Insurance Coverage for Illinois Vehicles
In Illinois, state law requires that drivers purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance on their vehicles. The minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage is $20,000 per person, and $40,000 per accident. The minimum property damage insurance is $15,000 per incident. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is also mandatory, and you must get the same dollar amount of coverage as that afforded under your bodily injury liability coverage.
While the minimum required liability coverage is 20/40/15, this may not be enough coverage if you are at fault in a major accident. Talk with your insurance agent to determine the best coverage for your needs.
When you register your vehicle in Illinois, you will usually not be required to provide proof of insurance at that time, but it is best to be prepared. Illinois has a random computerized questionnaire that may pick you for special verification. If you are unable to comply, your license plates will be suspended. When you obtain insurance on your vehicle, you will be provided with a proof of insurance card, and you should carry that card in your vehicle at all times. Should you ever be pulled over by a police officer, you will be expected to produce proof of insurance along with your license and registration. If you don't have it, the police officer could issue a citation that carries a minimum fine of $500.00, and it will also cost you $100.00 to reinstate your vehicle registration if you cannot provide proof in court that coverage was in place at the time of the citation.
If you are making payments on your car, the loan company may also require you to obtain collision and comprehensive insurance as well, in order to protect their investment. Illinois is one of the ten worst states for vehicle/deer collisions, so you might want to get comprehensive coverage on your car anyway.
While getting a speeding ticket may cause your car insurance premiums to rise, did you know that getting a parking ticket will not? This is because parking tickets have nothing to do with your driving. The reason that a speeding or other traffic violation will cause your premiums to go up is because such a ticket indicates careless driving on your part.
Another thing that will affect your insurance premiums is the area where you choose to live. If you were living in the country but have now moved into the city, the sheer number of vehicles around you makes it more likely that you're going to have an accident. Insurance companies look at the total number of claims for a given geographic area, and if that area shows a greater risk for the insurance company, your rates are going to increase. Also, if you move from a state that had lower minimum coverage requirements to one with higher requirements, you'll experience an increase in premiums due to the increase in coverage you're going to need.