Understanding the Different Auto Insurance Coverages

Illinois legal requirement for auto insurance

Illinois law requires that car owners have minimum liability coverage (liability insurance) This is the coverage you will need if you are pulled over or in an accident.

  1. Bodily Injuries (BI)– covers injuries or deaths caused by you, the driver covered, to pedestrians or passengers in another vehicle. The minimum limits for BI include $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
  2. Property Damage (PD),– covers damage to another person’s vehicle or property, such as a fence, street sign or buildings, that has been damaged in an accident. The $15,000 minimum limit for PD is per accident.
  3. Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM)– Covers your costs for injuries caused by hit-and-run drivers or people who do not have insurance. The number of uninsured drivers in Illinois could reach as high as one out of four cars, depending on where you live. Minimum limits for UM include $20,000 per person, and $40,000 per accident.

Your Liability Coverage includes Property Damage (PD), Bodily Injury, (BI), and Bodily Injury (BI). Additional coverage is required by law for Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injuries (UM). Agents who say “Liability Only” most likely mean BI/PD… and State Required Coverage = Bi + PD + U.

Additional Coverage That Might Be Required

Damage – This is a requirement if you finance your car (who aren’t these days?). The lien holder (the bank, or anyone financing your car) will also require that you have Personal Damage coverage. You must pay your deductible before you can get this coverage. You can choose to have a $250, $500 or $1000 deductible. Let’s take for instance that your deductible is $500 and your car suffers damage of $2000. Your insurance covers the $1500 and you pay $500. You pay less for coverage if you choose a higher deductible. Physical Damage coverage with $250 deductible will be more expensive than coverage with $1000 deductible. The coverage for Physical Damage can be split into two types: Comprehensive and Collision.

Collision– Covers damage to another vehicle or fixed object like a tree.

Comprehensive pays for damage to your vehicle that does not involve a collision or other accident. It covers theft, vandalism and breakage of glass.

Optional Coverages

These coverages can be added to your required coverages.

  • Funeral and Medical Payments pays for funeral and medical expenses if you, or any of your passengers, are killed or injured in an accident. You and your family members are also covered if you or a friend are hit by another vehicle while on foot, or riding in a motorbike. Even if you are the cause of the accident, medical payments will be paid.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage – covers your car for any injury caused by an at-fault driver, uninsured or identifiable. This coverage is not available if Collision coverage is in effect. The maximum amount it will cover is $15,000, with a $250 deductible.
  • Rental Reimbursement– Allows you to rent a vehicle for a day while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced for a covered loss.
  • Towing– Pays for all or part of the costs to tow your disabled vehicle to a repair shop.
  • Emergency Roadside Service 24 hour service for roadside assistance, fuel delivery, and oil transport. Towing, battery service, tire changing, mechanical breakdown and tire change
  • Bond Cards Presenting a bond card at a traffic stop to an officer will enable you to keep your licence.