If you plan on driving a car on the streets and highways of Illinois, be sure your auto insurance policy includes liability coverage. The reason is – you can’t legally operate a vehicle in the state without it. And, should you get stopped without the proper coverage, which includes the minimum limit requirements, you could be looking at severe penalties. Now, if you’re fairly new at obtaining car insurance in Illinois, the next question you might ask is – what exactly is liability insurance and what does it cover?

At the outset, it’s important to stress that, of all the different types of car insurance, liability coverage is mandated by virtually every state in the U.S., except for a couple. And, there are, actually, two parts to liability insurance: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

As to what it does for you – aside from allowing you to drive your vehicle legally within the state, the coverage also protects you if you’re at fault for an accident and you injure someone or damage someone’s else’s property. It can also provide you with legal defense if the other party decides to file a lawsuit against you.

Assuming you have a good driving record and won’t be forced to pay a high risk insurance rate to your auto insurance company, your liability insurance must have the following minimum coverages:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury per accident.
  • $20,000 for property damage.

Keep in mind, liability insurance does not cover your own costs for personal injuries or property damage. For that, you would have to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. While collision and comprehensive car insurance are optional and not required in Illinois, in order to comply with state auto insurance laws you must have BOTH:

  • Liability insurance.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

This is without exception. In Illinois, you must also carry uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage to help cover injuries to you and/or your passengers involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver (or a driver whose auto insurance limits are not adequate to cover your costs). You’re required to have the following minimum limits for uninsured/ underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage:

  • $25,000 per person.
  • $50,000 total per accident.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist car insurance coverage will not cover property damage.

What Else is Typically Not Covered by Liability Insurance?

The problem with not carrying full coverage insurance is that liability insurance alone doesn’t pay for damage to your own car or costs related to your own injuries from an auto accident you cause.

That’s where collision and comprehensive coverage come in. Not only will collision protection cover the damage to your vehicle, but comprehensive will protect you against losses caused by covered events not related to a collision. These events commonly include: theft, vandalism, fire, storms and natural disasters, such as a hurricane or a tornado, falling objects or animal damage.

When comparing free auto insurance quotes for liability coverage, you may want to consider raising the minimum limits because, as often is the case, you may not have enough to cover the damage or injuries to other motorists you’re responsible for. And, when shopping for coverage for your teen driver, be prepared for sticker shock. Teen car insurance will automatically send your premiums into orbit.

So, don’t short-change yourself when it comes to car insurance. Get as much insurance as you can afford to include: liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive.
In the long run, it may turn out to be a wise decision.

Another wise decision is making sure you’re currently getting the best rate on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?

Are you getting a good rate on your liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages?