Even if you’re a responsible driver who purchases auto insurance, you can’t trust that everyone on the road will have the same initiative. You’d be surprised to learn how many drivers travel without auto insurance. If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, having uninsured motorist insurance can protect you from paying heavy out-of-pocket costs related to your accident. Below, you can learn everything you need to know about uninsured motorist insurance and what it covers.
What Percentage of Drivers Are Uninsured in Illinois?
In the state of Illinois, around 11.8% of drivers were uninsured in 2019. While this percentage isn’t as high as in states like Mississippi, which has a startling rate of 29.4% uninsured drivers, it’s still a cause for concern. With so many drivers traveling without insurance, it’s important to protect yourself with uninsured motorist coverage.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Mandatory in Illinois?
Yes, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in Illinois. It’s one of the 21 states in the U.S. that require this kind of insurance coverage.
What Are the Two Types of Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
The two types of uninsured motorist coverage are for property damage and bodily injury. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage can help cover the repair or replacement costs you may incur if your vehicle sustains damage during an accident. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage can help cover any medical bills you have because of injuries you sustain during a car accident.
What Are the Minimum Requirements for Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Illinois?
As an Illinois driver, you need to get uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage of at least 25/50. When you see insurance coverage expressed in this manner, it means that the ratio is per person and accident. This expression also shortens the numbers from their accurate positions in the thousands.
So, Illinois requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The state doesn’t require that you get uninsured motorist coverage for property damage. Your insurance provider must offer coverage of at least $15,000 for this, but you can reject it in writing.
Some drivers choose to forgo uninsured motorist coverage for property damage, so they don’t have to pay as much each month for their premiums. However, consider purchasing uninsured motorist property damage, as this can lower your out-of-pocket payments in the event of an accident that results in serious damage to your vehicle.
How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cost?
Uninsured motorist coverage is relatively affordable. The price you pay will depend on several factors, including what kind of vehicle you drive and who your insurance provider is. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $75 each year for uninsured motorist coverage. This is an affordable rate to comply with Illinois’ auto insurance requirements and have peace of mind if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Note that the rate you’ll pay can vary. It may be a little higher in Illinois because of the large percentage of uninsured drivers. Awareness of the factors influencing the rate you pay for uninsured motorist coverage can help you understand what to expect when you sign up for a plan.
For example, you may pay a higher rate if you are at a high-risk level. Drivers who’ve previously been in accidents or received traffic tickets may be subject to higher rates. You may also pay more depending on how much coverage you want. For example, you can choose to purchase more than the minimum coverage that Illinois requires. Experts recommend this approach, as Illinois’ minimum requirements typically aren’t enough to cover the costs that a severe car accident can incur.
When Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Helpful?
Uninsured motorist coverage can help in several circumstances. For example, it can be beneficial if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run event. If another driver crashes into your vehicle and drives away to escape the repercussions, you may be able to use your uninsured motorist coverage to seek compensation.
Another instance in which uninsured motorist coverage can be helpful is if you get into an accident and the other driver fails to give you their insurance information, either because they refuse to do so or because of forgetfulness in a stressful situation. This coverage can also help if a driver lacks enough insurance to cover all the incurred costs, including vehicle repairs and medical bills.
How To File an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Here are some steps you can follow to file an uninsured motorist claim:
- Call your insurance company to report the accident. Try to complete this step as close to the accident’s occurrence as possible and give your provider as many details as you can.
- File a report with your local police department.
- Remain in regular contact with the insurance adjuster working on your case. Give them any additional information they request, including photos and details about the accident.
- Allow your insurance adjuster to finish reviewing and investigating the details of your accident.
- Wait for your insurance adjuster to forward a payment to you. You could choose to accept the payment if it’s an adequate amount. If necessary, you might negotiate an alternative payout amount.
Note that filing an uninsured motorist claim is similar to filing a traditional insurance claim. The key difference is that you need to contact your insurance company for an uninsured motorist claim. When filing a traditional insurance claim, you contact the other driver’s insurance company.
If you need help obtaining uninsured motorist coverage or another type of auto insurance, contact our team at American Auto Insurance. We can help drivers get the appropriate uninsured motorist coverage necessary in Illinois. For your peace of mind, one of our experts can discuss the benefits of purchasing additional uninsured motorist coverage. Our team understands that all our customers are in unique situations, so we’ll help you get a policy that makes sense for your needs.