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  • Writer's pictureDerek Carroll

How To Protect Yourself from Uninsured Motorists with your Illinois Auto Policy.

On those beautiful days when you are out and about doing errands, running your children to practice, or driving to your vacation destination one thing that may not cross your mind is how many drivers you pass everyday that are uninsured. While the Illinois law requires insurance, it was estimated that in Illinois in 2015, 13.7% of drivers had no insurance. On top of that another portion of drivers only carry state minimum limits on their auto policy of $25,000 each person and $50,000 per accident. While these limits fulfill the state mandated need for insurance in Illinois, chances are they won't fulfill the medical bills of any kind of serious car accident.

While drivers may not think about it during their normal driving, a large amount of claim calls that we receive from client's when the other party was at fault is the client was "just happy that the other party had insurance." But what about those times when you might not dodge an uninsured or underinsured motorist? How would your current Illinois auto insurance policy respond if you were injured or your vehicle damaged by an uninsured motorist?

Your Illinois auto insurance should offer liability, medical payments, and possibly collision & other than collision coverage (depending on your vehicle). Your auto policy should also offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Your liability coverage will provide protection in the event that you are found liable for someone else's injuries. It is important to review these limits and make sure you are carrying the limits that fit your needs & budget (Click here for a review). Your uninsured motorist coverage will help cover injuries for other drivers who do not maintain liability coverage on their vehicles. This coverage will help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury related expenses from the accident for you, your passengers, and any permissive drivers. The limits that your carry for liability should match the limits of your uninsured motorist coverage.

The underinsured motorist coverage will cover the same things as your uninsured motorist coverage (medical bills, lost wages, injury related expenses) but will cover your from drivers whose auto insurance policy has liability limits that are too low to cover your damages or medical expenses. Your policy will pay above the other driver's liability limits. Your policy will pay the difference between your liability limits and the at fault driver's limts. If the driver has $25,000 per person of liability and your policy has $100,000 per person of uninsured motorist coverage, then your policy will pay up to $75,000.

Why does uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage cost so much on my insurance bill?

This coverage can be costly. Due to the number of uninsured & underinsured drivers the chances of being injured from one of these drivers is more likely. Another reason is that medical costs and the cost with rehabilitating an injury are so high. This causes the claims to be larger than ever in terms of dollars paid by the insurance company. These factors lead to your Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage costing a descent amount. You can help combat this by practicing safe driving techniques and talking with an independent insurance agent to get you the most competitive rates on your Illinois Auto Insurance Policy.

What is you aren't injured by an uninsured motorist, but your vehicle is damaged? How can your insurance respond when your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured motorist?

There are a couple different ways that your policy will cover this situation with an uninsured motorist. The first is by using your collision coverage on your auto policy. If you carry collision coverage you would submit the claim to your insurance company, get your vehicle fixed, and then the insurance company would try and subrogate against the other driver (insurance company would pursue payment from the third party). If you don't carry collision coverage on your insurance policy, don't worry their is still uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage. UMPD will cover your vehicle in the event you don't carry collision coverage and your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured motorist property damage. Usually there is a deductible that you will have to pay, and then the insurance company will cover your vehicle damages up to a certain amount. Most carriers provide uninsured motorist property damage up to $15,000.

While many Illinois insurance customers maybe concerned about snowy or icy roads (and they should be) there are other dangers that exist on the road everyday of the year. Drivers need to know how they can help mitigate that risk. I always recommend talking with an Independent Insurance Agent like Clark Carroll Insurance Agency if you have any questions about your insurance. You can contact us today at 815-244-1570.

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