There is no such thing as having too much car insurance. Let’s face it, even though it’s illegal to drive without insurance in Illinois, some people still do. It’s important that you at least have the required auto insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones. I also suggest getting even more insurance to protect yourself against those drivers out there who can’t afford their own.
Illinois is an at-fault state. If you get in an accident without insurance, what happens next depends on who was at fault. The minimum amount of insurance required is liability coverage. It must include: $25,000 for bodily injury per person; $50,000 bodily injury per accident; and $20,000 property damage per accident.
Liability coverage protects you if someone sues you because of a covered accident. Here is a breakdown of the two types of coverage your policy must include:
- Property damage: protects your assets if you are found responsible for a covered accident. It covers certain damage you might have caused to another person’s property or vehicle.
- Bodily injury: protects your assets if you are found responsible for a covered accident, including certain costs related to bodily harm of someone else.
You also must have uninsured/underinsured motorist – bodily injury coverage, which helps pay for injuries you or your passengers have due to an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Those are the minimum requirements, but believe me, it’s much more beneficial to have more insurance than not enough. I battle with insurance companies all the time when I help accident victims. More is definitely better and the insurance minimums protect other people more than they protect you.
Along with the required insurance, here is other coverage I recommend:
- Comprehensive: this is great coverage for other incidents, like theft, fire, vandalism, glass damage, or hitting an animal. It covers the repairs needed, subject to your deductible.
- Collision: used to repair physical damage to your vehicle that occurs in an accident with another vehicle or object. Again, this is subject to your deductible.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist – property damage: pays for damage to your vehicle caused by another driver if that person is uninsured/underinsured.
- Medical benefits: covers reasonable and necessary medical costs or funerals for you or others covered under your policy, up to the amount you choose. It covers these costs no matter who is at fault for the accident.
If you were hurt in an accident which was someone else’s fault, one of the first things that we do is to make sure that they have insurance. What you can recover from an at-fault driver after an accident will be largely determined by how much insurance they have. When there isn’t enough, your underinsured motorist coverage can help but only if you have more coverage than what the other driver has. All too often, I come across people who were badly hurt by another driver’s negligence, only to find out that there was only $25,000.00 worth of insurance. In a serious accident, the medical bills alone will exceed that. While you cannot control how much insurance another driver has, you can control what you have. Think of underinsured insurance as a way to pick up what the other driver’s insurance doesn’t cover; but again- only to the limits of how much your policy exceeds theirs.
The last thing you want to worry about after an accident is whether you have enough insurance. Take the extra steps now to make sure you and your loved ones are protected. I am an attorney and am not trying to sell you anything, I just want to get the word out there to everyone before its too late. If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, give me a call and I can help you to better understand your options.