Illinois Car Insurance Laws: What Every Driver Needs to Know

By Randy Luton | Last Updated: 09/15/2023

In Illinois, as in many U.S. states, understanding the intricacies of car insurance laws is essential. These regulations exist to protect drivers and pedestrians alike, ensuring that in the unfortunate event of an accident, financial safeguards are in place for the victims. The Prairie State mandates that having car insurance isn’t just a suggestion; it’s a legal requirement. 

Specific minimum coverage standards are set to ensure that all drivers have the financial means to handle potential accidents and injuries, promoting safety for everyone on the road. So, remember, it’s not just a wise choice; it’s the law. Drive responsibly and stay informed about car insurance laws in Illinois.

What are mandatory car insurance requirements in Illinois?

Below are the legal auto insurance in Illinois requirements:

Coverage TypesAmount
Bodily Injury Per Person$25,000
Bodily Injury Per Accident$50,000
Property Damage Liability$20,000

These figures represent the absolute minimum, and many drivers opt for higher coverages to ensure broader protection.

What is Liability insurance in Illinois?

In Illinois, adhering to car insurance laws is paramount for Prairie State drivers. To legally navigate its roads, one must carry liability insurance. This coverage steps up if you’re found at fault in an accident, taking care of the other party’s injury or property damage expenses. Remember, it exclusively addresses harm to others, not your own belongings.

This insurance encompasses two key categories: bodily injury liability, aiding with medical and sometimes funeral costs, and property damage liability, handling repairs or replacements for someone else’s property. Familiarizing yourself with these limits is crucial.

How much is car insurance in Illinois? 

The cost of car insurance in Illinois is about $552 per year. This is a basic state-required cost. If you require full coverage, which include collision and comprehensive protection, the average annual cost rises to $1,806. These rates are notably lower than the national averages of $622 for minimum coverage and $2,014 for full coverage. In fact, Illinois drivers enjoy savings of roughly 12% compared to the national norms. This is promising news for residents seeking affordable insurance options.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage in Illinois?

In Illinois, it’s a serious reality that every driver on the road does not carry insurance. To address this concern, the state mandates that all drivers have uninsured motorist coverage (UM), specifically for bodily injury, in case they’re involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. While bodily injury coverage is mandatory, it’s worth noting that your personal property remains vulnerable. To safeguard your belongings, you have the option to enhance your policy with uninsured motorist coverage for property damage.

What is optional Auto insurance coverage in Illinois?

Beyond the mandatory requirements, drivers in Illinois have the option to purchase the additional coverages such as: 

  • Comprehensive Coverage:  This coverage covers damages to your vehicle that are caused by incidents other than collisions. It includes damages such as theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, and also encounters with animals such as deer.
  • Collision Coverage: As the name implies, coverage pays for the damages to your vehicle resulting from a collision, whether it’s with another vehicle or an object.
  • Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay): This coverage covers medical expenses related to accidents for you and your passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault in the accidents.
  • Rental Reimbursement: If your vehicle is in the shop due to a covered accident, this coverage will pay for the cost of a rental car.
  • Towing and Labor: Also known as emergency roadside assistance, this coverage pays for the cost of towing your vehicle to a repair shop and any labor costs at the place of the breakdown, such as changing a flat tire or jump-starting a battery.
  • Gap Insurance: If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, gap insurance will pay the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the remaining balance on your loan or lease.

What are penalties for driving without insurance in Illinois?

It is a serious offense to drive without insurance in Illinois. Those caught can face fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, suspension of driving privileges, and even the impoundment of their vehicle.

SR22 insurance in Illinois: What is it?

SR-22 insurance in Illinois is a specialized form of car insurance required for individuals who have been involved in serious traffic offenses or have been caught driving without proper insurance coverage. It’s not an actual policy, but rather a certificate proving you carry the state-mandated minimum insurance.

This document is filed by your insurance provider directly with the state to reinstate or maintain your driving privileges. Illinois SR22 insurance is typically necessary for a specific period, during which any lapse in coverage could lead to penalties.

It’s crucial to understand that SR-22 is linked to your driving record and not a choice, making it essential for regaining legal driving status.

In Conclusion

Navigating the labyrinth of car insurance laws in Illinois can be daunting, but it’s crucial for every driver’s safety and financial well-being. By understanding and adhering to these regulations, drivers ensure not only their protection but also that of everyone on the road.

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Editorial Guidelines: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of auto insurance. This information does not refer to any specific auto insurance policy. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. References to costs of coverages/repair, average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, etc., are indicative and may not apply to your situation. We encourage you to speak to our insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

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Randy Luton is the Founder and CEO of RateForce. He is passionate about InsurTech services and has in-depth knowledge about the auto insurance sector of the USA.