Last updated: July 2022

Illinois Car Insurance Guide

Curious about the State of Illinois' mandatory insurance law? Want to see how your current coverage stacks up against the state's minimum insurance requirements? This car insurance guide covers what you need to know about Illinois car insurance laws, minimum insurance requirements, penalties for driving without insurance, and more.

Personal Auto Insurance

If you are involved in an auto accident, an auto insurance policy can offer valuable financial protection to cover your expenses. A personal auto insurance policy is a contract between you and your auto insurance company. Your auto insurer agrees to help pay for losses as defined by your policy in exchange for your premium payment.

Illinois' mandatory insurance law requires proof of financial responsibility on all registered vehicles. The easiest way to prove financial responsibility is with a personal auto insurance policy that meets the state's minimum insurance requirements.

Illinois Driving Laws

Two new Illinois traffic safety laws went into effect on July 1, 2020, to curb distracted driving by enforcing harsher penalties. Public Act 101-0090 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) by imposing a 12-month license suspension and a minimum $1,000 fine for drivers who cause severe injury to another person due to texting and driving. Public Act 101-0470 amends the IVC by instituting a 12-month license suspension for drivers who severely injure another person while violating right-of-way at crosswalks and in school zones.

Illinois Car Insurance Laws

The State of Illinois began using an electronic insurance verification system in 2019 that monitors insurance coverage on all registered vehicles in the state. Auto insurance companies report policy information on behalf of policyholders.

If the system cannot verify sufficient auto insurance coverage on a vehicle, the vehicle registrant will receive a notice in the mail with instructions to provide proof of insurance. Registrants who fail to respond to notices face fines and penalties. Read more under Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois. 

Illinois Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Illinois car insurance laws require all vehicle registrants to carry liability insurance on all personal vehicles. If you do not own your vehicle outright, your lender typically requires you to carry physical damage coverages, such as comprehensive and collision

The minimum requirements for auto insurance in Illinois are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BIL): $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage (PDL): $20,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI): $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD)*: $15,000 per accident with a $250 deductible
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)*: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident 

While coverages like BIL, PDL, and UMBI are required to drive legally in Illinois, others aren't. For example, Illinois auto insurance policies automatically include uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), but you may choose to reject them in writing. However, doing so means you assume greater financial responsibility in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

UMPD can help pay for your property damages if you're involved in a hit-and-run or an accident caused by an uninsured driver. UIM protects you if the at-fault driver has liability insurance – just not enough of it to cover your medical expenses completely. Read more about UM coverage here.

For many motorists, these minimum liability coverages serve as the foundation of an auto insurance policy. Although minimum liability insurance provides some coverage, it may not be enough if you are involved in a serious accident.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

Illinois takes a tough stance on uninsured drivers, and penalties depend on the nature of the violation. Suppose you get pulled over for a traffic violation or are in an auto accident, issued a ticket, and convicted in court for driving a vehicle without insurance. In that case, your driver's license will be suspended for three months, and your license plates will be suspended until you provide proof of insurance.

Alternatively, if Illinois' electronic insurance verification system cannot verify your vehicle's coverage, you will receive an insurance verification form from the Illinois Secretary of State. If you have insurance, your insurance company will verify your coverage. However, if you did not have insurance on the date listed on the form or do not provide the information requested, your license plates will be suspended until you furnish proof of insurance. 

The penalties for driving without insurance in Illinois include:



Other Penalties

First offense

Minimum $500 fine; $100 reinstatement fee

Vehicle registration suspended until reinstatement fee and proof of insurance are provided

Second and subsequent offenses

Maximum $2,500 fine; $100 reinstatement fee

Vehicle registration and driver’s license suspended for four months; proof of insurance must be provided to restore driving privileges

Your vehicle may not be driven by you or anyone else while the license plates are suspended. A minimum $1,000 fine can be issued if you are caught driving a vehicle with a suspended registration due to a prior insurance violation.

If you plead guilty to driving without insurance or are convicted of a subsequent violation of driving without insurance, you must file an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility with the state for three years. Read more under Illinois SR-22 Insurance.

Car Insurance Coverages Required in Illinois

Illinois' mandatory insurance law requires motorists to carry three types of liability insurance: bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured motorist bodily injury. You must purchase at least the minimum limits of these coverages to drive legally in the State of Illinois.

The "minimum limit" refers to the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay in the event of a covered accident or claim.

Without adequate auto insurance coverage, one car accident could result in severe financial losses and the loss of your driving privileges. That's why many Illinois drivers choose to increase their liability limits and add other coverages not required by law (collisioncomprehensivemedical payments, and uninsured motorist property damage coverage) to protect themselves further.

Here's a more in-depth explanation of the auto insurance coverages required to drive legally in Illinois: 

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

If you or an insured driver on your policy cause an accident that results in injury or death to another person or persons, bodily injury liability coverage (BIL) can pay for their medical expenses and lost wages. BIL can also pay for your legal expenses, if necessary.

In Illinois, the minimum limits for BIL are $25,000 to help pay for injury or death per person per accident and $50,000 for injury or death to any two or more persons per accident.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage (PDL) can pay for damage you or an insured driver on your policy cause to someone else's property. PDL can pay for damage to another person's vehicle or property, including fences, utility poles, and trees.

Illinois law requires PDL limits of $20,000 per accident.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

If you're injured in an auto accident, the at-fault driver's auto insurance typically kicks in to help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. But what happens if the at-fault driver doesn't have car insurance?

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) is a type of liability insurance that can pay for your medical expenses if you're injured in a hit-and-run or an accident caused by an uninsured driver. 

Under Illinois law, UMBI is automatically included in an auto insurance policy at the same minimum limits as BIL coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Note that the only uninsured motorist coverage required in Illinois is for bodily injury only. That still leaves your property at risk. You can purchase uninsured motorist property damage coverage to protect your vehicle. (More on that below.)

Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UIMBI) offers financial protection if you're injured in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn't have enough liability insurance to cover your medical expenses completely. This coverage kicks in if your accident-related injuries exceed the at-fault driver's BIL limits. 

In Illinois, you are required to carry UIMBI if you purchase higher-than-minimum limits of UMBI coverage. It's generally advised that you match your UIMBI limits with your policy's BIL limits.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage

If your vehicle is damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) can pay to repair your vehicle. Unlike UMBI, which covers your injuries, UMPD deals exclusively with property. 

UMPD is an option you can add to your policy if you don’t have collision coverage. However, if you do not have collision coverage, UMPD is available at a maximum $15,000 limit and is subject to a $250 deductible.

Illinois SR-22 Insurance

Drivers who have been convicted of a DUI/DWI, driving without insurance, or other serious driving violations are required to carry financial responsibility insurance, often referred to as SR-22 insurance. 

An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that your insurance company files with the State of Illinois. It verifies that you have current auto insurance coverage that meets that state's minimum insurance requirements. 

Non-Standard Car Insurance in Illinois

Drivers who have a history of auto insurance claims, traffic violations, or DUI/DWI convictions are considered "high risk" by some auto insurance companies and may have difficulty finding coverage. Non-standard or high-risk auto insurance is an option that protects these drivers.

Find Low Car Insurance Rates in Illinois

Auto insurance companies weigh several factors in determining car insurance rates. Each insurer uses its own rating system, although there are a few general considerations. Factors that affect auto insurance rates include:

  • Age
  • ZIP code
  • Driving record
  • Vehicle
  • Coverage limits  

Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements

Illinois' mandatory auto liability law also extends to all motor vehicles, including motorcycles. The minimum motorcycle insurance requirements in Illinois are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BIL): $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage (PDL): $20,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI): $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD)*: $15,000 per accident with a $250 deductible
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)*: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident 

Under Illinois insurance laws, auto insurance companies are required to offer motorcyclists UMPD and UIM coverage. Still, you may choose to reject these coverages in writing. While opting out of these coverages will result in a lower motorcycle insurance premium, it leaves you more financially vulnerable in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Read more about UM coverage here.

Additionally, not all motorcycle insurance policies in all states cover passengers, so never assume your motorcycle liability insurance covers your motorcycle passengers. You must purchase motorcycle guest passenger liability coverage to protect passengers.

Illinois Insurance Resources

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