If you’ve just moved to the Prairie State, you’re probably worried that the DMV there will be like the DMV everywhere else. But don’t worry. We’ve got a simple guide for you that tells you everything you need to know about getting your car insured in Illinois.
Auto Insurance Requirements
Let’s start with the basics: Everyone in the state needs to be insured under Illinois law. You can’t post a surety bond or pay an uninsured vehicle fee like in some other states, although Illinois has a way for any driver to get insurance that we’ll get to in a little bit. Any insurance on your car must meet the following requirements:
– $20,000 in coverage against bodily injury or death of one person in an accident.
– $40,000 in coverage against bodily injury or death of two people in an accident.
– $15,000 in coverage against injury or property damage in one accident.
– $20,000 per person coverage against uninsured motorist-inflicted bodily injury, which will cover you against injury from either drivers who are uninsured, or drivers who commit a hit and run. This is sometimes called UM coverage.
The state recommends that you get more than the minimum requirements, as many new cars are worth more than $15,000 and liability for serious injury or death will cost a lot more than $20,000 a person. Needless to say, of course, the best cure is prevention: They want you to drive carefully while on the road. If you buy more than the required minimum for UM coverage, you may also be required to get Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury insurance, or UIM coverage, to make up the gap between your insurance and other motorists’ coverage.
Difficulty Getting Insurance
Some of us have less than perfect driving records, or perhaps will have difficulty getting auto insurance for other reasons, such as owning a difficult vehicle to ensure. Believe it or not, you are not out of luck thanks to the laws of the great state of Illinois.
First, the good news: It doesn’t matter how terrible your driving record is, you’ll be able to get insurance through laws passed in 1940. To qualify, you need to fit the following criteria:
– You must be turned down for auto insurance from other companies.
– You either have to have or be eligible for a driver’s license in Illinois.
– You must not owe an outstanding premium on an insurance policy from the last 36 months.
– Your car must be safe to drive according to the state of Illinois’ standards (i.e. you have to pass inspection).
Your premiums will be higher than they would be with normal insurance, but if you get on the road and maintain a good driving record, you’ll be able to get on a better insurance plan sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, the rules are fairly simple. You need insurance to get on the road, and if you’re having trouble getting insurance, the state will step in and help you get a car on the road. Then all you have to do is drive respectfully and courteously. See, it’s simple!