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Illinois Auto Insurance Coverage

Selecting the appropriate policy for your car insurance can be confusing and even intimidating at times. With the numerous components that comprise an insurance policy, the decision process becomes even more confusing. Research and knowledge will be your best aids in determining what each component is and what coverage amount will be adequate in protecting you as an individual. By being informed about the different aspects of car insurance available, you will be able to purchase what you need. Adequate protection at an affordable price will bring you peace of mind if you are ever involved in an accident.

In Illinois, a motorist must maintain minimum Bodily Injury Liability limits of $20,000 per injured person up to a total of $40,000 per accident, and Property Damage Liability coverage with a minimum limit of $15,000. These are referred to as the 20/40/15 coverage limits for the state. Illinois subscribes to a Tort system when it comes to dealing with automobile accidents. Under the guidelines of such a system, one party involved in an accident must be determined to be at fault. This party, and their insurance company, then assumes all financial responsibility for medical expenses and property damage repairs costs that other parties involved in the accident may incur. The fine details of a Tort system vary from state to state. Therefore, you can contact the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles to find out what Illinois's specifics are.

The average cost of a car insurance policy in Illinois for a motorist has hovered around $1,214 so far. By comparison, the current national average is $1,794. Clearly, the citizens of Illinois enjoy a lower cost for car insurance than most states. However, the cost of a policy saw a 9% increase over the average cost of 2008. The average cost in 2008 was 2% higher than it was in 2007. While the cost of a policy is cheaper in Illinois than most other states, these statistics highlight the fact that the cost of car insurance is on the rise.
You may be surprised at the number of motorists who believe than an insurance company predetermines its rates before it issues a consumer a quote. This is not the case. An insurance company segments its rates differently for each motorist according to their characteristics. The rate that a friend may pay for their insurance policy will not be the same rate that you will pay. However, before you can decide what policy to purchase, you must understand how each form of required coverage works to protect you.

Liability is the most common form of insurance coverage. Currently, forty seven states in the country require a motorist to maintain some monetary amount of this coverage. Liability insurance is divided into two subsections: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury liability works to protect you by covering other motorists' medical or funeral expenses incurred in an accident for which you are responsible. It provides a legal defense for you as well if you should find yourself in court because of the accident. The claims that can be filed under bodily injury liability insurance include claims for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain or suffering. In order to protect you financially and protect your assets, you want to ensure that you will have enough insurance to cover any monetary judgment that may be awarded to another motorist in court. Because of this, it is a wise decision to maintain the same amount of bodily injury liability on all the vehicles on your policy. You should note that this form of coverage will not assist you with any medical expenses you may incur because of the accident.

Property damage liability works in a similar manner in the fact that it provides coverage for you if you damage another person's vehicle in an accident for which you are at fault. However, property damage liability is not limited strictly to a motorist's car. It could include a house, fence, mailbox or any other sort of property that may be damaged in an accident. It, again, will assist you in building a legal defense in court should you happen to be sued. The scenarios your insurance will cover are listed in the terms and conditions on your insurance property. Again, property damage liability will not assist you in paying for any repair costs associated with damage your car may sustain in the accident.

A motorist in Illinois is also required to maintain uninsured motorist protection insurance in the amount of $20,000. Uninsured motorist protection covers you and the insured members on your policy from bodily injury or physical damages that may be incurred in an accident. The at-fault driver must be uninsured or have inadequate insurance that does not meet the state guidelines. Similarly to liability insurance, uninsured motorist protection is divided into two sub categories: uninsured motorist bodily liability and uninsured motorist property damage liability. Each subsection works in a similar manner to those in liability insurance. If you are involved in such an accident, your insurance will cover your expenses up to the monetary limits set forth in your policy.

If you own a car with an outstanding balance, you will be required by Illinois law to maintain collision coverage on your vehicle. Collision insurance provides coverage for the damage your car incurs if your car strikes or is struck by another motorist. It will cover the cost of fixing the damage to your car, minus your deductible. Your deductible is chosen at the time you purchase your insurance policy. While selecting a high deductible, you should be careful to select an amount to which you will have easy access should your car be involved in collision. If you do not pay your deductible, your vehicle will not be repaired. The fine print of your insurance policy will tell you what the terms and conditions of your collision insurance are.

In order to eliminate unnecessary expenses on your car insurance rates, you may want to consider dropping this form of coverage from older vehicles. The monetary amount that an insurance company will put towards repairing your car will not exceed the monetary limits on your policy or the current market value of the vehicle, whichever comes first. Therefore, maintaining this coverage on an older vehicle may not be the most financially feasible decision. In reference to your deductible, you should allow your ability to pay out of pocket expenses to govern the deductible you choose. For example, if you should select a deductible of $1,000 and the damage your car sustains in an accident totals $2,500, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance company will cover the remainder of the balance.
The scope of the traffic laws that govern your insurance needs is wide and vast. However, they are not impossible to understand. If you have any lingering questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your insurance agent or the Illinois Department of Insurance. By knowing how to navigate the fine details of your coverage needs and by engaging in price comparison techniques, you will be able to ensure that you find an adequate coverage policy at an affordable price.



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