Illinois Car Insurance Requirements
In the state of Illinois minimum liability insurance is a requirement for every motorized vehicle driven on public roads. In order to register a vehicle you will first need to have an adequate insurance policy in place; that policy must be issued by a company licensed to do business in Illinois.
While some states only require bodily injury and property damage liability, Illinois is one of a handful of states that also requires drivers to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. There is a distinct difference between the two coverages:
- liability insurance pays for injuries, deaths, or property damage you cause due to the negligent use of a motor vehicle; it does not pay to repair or replace your vehicle
- uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for your injuries or property damage if you’re involved with another driver who has no insurance and is deemed to be at fault
Bodily injury and death liability must be maintained in the amount of $20,000 per victim with a $40,000 per accident limit. The property damage minimum is $15,000 per accident while the UM coverage must be at $20,000/$40,000. Drivers may opt to increase these minimums as they see fit.
Driving without Insurance
If you’re caught driving in Illinois without proper car insurance coverage your registration and plates will automatically be suspended. That suspension will remain in place until you provide proper proof of insurance and pay a $100 reinstatement fee. A second violation will require a minimum four-month suspension of your registration and plates; additional fines and fees may also be assessed.
If you have an accident while uninsured all of the above applies as well as an additional $500 fine. Repeat offenses could result in the suspension of your driving privileges for certain term.
Maintaining Proof of Insurance
When you purchase car insurance in Illinois your carrier will provide you with insurance ID card. The card must be kept in your vehicle at all times. Should you be involved in an accident or a traffic stop you must furnish that ID card at the request of a police officer. Failure to do so could result in a citation.
As an additional measure to keep drivers honest, the Illinois Secretary of State routinely audits them by sending insurance verification requests in the mail. A driver receiving one of these requests has a limited amount of time to respond by providing an insurance ID card or another acceptable form of insurance proof. Failure to respond to an audit request will subject the driver to the same penalties listed above.