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What Are The Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Nearly every state, including Illinois, imposes requirements for car insurance. Minimum requirements often require drivers to carry at least liability insurance to protect other drivers in the event that they cause an accident. Liability insurance is designed to cover the costs for the other drivers’ property or bodily damages incurred as a result of the accident.

How Does Illinois Prove Coverage?

Any driver registering a vehicle in the state of Illinois is required to provide a signature attesting to insurance coverage of at least the minimum standards in Illinois. At the time of registration, drivers must show proof of insurance as well. Further, the state of Illinois retains the legal right to randomly sample vehicles and select them for continued verification of insurance. If selected for random verification, the driver must provide the insurance portfolio number as well as the associated VIN.

Drivers must carry proof of insurance in Illinois vehicles at all times, and show it at the request of law enforcement. If a driver does not have insurance at the time of an accident, law enforcement will assess additional penalties, with a minimum $500 penalty for driving while uninsured. In addition, the state will suspend the vehicle’s license plates – if law enforcement finds the driver driving with suspended license plates, the driver will receive a $1000 fine.

What Are the Minimum Insurance Requirements in Illinois?

Currently, Illinois requires vehicle liability insurance. Vehicle owners must carry the following minimum liability insurance.

  • $25,000 liability for injury or death of a single party in an accident
  • $50,000 liability for injury or death of multiple parties in an accident
  • $20,000 liability for damages of another person’s property

Liability insurance exists to pay medical, property damage, and other costs that other drivers incur in an accident the insurance holder caused. These are minimum amounts, and it is often wise to maintain higher liability amounts, as higher damage amounts become your legal responsibility should the injuries and property damage total more than your insurance coverage. Maintaining a higher amount of liability insurance increases your insurance premium but can protect your assets in a costly accident.

It is worth noting that Illinois automatically requires Uninsured Motorist Coverage in the amount equal to liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage ensures that your insurance will compensate you for damages another driver without the proper liability insurance causes.

The At-Fault System in Illinois

Illinois follows an at-fault system to determine which driver is liable for covering injury or property damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Generally speaking, the driver found to be at fault for causing the accident is liable for paying for any medical expenses or property damage on the part of the other parties involved. If the driver is adequately insured, the insurance company will ensure that the financial costs of the other parties are met.

A driver involved in a motor vehicle accident that was someone else’s fault may choose to file a claim with their own insurance company, which will then pursue a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Alternatively, the driver may file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Finally, the injured party may choose to file a personal injury civil court case to obtain compensation for injuries, medical expenses, property damages, and pain and suffering as a result of the accident.

If the plaintiff files a personal injury suit, his or her attorney must first establish proof that the at-fault driver needed to exercise reasonable caution, but did not. Illinois state traffic laws automatically expect this. Then, the plaintiff's attorney must prove the at-fault driver either directly caused the accident or failed to exercise caution as a reasonable person would have given the situation. Finally, the plaintiff's attorney must prove injuries or property damage were the result of the defendant’s actions. If the court finds the at-fault driver was negligent, it will require him or her to pay damages to cover the plaintiff’s expenses and possible pain and suffering.

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