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Illinois monitors the status of insurance for all registered cars. They do this by sending insurance verification request on a random basis. Don’t fall a victim of not purchasing the required minimum car insurance. Read this article to learn about Illinois car insurance laws, requirements, rates and discounts.
IL Car Insurance Requirements
To fulfill the requirement of Illinois car insurance laws, you must purchase both:
- Liability insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage.
In order to meet the state requirements for car insurance in Illinois, you’ll need to have at least the following types of liability insurance:
- $20,000 for bodily injury, per person
- $40,000 for total bodily injury, per accident
- $15,000 for property damage.
Liability insurance does not cover the cost of your own injuries or property damage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
You must purchase uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage to help cover your injuries and that of your passengers resulting from a car accident with an uninsured driver or a driver with insufficient insurance cover. Your must purchase the following minimum limits for this policy:
- $20,000 per person
- $40,000 total per accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will not cover the cost of property damage.
Optional Car insurance
You may also purchase the following types of optional insurance coverage to help protect you further:
- Medical payments
- Rental reimbursement
- Towing and labor
- Emergency roadside service
- Customized parts and equipment.
Insurance Violations and Penalties
When you register your car in Illinois, you agree that you will hold and maintain at least the minimum required insurance coverage. The Illinois DMV monitors car insurance through:
- A system of random questionnaires
- Verification of proof of insurance during traffic stops.
Illinois uses computer systems to randomly select vehicle owners who will receive insurance verification questionnaires when verifying the status of car insurance. If you are randomly selected by their system, you must fill this questionnaire responding with:
- The name of your car insurance carrier
- Your insurance policy number.
The information you provide in this questionnaire is then verified with the one from your car insurance provider. If you are found without an insurance policy, your license plates will be suspended.
You are required to carry your car insurance card all the time when you are driving your car. If you are pulled over by a traffic police, you must show insurance card. If you are unable to show this card, you will be considered a driver without insurance and as a result receive a citation. If you are charged and found guilty, you will face the following penalties and fines:
- Suspension of your license plates
- $500 minimum fine
- A minimum of $1000 if you are caught driving a vehicle with suspended plates.
License Plate Reinstatement
If you violate car insurance laws and your driver’s license is suspended, to reinstate it you will have to: Provide proof of valid and current car insurance Pay a $100 reinstatement fee. If you continue violating traffic or insurance regulations, your plates will be suspended for a minimum of 4 months.
Cancelation of an Insurance Policy
For the first 60 days of your car insurance policy, your insurance provider may cancel your policy for nearly any reason. After 60 days of your new policy, your car insurance company can only cancel your policy if you:
- Fail to pay your premium
- Violate your policy’s terms
- Obtained your policy through fraud.
Before canceling your policy, your car insurance provider must notify you in written at least:
- 10 days before cancelation if you fail to pay your premium
- 30 days before cancelation for any other reason.
Car Insurance Non-Renewal
Your car insurance provider may also fail to renew your policy for any reason except:
- Marital status
- Physical handicap
- Credit score.
Your car insurance provider must send you a written notice if they decide not to renew your policy.
Cancelation or Non-Renewal Hearing
If you feel that your policy has been cancelled or suspended unfairly, you can appeal this decision by contacting Illinois Director of Insurance. To appeal your cancelation, you must:
- Have had your insurance canceled for any reason other than failure to pay your premium
- Mail a written request to the DI requesting them to hear your case at least 20 days before your policy cancellation: Department of Insurance 320 W. Washington St Springfield, IL 62767
SR-22 is a financial Responsibility Insurance which monitors drivers with poor driving records by ensuring that they hold and maintain a valid insurance for at least three years after driver’s license reinstatement. You may be required to file SR-22 certification if you:
- Have several traffic violations on your record
- Have several insurance violations
- Have had your driver’s license suspended.
You can file an SR-22 certificate through your car insurance company.
Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan
It’s your right in Illinois to be offered car insurance. However, car insurance companies have the right to also deny you for coverage if they consider you a high-risk driver. If you fail to find an insurer in the open market, you may apply for insurance through the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan. Insurance cover through this plan will typically lead to higher premiums. So you need to maintain a good driving record all the times to avoid earning a “high-risk” driver title. To be eligible for car insurance through the ILAIP, you must:
- Have been turned down for car insurance
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have cleared your premiums in the past 3 years
- Have a car that can be safely operated.
You can apply to the ILAIP through your car insurance agent or company.
Other Car Insurance Issues
The Illinois Department of Insurance has helped consumers with issues related to car insurance, such as complaints and frauds.
Car insurance providers lose significant sums of money through car insurance frauds. These losses trickle down to affect car insurance premiums. You can help fight car insurance frauds by reporting any suspected car insurance fraud to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. You can do so by online through their website or by phone listed on their website. Common forms of car insurance fraud include:
- Staging car accidents
- Exaggerating or falsifying injuries
- Falsifying vehicle repairs.
Questions and Concerns
If you have any concern or question regarding your car insurance, you can call Illinois Department of Insurance at (866) 445-5364. You may also send your complaint by filling an online complaint form. Common insurance complaints involve:
- Coverage issues
- Policy cancellations
- Claim disputes
- Sales misrepresentations.
Determining Your Insurance Premium
Illinois car insurance providers use the following factors to determine your car insurance rates:
- Driving record
- Marital status
- Your car’s make and model
- Your average mileage
- Credit history
- Optional car insurance you purchase
- Your deductibles.
Car Insurance Discounts in Illinois
One great way to save on car insurance is by looking for a car insurance company that offers discounts. You may get a discount if you are:
- Paying your premium in full
- Owning a home
- Being a good student
- Insuring multiple cars
- Having certain safety devices
- Being accident-free.
These discounts can save you a lot of money, but the best way to obtain cheap insurance for your car is by maintaining a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Illinois
If you are driving a car that is always targeted by thieves, you are likely to pay higher insurance rates. This is the 2013 list of the most stolen cars in Illinois according to www.nicb.org:
- Honda Civic and Honda Accord
- Dodge Caravan
- Chevrolet Impala
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Nissan Altima
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Maxima.