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Illinois Car Insurance Mandatory Requirements

Illinois law states that no driver can operate an automobile or even register or maintain registration on an automobile unless it is covered by an auto liability insurance policy. The law also requires proof of insurance to be kept inside the vehicle at all times. For drivers in the state, failure to comply with this law can result in fines and even the suspension of driving privileges. Obviously, it is important to follow the law and to make sure we remain in compliance.

Importance of Illinois Auto Insurance

Cheaper liability auto insurance is important for Illinois drivers, for whom it accomplishes two very important things. First, it sets them up with representation from a law firm if a lawsuit or claim arises out of an accident. Part of what we are paying for as policy holders is that representation. And second, the car insurance company with whom we are contracted for coverage will pay up to the full policy limits for property damage and bodily injuries to other who may be involved in accidents we have that are deemed our fault by law enforcement officials or insurance investigators. It is great to have this protection readily available to you when you need it. For many of us, it is the only way we can even afford legal representation at all, and the benefits of the financial coverage speak for themselves.

The state of Illinois sets legal minimums for liability policies for drivers in the state. Auto insurance companies are barred from even offering policies that do not comply with these standards, so as a driver if you are insured at all, you will be automatically compliant with state law. This is good news as well. The state of IL uses the split limit liability system. This method divides Illinois liability insurance coverage into three parts: one person bodily injury liability, multiple people bodily injury liability, and property damage liability. All three limits come with their own deductibles, and all are per accident levels, meaning that each accident is covered separately under its own separate limits (although a pattern of at fault accidents can summarily lead to auto insurance cancellation for the driver).

The limit for bodily injury or death to one person must be no less than $20,000 in an Illinois liability policy. For two or more injured people in an accident, the limit doubles to $40,000. The minimum limit required for protection against property damage liability is $15,000 [1].

Comparative Negligence in Illinois

It must also be noted that Illinois is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence is a concept that helps determine how responsibility for an accident is assigned. It operates on the assumption that not all auto accidents are caused by only one person. Laws on comparative negligence apply in accidents where property damage or bodily injury occurs. When two parties are involved in these cases, they are called the insured (or the first party) and claimant (also called the third party). When it is found that both parties contributed to the cause of the accident, comparative negligence makes the determination of who will receive payouts for their losses and how much they will get. If both drivers contribute to an accident, generally insurance companies work to determine who takes on liability for damages in the accident.

Modified comparative negligence is in use in the state of Illinois. Under this system, an injured party is able to recover damages from an accident if he or she was less than 50 percent at fault for the crash. However, the recovered amount can be reduced according to the amount that driver was at fault in the crash [2]. So a driver that was found to be 40 percent responsible for an accident under modified comparative negligence might only receive 60 percent of their expected payout for their losses.

Optional Coverage for IL Motorists

Beyond liability car insurance coverage, there are plenty of other areas of coverage we could add on to our Illinois car insurance policies if we so chose that are not covered under the Illinois car insurance mandatory requirements. For example, collision and comprehensive insurance cover the insured vehicle against property damage in collision and non collision circumstances. Theft, vandalism, and deer hits are a few examples of claims covered by comprehensive. And of course, collision covers car accidents. Drivers may place claims on their own collision policies whether or not they were at fault in the crash. If the other driver was negligent, generally the insurance company will pay the insured and then go after the other driver's insurance company to get reimbursement for their payout and for their driver's deductible payment. Other areas of protection also exist from uninsured motorist protection to towing coverage. Get with an Illinois car insurance provider and set up a policy for your vehicle.

[1] http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legalinfo/2008/03/insurance.html Retrieved 2010-08-08.
[2] http://insurance.illinois.gov/autoinsurance/comp_Negl.asp Retrieved 2010-08-08.

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