The state of Illinois is among the states where possession of an auto insurance policy is mandatory. In Illinois, every driver must carry proof of insurance starting from a certain minimum coverage. This is because Illinois is known as one of the fault states. In these states, the driver who causes an accident is responsible for covering the resulting damage and injuries. Because of this mandate, car owners often opted for cheap full coverage auto insurance in Illinois.
Auto Insurance Law in Illinois
Auto insurance is mandated in the state of Illinois under the Illinois Vehicle Code, specifically in Chapter 7, Article VI – Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law (625 ILCS 5/7-601 et seq.). This law mandates that all motor vehicle owners operating on the public roads of Illinois possess auto insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements.
The minimum liability coverage mandated by the state government of Illinois is 25/50/20. The numbers are the amount of money the insurance will cover for you in case an accident happens:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
These coverage limits ensure that individuals involved in an accident are financially protected up to a certain extent if they are found to be at fault. Aside from those coverage, the standard auto insurance policy mandated by the state will also provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (bodily injury), which will cover the following:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
The aforementioned coverage is for the minimum amount drivers are mandated to obtain by the state. If car owners want to buy a policy with better coverage, they are free—or even encouraged—to do so. However, better coverage will translate to an increased price drivers will have to pay for the policy.
Drivers operating their vehicles without carrying proof of their insurance are basically driving against the law. If the driver fails to provide proof of insurance when requested by police officers, the consequences may include fines, suspension of their driving license, and vehicle impoundment.
The fine is set to be around $500 to $1000. On the other hand, the driver could get their license suspended for up to three months plus another $100 reinstatement fee.
Why Do I Need Auto Insurance?
The primary reason behind the compulsory requirement of auto insurance ownership in most US states relates to driver liability and responsibility. In simple terms, if you caused an accident, you are responsible for paying for the damage caused in that accident, even if you sustained injuries or damage.
This responsibility to cover for the damage and injuries resulting from an accident will put most people at risk of financial struggles. Having these mandatory coverages will benefit both parties. It will provide the victim with financial aid to treat their injury and pay for the sustained property damage. On the other hand, it will not put the person causing the accident on the brink of financial bankruptcy.
What “Full Coverage” in Auto Insurance Means?
Usually, auto insurance policies are divided into two main categories: liability-only and full coverage. As the name suggests, liability-only policies only cover the liabilities resulting from an accident the policyholder caused. The liabilities covered in this type of policy are Bodily Injury and Property Damage.
Despite its name, a full coverage policy does not really cover everything from the get go. The term refers to policies that cover both the sustained and inflicted injuries and damage to the two parties involved in the accident. In other words, it includes both liabilities as well as collision and comprehensive coverage.
What a full-coverage policy includes in its protection is as follows:
- Bodily Injury Liability – covers the injuries sustained by the person involved in an accident caused by the policyholder.
- Property Damage Liability – covers the damage to properties (cars, buildings, houses, etc.) resulting from an accident caused by the policyholder.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – covers the injuries the policyholder and other persons covered by the policy sustained in the accident they caused.
- Collision – covers the damage sustained if the car registered in the policy crashes into other cars or objects.
- Comprehensive – for if damage to the vehicle registered in the policy is caused by non-collision (theft, vandalism, natural disasters, etc.).
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – for damage caused in an accident involving an uninsured motorist or if the insurance of one of the parties is worth less.
Comparing Auto Insurance in Illinois
Like in many other states, the cost of auto insurance in Illinois will vary depending on the insurance company. It’s up to car owners to try and find the policy that offers the best value for them.
Since Illinois mandates car owners to have at least the minimum coverage regulated by the law, let’s use it as our baseline. The average annual cost of a minimum coverage mandated by the state of Illinois is $552. Keep in mind that this minimum coverage DOES NOT offer a full-coverage policy.
On the other hand, a full-coverage policy in Illinois will cost an average of $1,806 annually. While it is true that it costs more than twice the average annual of the minimum state-mandated coverage, it covers significantly more as well. Remember, this is an average; the actual price will vary between each insurance company.
With that said, these are some insurance companies available in Illinois as well as the price of their full-coverage insurance policy:
- Geico – $89 monthly average; $1,068 annual average
- Auto–Owners – $115 monthly average; $1,380 annual average
- Travelers – $130 monthly average; $1,557 annual average
- Erie – $103 monthly average; $1,232 annual average
- Mercury – $97 monthly average; $1,168 annual average
To sum everything up, the minimum coverage mandated by the state of Illinois will be sufficient in most cases, especially if you are a safe and responsible driver.
However, a full-coverage policy will offer maximum protection to the owner and other persons involved in the accident. This is why finding cheap full coverage auto insurance in Illinois is a reasonable investment for most drivers.