The mandatory auto insurance law of Illinois requires drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage in case they cause a traffic accident on public roads and highways. However, when shopping for auto insurance deals in Cicero, drivers should consider more than the bare minimum they need to fulfill. Carrying enough insurance protects drivers from shelling out their own money for potentially high costs they may incur in vehicle accidents.
Illinois Auto Insurance Requirement
The laws of Illinois require vehicle owners to carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage for their registered vehicles. Drivers must always have their car insurance card with them when they are on the road. The minimum coverage includes:
- $25,000 for injuries or death per person
- $50,000 total for all injuries or deaths per accident
- $20,000 for damage to another person’s property
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage
The minimum liability insurance covers medical expenses, property damage, and other incurred costs from people injured or property damaged. Banks and money lenders may require drivers to carry extra auto insurance coverage such as collision, comprehensive, medical, and property damage insurance before they can receive auto loans.
Illinois’ authorities monitor drivers’ car insurance statuses through random verification questionnaires and traffic stop inspections. Drivers must respond to questionnaires with their insurance carrier and policy number, which authorities will use to verify their existing insurance. Traffic enforcers also have the right to ask for proof of insurance randomly during traffic stops.
Drivers found without a minimum insurance policy may face fines ranging from $500 to $1000. Repeated offenses may result in license plate suspension.
Protecting Yourself from Extra Costs
Illinois follows a “fault” system to determine who is financially responsible for the injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses caused by a car accident. In case the costs incurred go beyond the coverage limit, the driver has to shell out his/her own money and pay for the excess.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Safety Council published the 2016 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics in 2018 and found that the total estimated cost of vehicle crashes in the state was $7.7 billion. Broken down into the various vehicle incidents in 2016:
- Each fatal crash cost over $1.5 million in damages.
- Each crash that incapacitates the injured party (i.e., broken limbs, skull injuries) cost the driver around $91,135.
- Visible but non-incapacitating injuries (i.e., bruises, abrasions) amounted to $26,325 for every accident.
- Possible but non-evident injuries (i.e. pain, nausea) cost $21,265.
- Property damages were estimated at $11,540 per incident.
Given these statistics and the legal minimum coverage, basic insurance may not be enough to protect the driver from accident costs. Drivers might not be able to pay for the cost beyond their coverage, and a severe accident might bring them and their household to bankruptcy.
Apart from the costs they have to pay the injured parties, drivers also need to pay for their injuries and properties. Basic liability insurance does not cover the driver’s injuries or property damage. Drivers are unprotected in case the injured party sues for personal injury.
When shopping for auto insurance, drivers in Illinois should look at their options as more than just a legal requirement. They should also look at it as a way to protect themselves and their families from going into debt should they ever cause an accident. Thus, they should find the best policy they can afford that gives them the most financial protection.
Comprehensive auto insurance is affordable with Oxford Auto Insurance. Our teams compare policies of up to 15 providers to give you the best options for your insurance needs. With monthly payments as low as $23, you can have increased liability limits and maximum protection from expensive road accidents.
Call Oxford Auto Insurance at 312-260-9000 today for a free quotation.