UPDATED: JANUARY 13, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
It’s a lot easier to follow the law and drive safely in Illinois than most people think. And if drivers know how to shop smartly for their car insurance policy, they can do it on the cheap!
Illinois Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
Drivers can rest easy knowing that they only need three types of coverage to drive legally in Illinois:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Uninsured motorist coverage/underinsured motorist coverage
The limits of coverage are higher than in some states, but they’re still low enough to make it relatively easy to find affordable insurance premiums.
Liability Coverage in Illinois
Your liability coverage only pays out if the accident is your fault. If someone hits you, you will have to wait for the courts to determine that the other driver is at fault before their insurance coverage pays for your injuries and property damage. Since Illinois is an at-fault state, someone will always be determined to be “at-fault” for the accident, which simplifies the process.
State-mandated auto insurance limits you should know
Each type of mandatory coverage also has a mandatory minimum limit to purchase. Here are the mandatory limits according to Illinois state law:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability
- $20,000 of property damage liability
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of uninsured/underinsured bodily injury motorist coverage
Are Illinois’ Minimum Requirements Providing Enough Coverage?
Illinois drivers must purchase enough liability insurance and UM/UIM coverage to protect themselves from a lawsuit if they cause an accident (or in the event of a hit-and-run). But purchasing excessively high liability limits can be an expensive waste of money. This begs the question: are these mandatory minimum limits enough?
Think about a worst-case scenario. If a vehicle owner causes an accident that totals the other driver’s car and sends two passengers to the hospital, these limits won’t be enough. It would be smart to raise those limits to something the policyholder can afford. The UM/UIM limits, on the other hand, seem relatively sufficient given that they pay for claims from a crash where the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage isn’t sufficient to cover all of your damages and medical costs.
Penalties for Driving Without Proof of Insurance in Illinois
The state of Illinois only imposes fines and a short, temporary suspension of driving privileges for the offending motorist. The fines are on the expensive side, and an SR-22 certificate will be required every time, starting with the second offense.
|Fine (First Offense)
|$500 – $1,000
|License suspension (3 months or less), license plate suspension
|$100 reinstatement fee
|Fine (Second+ Offense)
|License and license plate suspended for 4 months; SR-22 requirement
|$100 reinstatement fee
Illinois Optional Car Insurance Coverage
Drivers who have the means should consider purchasing additional coverage for their motor vehicle. This is especially important for newer vehicles, leased vehicles, and new cars purchased with a bank loan. Some of the best coverage options include:
- UM/UIM property damage liability: Illinois only mandates UM/UIM bodily injury coverage, so if a driver wants protection for their damage coverage, UM/UIM property damage coverage will help
- Medical payments: This provides extra funds if the policyholder gets injured in a wreck and needs to pay expensive medical bills
- Collision coverage: This is what pays out claims if the policyholder’s vehicle is damaged in a collision they cause
- Comprehensive coverage: This coverage pays out claims for damages to the vehicle due to acts of god or other accidental circumstances; all the policyholder has to do is pay a deductible
- Roadside assistance: Flat tire? Run out of gas? Dead battery? Need a tow? This coverage helps the policyholder with all of the above
- Gap coverage: Helps the driver of a newer vehicle pay off their loan if it gets totaled in an accident
Why it’s important to follow Illinois car insurance laws and requirements
For starters, it’s the law – and breaking the law always has harsh consequences. Illinois drivers may not end up in jail for failing to purchase car insurance coverage, but the expensive fines and the license suspension will make it very difficult to get back on the road.
Then there’s the SR-22 insurance certificate which is required after the second offense. This certificate makes auto insurance premiums much more expensive and must be maintained for a minimum of 3 years. At the end of the day, it’s cheaper and easier to get the mandatory minimum coverage from a local and reliable car insurance company.
How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Illinois?
It depends on a driver’s personal characteristics. Age, location, type of vehicle, driving record, and many other factors can either make or break someone’s chance of finding an affordable auto insurance plan. The general rule of thumb is that an adult driver with a clean record and good credit will find the cheapest rates.
Motorists who don’t have a perfect profile can still find decent rates, though. It’s all a matter of shopping around. The table below has sample quotes from Illinois car insurance providers who offer some of the lowest rates in the state.
Cheapest minimum liability car insurance in Illinois
Here are the cheapest companies in Illinois for drivers who only want to purchase mandatory minimum coverage:
USAA deserves an honorable mention because their average monthly premium for minimum mandatory coverage in Illinois is $34. But in order to purchase a policy, an individual must either be active military, retired military, or the immediate family member of someone who has served.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Illinois When Leasing a Car
When a driver leases a vehicle, they don’t own it – the dealership does. And the dealership will require the lessee to purchase full coverage car insurance coverage to protect their property. Typically, full coverage includes:
- $100,000/$300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person/per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability
- Illinois mandatory UM/UIM coverage
- Collision & comprehensive coverage
Different companies can set different limits and coverage requirements, so these will vary. It’s best to check with the dealership first to see what type of insurance they require before leasing a vehicle.
Car insurance cancellation laws in Illinois
Motorists should know that unlike in other states, auto insurance companies in Illinois can cancel a policy without notice if the vehicle is defective. Owners should be careful to stay on top of maintenance and repairs in order to keep it running and maintain coverage.
Question 1: How long does an insurer have to cancel a policy in Illinois?
Once a driver receives notice of a cancellation, they have 30 days to find new coverage. Failure to find coverage can result in legal consequences if the motorist is caught driving without insurance.
Question 2: Does insurance follow the driver or the car in Illinois?
In Illinois, car insurance follows the car. This means that your vehicle is protected even if someone else drives it (as long as they have your permission).
Question 3: Is PIP required in Illinois?
PIP (personal injury protection) is not required in Illinois. This type of coverage is usually only required in no-fault states because it helps pay for medical expenses for drivers who are hurt in an accident that isn’t their fault.
Get Coverage That Meets Illinois’s Car Insurance Requirments
Mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage isn’t very extensive or complicated in Illinois. But motorists do have to make sure their vehicle is in good shape in order to avoid policy cancellation. For more information on the cheapest insurance rates in Illinois, please use our comparison tools which are designed to help drivers find a fair and reasonable rate.