compensate you for your damages without regard to liability. This way, if the driver that hit you is responsible for causing the accident, you can still file a claim against your own insurance policy since you carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Reach out to a Chicago car accident lawyer for legal support today
If your auto insurance company raises your rates and is still fighting tooth and nail to avoid paying out on your claim, they may be handling your case in bad faith. You do not have to let them get away with it.
Take steps to demand they be held accountable to the terms of your insurance policy with help from an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. Are you ready to show the insurance company you mean business? Contact our team for a 100% free consultation to get started on your case. You can reach us by phone at (800) 985-1819 or through our online contact form to schedule yours today.