A Brief Car Insurance Guide for Illinois Drivers | Staver
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A Brief Car Insurance Guide for Illinois Drivers

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Insurance

Car insurance in Illinois can be confusing. Minimum coverage varies from state to state, and insurance companies offer many options. If you don’t have proper insurance, you may face penalties.

However, it’s hard to know if you have the right kind of auto insurance and if you have enough. The more you know about car insurance in Illinois, the more prepared you will be in the event of an accident.

Required Car Insurance in Illinois

The state of Illinois requires that every licensed driver has insurance coverage. This protects you as well as other drivers if there is a car crash. You must always carry proof of insurance. If you are stopped by a police officer and cannot prove that you have proper car insurance, you may face significant penalties.

The minimum amount of liability insurance coverage in Illinois is 25/50/20. That means that you must have at least:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 property damage per accident

Additionally, you must have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Uninsured motorist insurance will cover your damages if someone else is at fault and they do not have liability insurance, or you are involved in a hit-and-run. Underinsured motorist coverage helps if the other person does not have enough insurance to cover all your damages.

If you have a car loan from a bank or other lienholder, you may be required to have different minimum amounts than are required by Illinois.

Should You Buy Higher Policy Limits?

Although Illinois only requires 25/50/20 in minimum insurance coverage, you should consider buying a policy with higher limits. If someone sustains serious injuries or you damage a newer car in an accident, you can easily exceed these amounts.

According to Injury Facts NSC, the average cost for an injury accident is around $23,900. If someone is disabled in that accident, it can cost over $100,000. If death occurs, the average cost is $1,750,000. On average, property damage for an individual vehicle in a crash is close to $5,000.

Thus, the costs for a single crash can far exceed the minimum limits required by the state of Illinois. If you don’t have enough insurance to cover the costs of a crash, the other party may sue you personally. Getting the most insurance coverage you can afford is always a good idea.

Recent Law Affects Your Illinois Auto Insurance

The Illinois Electronic Liability Insurance Verification Program works to verify the liability policy of each vehicle registered in the state at least twice per year through a third-party vendor. The vendor electronically links to insurance companies that write policies in Illinois. Registered vehicles must comply with mandatory insurance requirements.

If the electronic verification system cannot verify that a registered vehicle is covered with the minimum insurance requirements, it will check again within 30 days. If the second attempt is not successful, then the Illinois Secretary of State will try to determine if the vehicle was sold, placed in storage, or is not otherwise being driven.

If insurance cannot be verified, the vehicle owner will receive notification that their registration is suspended. The vehicle owner and the insurance company will have an opportunity to prove that mandatory liability insurance is in place to remove the suspension. If there is no vehicle insurance, the owner must obtain liability insurance and pay a $100 fee to reinstate the registration.

What Are the Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Illinois?

If you are stopped by a police officer and cannot show proof of mandatory insurance, you will be issued a traffic citation. If convicted, your license plates will be suspended, and you may receive the following fines:

  • $500 for driving without insurance
  • $1,000 for driving with a suspended license plate for lack of insurance verification

Consider Add-On Coverages

When you purchase an insurance policy, you will be given several options other than the minimum mandatory coverage required in Illinois. Other types of add-on insurance coverage to consider include:

  • Collision – Will pay for damages to your car if you are at fault in a car accident.
  • Comprehensive – Will cover damages to your car if there is damage due to weather, hitting an animal, or hitting a stationary object.
  • Medical Payment Coverage – Will pay for a certain amount of medical bills that you or your passengers suffer in an accident.
  • Towing – Covers a tow truck up to a certain distance to a repair shop or your home if your vehicle is inoperable because of an accident, malfunction, flat tire, or other reason.
  • Rental Car Coverage – Will cover a rental car for a certain amount of time while your vehicle is being repaired after a crash.
  • Gap Coverage – Will pay for the difference between the value of your car (which is what will be paid if your car is totaled) and the remainder of your car loan.

If you are financing your car, you may be required to carry collision and comprehensive on your policy. However, having these add-ons and any others offered by your insurance company is beneficial.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to Learn About Your Rights

If you are involved in a car accident where you or the other driver did not have the required mandatory insurance, you may be unsure how to get the compensation you need. You should immediately contact a car accident lawyer to help you navigate a personal injury case. You have other options, including a first-party claim with your own insurance or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 or contact us online for a free initial case consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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