Illinois Car Insurance Laws
Every driver in the United States must carry auto insurance. A driver must verify that his or her policy meets his or her home state’s requirements for minimum coverage. If you live in Illinois and register a vehicle in Illinois, you must purchase an auto insurance policy that meets Illinois’ minimum coverage requirements. Illinois is a fault-based state and requires drivers to purchase auto insurance that includes different types of liability coverage in specified amounts. Drivers always have the option to purchase additional coverage beyond the minimum requirements. Doing so comes at additional cost in the form of higher monthly premiums.
Illinois Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
If you need an auto insurance policy in Illinois, it must meet the state’s minimum requirements. The minimum car insurance requirement for Illinois includes:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for injury or death to another person in an accident you cause
- $50,000 or more in total accident liability coverage for an accident you cause
- At least $20,000 in property damage coverage for an accident you cause
These minimums may seem rather substantial, but a serious accident can easily eclipse the available coverage from your policy. Basic liability coverage will pay for an injured driver’s medical expenses and property damage, but a severe injury may lead to the victim missing work for an extended time, entitling him or her to claim lost wages and potentially other damages that can easily exceed the coverage available from a bare minimum policy. Once you exhaust the available coverage in your auto insurance policy, you are personally responsible for the remaining damages.
Purchasing Additional Coverage
One benefit to purchasing auto insurance in Illinois is that underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage automatically comes with a minimum insurance policy in an amount equal to the policy’s bodily injury liability coverage. If your Illinois auto insurance policy includes $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, it also includes $25,000 in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. In other states, you would need to pay a higher premium to add this type of coverage, which applies when you have an accident with another driver who does not have auto insurance or who does not have sufficient auto insurance to pay for your damages.
All drivers in Illinois should consider purchasing more extensive auto insurance coverage beyond the minimum requirements. This may come at a higher monthly premium cost, but you pay for peace of mind in the event of an accident. Some types of coverage may even cover your losses even if you caused an accident.
Types of Additional Car Insurance Coverage
- Comprehensive coverage typically covers damage from theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
- Collision coverage can pay for a policyholder’s vehicle repair costs after an accident. This is true even if he or she caused the accident.
- Personal injury protection can pay for a policyholder’s medical expenses after an accident the policyholder caused.
These are just a few examples of additional coverage a driver may purchase with an auto insurance policy. Drivers should also remember they typically have the option to purchase additional bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, and total accident liability coverage beyond the state’s minimum requirements. Again, this will come at a higher premium cost, but in exchange the policyholder has more available coverage after an accident.
Drivers should take time to shop around and review their options for car insurance. Many insurance carriers promise very affordable minimum coverage policies. Often times, these policies may include very specific terms that become obstacles to recovery for policyholders later. When shopping for auto insurance, strive for a healthy balance of affordability and coverage.
If you or a love one was seriously injured in a car accident in Illinois and are overwhelmed negotiating insurance claims, we can help. The Chicago car accident attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will not accept efforts to delay from an insurance company and will fight for the compensation you deserve.