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Illinois Car Insurance Laws

Under most state laws, every driver needs to have car insurance. Illinois is no exception, but its laws aren’t necessarily the same as those in other states. Use our FREE car insurance comparison tool with your ZIP code to get great rates that will have you covered.

Knowing the minimum required insurance and other regulations for the state of Illinois can guide a car insurance choice to the best, most affordable car insurance plan for your situation. If you’re considering buying insurance without doing some research first, you could be making a mistake. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE auto insurance comparison tool to find great rates now!

Mandatory Insurance Requirements

Illinois requires all drivers to maintain a certain level of basic coverage that is the minimum for any car insurance quotes.

This mandatory insurance requirement protects consumers from reckless drivers who don’t have the coverage to pay for the damage they cause. Insurance minimums in the state of Illinois are not as low as they may be in some states, but they’re not absurdly high, either.

illinois car insurance lawsBodily Injury Liability, Single Person

Illinois requires all drivers to maintain at least $20,000 minimum coverage for bodily injury liability when one person is hurt or killed in an accident. Drivers can choose to carry more than this, since they will be responsible for costs in excess of their liability coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability, Multiple People

The insurance requirement is high when multiple people are hurt or killed in a car accident. In Illinois, drivers must maintain at least $40,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for multiple people.

Property Damage Liability

Insurance is also required to cover any property damage that occurs as the result of a vehicle accident. In Illinois, drivers must maintain at least $15,000 of this type of insurance.

Optional Insurance

Illinois drivers may also choose to carry insurance to protect them from uninsured or uninsured motorists, vandalism and damage to their own vehicles. They have the option to buy more liability insurance to cover the costs of other involved in an accident and protect their own finances. The state does not require this increased coverage, though lenders may make it a condition for people who borrow to purchase their vehicles. Extra insurance coverage will cause your premiums to rise, but can be worth it in the long run.

Enforcement

In addition to purchasing the appropriate level of coverage, you’ll also have to carry your proof of insurance with you whenever you drive. In most cases, this is a card that you print out or get in the mail from your insurance company. Illinois checks insurance cards whenever a driver has been pulled over for speeding or another offense.

The state also sends out random questionnaires to drivers chosen by a computer. The questionnaire asks you for the name of your insurance company and your policy number and must be mailed in within a specific period of time.

If you are pulled over and don’t have proof of insurance with you, a ticket will be issued, even if you already have insurance. This will also occur if you get an insurance questionnaire and don’t return it in the appropriate time period. The minimum fine for driving without insurance is $500, with suspension of your license plates until you can provide such evidence. If you drive after this offense, you can be fined a minimum of $1,000 for operating the vehicle while your plates were suspended for a previous offense.

You can contest the ticket in court, and may not be subject to a penalty if you can prove that you were insured at the time. In some cases, you can get a lessened penalty by proving that you have purchased car insurance between the time you got the ticket and your court date, but some insurance companies won’t sell insurance to people who have been driving without it.

car insurance laws illinoisIf you do get a fine and license suspension, the license plates remain suspended until you can provide evidence that you have insurance and pay a $100 fee. People who are caught driving without insurance on more than one occasion are considered repeat offenders, however.

They must prove that they are insured, pay the $100 fee and serve a four month suspension period before the state of Illinois will reinstate their license plates.┬áDuring this period, you can’t drive the vehicle with the suspended plates.

Processing your reinstatement requires visiting one of 21 state Driver Services facilities located in major cities throughout Illinois, or mailing your information to the Office of the Secretary of State in Springfield.

After a third offense, or anytime you are placed under court supervision for violating the requirements of a previous offense, you must file proof of your financial responsibility with the state of Illinois for the next three years.

If you fail to submit this proof. The state will suspend not only your license plates, but also your driver’s license. This keeps you from driving not just the car in which you committed the offense, but any vehicle at all, and can make it difficult to get to work or travel for other obligations.

Buying Insurance

Most insurance companies will provide you with a free quote customized for your vehicle, your driving record and the laws of the state of Illinois. It’s not a good idea to choose the first quote you see, however. There’s a good chance that another company will be able to offer you a better rate or better coverage for the same cost.

Take some time to use our FREE online car insurance comparison tool and enter your ZIP code and the appropriate information to get multiple quotes at once. It doesn’t take much time, and the result could be an insurance policy that’s affordable and provides all the coverage you need.

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