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How much does Illinois mandatory insurance really cover?

When shopping around for car insurance, far too many people only look at the final price tag. The sad news is that buying the lowest priced policy you can possibly find could leave you open to financial risk. If you don’t want to end up in a financially difficult situation, you may want to review your insurance policy.

It’s always smart to invest in more coverage than the bare minimum required by the state. You should also consider adding riders to cover you in the event that you experience a crash caused by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

What does Illinois require for motor vehicle insurance?

The mandatory vehicle insurance laws in Illinois require at least $20,000 in property damage coverage and $25,000 of coverage for injury or death involving one person or $50,000 for an accident where more than one person gets hurt or killed.

At first glance, that may seem like plenty of coverage, but in reality, the full coverage amount could leave unpaid expenses. This is especially true if the person who caused the crash or collisions didn’t have an insurance policy or only paid for the bare minimum coverage required by state law.

How can expenses surpass insurance coverage?

When the driver responsible for the collision doesn’t have an active insurance policy, it’s easy enough to see how that puts you at financial risk. Your insurance company will hold the other driver’s insurance company responsible for expenses related to the crash. If there is no second policy, you could find yourself in a difficult position.

Even if the other driver has a policy, if it’s a state minimum policy, it may not be enough. Newer cars now cost well over $20,000 for many makes and models. Repairing or replacing a destroyed vehicle, let alone more than one, could soon surpass the total coverage offered by the policy. As for medical expenses, the same is true.

A single injured person requiring trauma care could quickly exceed the $25,000 allowed by the policy. Ambulance rides, emergency care, surgery, medication, hospitalization, and rehabilitation or physical therapy could cost well beyond that amount. If there were two or more people hurt, exceeding those base protection amounts won’t take much.

You can add riders to your policy to protect yourself

There’s no way to know exactly how many people drive around without insurance on their vehicles, but it’s more than you’d hope. It only takes one to leave you in a difficult position. Riders for underinsured or uninsured driver coverage won’t increase the cost of your insurance by much, but they will provide you with protection from losses in the event that you need them.