When you are buying auto insurance, Illinois residents need to take notes. The Prairie State has laws in place regarding Illinois car insurance. There are some minimum coverage specifications that need to be met for car insurance. Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, the car insurance requirements apply everywhere in the state.
So what are the minimum legal requirements for car insurance in Illinois? What happens if you drive uninsured? What are your options if you can’t buy car insurance? Illinois residents, here is a quick guide to help make sure your Illinois vehicle insurance meets the state law’s requirements.
Illinois Auto Insurance State Minimum Requirements
Illinois car insurance requirements were established to ensure that the state’s residents were properly protected when driving on their roads. The mandatory minimums help ensure that the drivers can be financially responsible if an auto accident occurs. For car insurance, IL state law requires the following mandatory coverage minimums:
- Bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage of $20,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
Bare in mind that these are the minimum requirements for Illinois auto insurance. It is recommended that you obtain more coverage in order to ensure better protection. While uninsured motorist coverage is considered to be optional in other statewide policies for auto insurance, IL state law requires it as a way to ensure that their drivers are still protected if they collide with someone who is underinsured or has no insurance coverage of their own.
While there are no discounts offered by the state of Illinois for car insurance, many insurance providers can give you discounts for coverage if you meet certain qualifications. Some insurance companies offer good student discounts and lower rates for people who take a defensive driving course. Discounts can be offered for drivers that have certain safety and anti-theft devices installed in their cars. When shopping for a car insurance policy, ask the insurance agent if they offer any of these discounts or others.
Penalties for Driving Uninsured
There is some information you should know when driving in Illinois. First, by merely registering your car with the state, you also agree to adhering to the state minimum requirements for car insurance. You may have an insurance questionnaire sent out to you randomly in order to verify that you have auto coverage. You will also have to provide an insurance card as proof of insurance when stopped by a police officer.
If you fail to provide proof of insurance, the police will consider you to be an uninsured driver and may issue you a citation. If you are convicted of driving without a valid insurance policy, you are subject to the following penalties:
- $500 minimum fine
- Suspension of your license plates
- $1,000 minimum fine if you are caught driving with suspended plates due to an insurance-based violation
Getting your license plates reinstated will require you to provide proof of car insurance that adheres to the state minimum requirements and a $100 reinstatement fee. Multiple offenses, however, will subject you to a 4-month long minimum suspension of your plates. It is worth getting an Illinois car insurance policy that meets the minimum standards just to avoid all this trouble.
Alternatives to Car Insurance
Illinois state law doesn’t provide any real alternatives to buying mandatory car insurance in order to stay legal on their roads. However, if you own more than 25 vehicles, you can apply for self-insurance to be legally covered. In order to qualify, you must be able to pay the $200 application fee and provide evidence that you can realistically pay the same amount for claims as would an insurance company if your vehicle gets involved in an accident.
Typically, if you are caught driving without insurance or have a DUI, you’ll have to file an SR-22 certificate with your insurance company in order to prove to the state that you are insured. However, if you cannot get an SR-22 from an insurance provider, the state of Illinois will allow these alternatives to car insurance in order to keep you legal on the road:
- A $70,000 cash deposit to the Illinois State Treasurer
- A $70,000 surety bond
- A $70,000 real estate bond approved by a judge
If these alternatives are satisfied, proof must be sent to the Secretary of State for verification. Once everything is approved, the Secretary of State will issue a certificate to you that can be used in lieu of an insurance card. Frankly, it is much simpler to just find an insurance company willing to provide minimum coverage.
Getting Illinois car insurance is simple. InsureOne can provide you a wide assortment of car insurance rates from the top insurance carriers in the nation. Give us a call or get a free car insurance quote online to get protected, drive legally, and save big money.