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Illinois Minimum Car Insurance Raised to $25,000 and Why You Should Have $250,000

As of January 1, 2015, the new mandatory minimum limits of vehicle liability insurance is increased to a $25,000 bodily injury liability limit per person; a $50,000 bodily injury liability limit per accident; and a $20,000 property damage limit.   The old requirements were $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.  If you still only have $20,000 in coverage, you need to increase it to $25,000 to drive legally.

Also, Illinois motorists are required by law to have both liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.  Previously, no uninsured motorist coverage was required by law, though uninsured motorist coverage is exceptionally important to any person injured in a crash.

The limit's increase to $25,000 is a good start, but the reality is that $25,000 is usually not enough insurance to cover a truly injured person's claim for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of normal life and future medical bills.  Even in a routine rear end collision involving back and neck injuries, a quick trip to the emergency room to rule out anything serious can easily result in a medical bill of over $15,000.  In any moderate to severe cases, especially when surgery is required, the medical bills can easily exceed $100,000.

So what happens if you are hit by a person who does have any insurance and your injuries are serious?  What if the person who hits you only has the $25,000 minimum insurance and your injuries are arguably worth more than $25,000?  You will have to turn to your own auto insurance company for payment from your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage insurance. The amount of your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage insurance will determine what happens to you. 

You want the highest amount of uninsured motorist coverage insurance you can get so that you are protected if the person who injures you does not have enough insurance.  Most insurance companies require you to have as much liability insurance as you do uninsured motorist coverage insurance, so you will have to increase your limits of liability insurance if you want to increase your uninsured motorist coverage. 

Example 1:      Wrongdoer Has No Insurance (completely hypothetical facts)

                     Person who hit you has NO insurance

                     Your injuries and damages are worth $250,000

                     Your uninsured motorist coverage limits =  $50,000*

                     Your probable recovery = $50,000

                     Your unrecovered damages = $200,000 ($250,000 - $50,000)

=>        *If you had $250,000 for uninsured motorist coverage your probable recovery would be $250,000 and you would have no unrecovered damages

Example 2:      Wrongdoer Has Minimum Insurance (completely hypothetical facts)

                     Person who hit you has $25,000 insurance

                     Your injuries and damages are worth $250,000

                     Your underinsured motorist coverage limits =  $50,000

                     Your probable recovery = $50,000 total:

                           $25,000 from person who hit you +

                           $25,000 from your underinsured coverage

                      Your unrecovered damages = $200,000 ($250,000 - $50,000)

=>        *If you had $250,000 for underinsured motorist coverage your probable recovery would be $250,000 and you would have no unrecovered damages

Check with your insurance agent about increasing your uninsured motorist coverage to as much as possible.  Ask them to quote you liability and uninsured motorist coverage limits of $250,000 per person, $500,000 per crash.  You can't control the amount of insurance other people have, but you certainly can protect yourself with your own insurance.

Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continues to represent people and families who have suffered serious personal injury or wrongful death from all types of car, truck, motorcycle, and bike accidents in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.

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