The Insurance Information Institute found 13.3 percent of Illinois drivers are not insured. As of 2016, we can hope that the figures are better – but there is the possibility that they are much worse. Even if the percentage of uninsured motorists remained steady, that is still more than 1.7 million drivers putting others at significant risk. Illinois legislators are aware of the risks, which is why the law requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage as part of their insurance policy.
If you are an Illinois driver and have questions about uninsured motorist coverage in Illinois, you should know that:
- Liability insurance in Illinois automatically includes uninsured motorist coverage.You do not have to purchase a separate uninsured motorist policy in Illinois. Your liability coverage should cover injuries you cause to others in a car accident as well as your injuries when you are hurt by an uninsured driver.
- There is a minimum policy limit.Your liability policy must be for at least $25,000 for one person injured or $50,000 for two or more people injured.
- It may not be enough.While Illinois has provided a baseline for insurance coverage, a policy limit of $25,000 or $50,000 may not be enough to fully compensate you for your injuries. A serious car accident can lead to emergency medical care, multiple procedures, a need for continued care, and months off of work or permanent disability. Your liability policy may help you when you are injured due to an uninsured motorist, but it may not cover everything.
- Liability coverage may not include property damage.If you are hurt by an uninsured driver, your liability policy will pay for your personal injuries, including medical expenses, pain, and lost wages. However, it does not cover the damage to your car or other property. You may have to pay to repair your car or buy a new one out of your own pocket. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage is not legally required, but you may want to purchase this type of policy.
- You may need to sue the other driver.After an accident with an uninsured driver, you could be left with numerous bills that aren’t covered by your insurance. When this is the case, your best option may be to bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
- It can cover a hit and run.If you are in a collision and the other car drives away, you never have the opportunity to learn if he or she had insurance. In this situation, your uninsured motorist coverage will kick in and cover your personal injuries.
- It may cover underinsured drivers.There may be drivers out there who have some insurance but not enough to cover the damages they cause you. Your liability insurance may be able to kick in and pay over the amount the other driver’s insurance can cover. You should check with your policy to see if it covers underinsured drivers as well as entirely uninsured motorists.
- You may become a third-party claim.When you file a claim with your insurance company, you are generally known as a first-party claimant. Your insurer must follow the policy and look after your interests as well as its own. But if you file a claim for coverage under an uninsured motorist policy, this may cause you to be treated like a third-party claimant. You and your insurance company will need to negotiate a settlement.
- Your insurance can subrogate the claim.If you have to recover from your own insurance, your insurer may go after the person at fault directly to be reimbursed. This is known as subrogation. You will be notified if your insurer subrogates the claim and you may need to cooperate with the situation.
- You can be ticketed and fined for lack of coverage.Liability and property damage coverage are required in Illinois. If you do not have auto insurance, you can be ticketed and fined.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help
Dealing with an uninsured motorist accident is a struggle that you don’t have to go through alone. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. Contact a car accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. online or call (312) 236-2900 today to speak with an experienced lawyer about your options.