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Car Insurance Law Requirements in Illinois

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: Auto Accidents, Insurance


Purchasing a vehicle for the first time can be thrilling. Owning a car means freedom and adventure. You no longer have to rely on public transportation, hope your friends and family can give you rides, or spend a great deal of money on taxis and Ubers. It also enables you to better provide for yourself and your family because you now have a consistent way to get to and from work. However, with freedom comes responsibility. Illinois requires you to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance. If you are caught driving without it, you will be ticketed. Having auto insurance is also the smart choice. You could end up causing a car accident while uninsured, and then you will be held personally liable for the other person’s damages or injuries.

If you find yourself part of a crash and you or the responsible party lacks insurance, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away at (312) 236-2900. We will analyze your current predicament and advise you on how to best move forward.

Illinois’ Car Insurance Requirements

Illinois law requires you to have two different types of auto insurance: property and liability/bodily injury.

  • Property insurance covers the cost if you damage another person’s property while you are in your vehicle. This usually means damage to the other person’s car. However, this may also compensate for damage to other property, such as mailboxes, fences, signs, or pets.
  • Liability/Bodily injury insurance covers costs if you injure or kill an individual or multiple people during a car accident. If you are entirely or largely at fault for a crash, whether it was a small fender bender or a fatal collision, the injured person or people can file a third-party claim(s) against your insurer to be compensated – this includes passengers in your own vehicle during a crash. Bodily injury insurance may cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Illinois requires you to carry at least a certain amount for each of these types of insurance. The policy limit is how much your insurer will pay a claimant for property damage, personal injuries, or death. You must purchase at least:

  • $20,000 of property insurance per accident
  • $25,000 of liability insurance for the injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 of liability insurance for the injury or death of more than one individual per accident

When you buy auto insurance, you must make sure to purchase the correct kind and the necessary minimum amount. You always have the option to buy additional types of auto insurance as well as higher policy limits.

Carry Proof of Insurance With You at All Times

You do not satisfy all Illinois car insurance law requirements by simply purchasing the minimum policies. You are also required by law to carry proof of insurance with you in your vehicle and show this proof to any police officer upon his or her request. This usually means keeping your insurance card in your wallet or vehicle. However, many auto insurance providers now have a mobile phone app you can show the officer as proof of insurance. This may seem convenient, however, do not forget your phone may die. If your phone cannot turn on, you cannot prove you have insurance to an officer and you will be ticketed.

When Do I Need to Follow Illinois Car Insurance Requirements?

You must follow Illinois’ auto insurance laws when your vehicle is registered in the state. If your vehicle is registered in Wisconsin or Indiana and you simply drive into Illinois sometimes, you only have to obtain the minimum amount of insurance required by your state.

If you have moved to Illinois since purchasing and registering your vehicle elsewhere, you have 30 days to register your car with Illinois and become compliant with the Illinois’ insurance laws.

Consequences for Being Uninsured in Illinois

If you are pulled over or in an accident and cannot prove to the police officer that you have insurance, you will receive a ticket. If you plead guilty or are convicted, you face a minimum $500 fine and your license plates will be suspended until you become compliant with the law, which includes a $100 reinstatement fee along with proof of insurance. If you continue to drive uninsured and with suspended plates, you can again be ticketed and this time face a minimum $1,000 fine and an automatic four-month suspension.

Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

While you may obey the law and purchase auto insurance right away, others choose to drive without any or enough insurance to protect themselves or you in the case of a collision. If you are in an accident caused by another driver, that individual should have at least the minimum amount of property and liability insurance to cover your damages. If they do not, you should seek the help of an attorney of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Without easy access to an insurance policy, you will likely need to file a personal injury suit against the uninsured driver who caused your injuries. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a consultation.

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