Car Insurance in Illinois
Illinois monitors car insurance statuses by sending insurance verification questionnaires on a random basis. Don’t be caught off guard.
Read more to learn about IL car insurance requirements, rates, and discounts.
IL Car Insurance Requirements
All drivers, even out-of-state drivers, are required to carry proof of insurance in their vehicle.
Driver’s of vehicles registered in Illinois must comply with Illinois car insurance laws. You must have BOTH:
- Liability insurance.
- Uninsured motorist coverage.
Liability insurance helps cover your costs associated with injuries or property damage to others resulting from a car accident you cause.
Your liability insurance must have the following minimum coverages:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 total for bodily injury per accident.
- $20,000 for property damage.
Liability insurance does not cover your own costs for personal injuries or property damage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
In Illinois, you must also carry uninsured and underinsured motorists bodily injury coverage to help cover injuries to you and/or your passengers in a car accident with an uninsured driver (or a driver whose auto insurance limits are not adequate to cover your costs).
Your must have the following minimum limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage:
- $25,000 per person.
- $50,000 total per accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist car insurance coverage will not cover property damage.
Optional Car insurance
When shopping for auto insurance, consider optional coverage types for further protection.
Most Illinois auto insurance carriers offer the following types of optional coverage:
- Collision – This will help cover damages to your car after a traffic accident.
- Comprehensive – This will help pay for repairs of non accident-related damages to you car, such as those from vandalism.
- Medical payments – This will help cover costs from accident-related injuries.
- Uninsured motorist property damage – This will cover damage to your car after an accident with an uninsured driver.
NOTE: While Illinois law does not require you to have collision and comprehensive coverages, you may be required to purchase these coverage types by the lender of your financed car.
Insurance Violations and Penalties in IL
By registering your car in Illinois, you agree to maintain at least the minimum requirements for car insurance.
Illinois monitors car insurance through both:
- A system of random questionnaires.
- Verification of proof of insurance during traffic stops.
Illinois uses computer systems to randomly send out insurance questionnaires to verify the car insurance status of IL drivers and enforce insurance laws.
If you are randomly selected to complete the insurance verification questionnaire, you must respond with:
- The name of your car insurance carrier.
- Your insurance policy number.
The information you provide will be verified with your insurance company. If you are found not to have car insurance, your license plates will be suspended.
You are required to carry your car insurance card in your vehicle at all times. If you are pulled over for a traffic stop, you will be asked to provide the officer this card as proof of insurance.
If you are unable to provide a police officer with proof of insurance, you will be considered an uninsured driver and may be issued a traffic citation. If you are convicted of driving without a valid insurance policy, you will face the following penalties:
- Suspension of your license plates.
- $500 minimum fine.
- $1000 minimum fine if you are caught driving a vehicle with suspended plates due to an insurance violation.
License Plate Reinstatement
If your license plates are suspended due to an Illinois car insurance violation, you will have to:
- Provide proof of valid and current car insurance.
- Pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
For repeat offenses, your plates will be suspended for a minimum of 4 months.
Cancelation of an Insurance Policy
For the first 60 days of your policy, your car insurance company may cancel your car insurance policy for nearly any reason.
After 60 days of a new policy (or at any time during a renewal), your insurance company may only cancel your car insurance policy for specific reasons,* including:
- Failure to pay your premium.
- Violations of your policy’s terms.
- Proof that you obtained your insurance with false information.
When canceling your car insurance policy, your insurance company must notify you by mail at least:
- 10 days before cancelation, if it is the result of failure to pay your premium.
- 30 days before cancelation for any other reason.
Remember, if you get caught driving without a current policy, you face tickets, fines, and suspension of your license plate.
* The Illinois Department of Insurance provides a complete list of reasons your insurance company may cancel your policy.
Car Insurance Non-Renewal
Your insurance company may also non-renew your policy at the end of each policy cycle for the first 5 years of providing your car insurance, for any reason except:
- Marital status.
- Physical handicap.
- Credit score.
Additionally, insurance companies cannot non-renew a policy on the basis of one or more claims within the past 60 months IF those claims involved hate crimes against you.
Your insurance company must send you a written notice when it non-renews your policy.
You have the right to appeal any non-renewal.
Non-Renewal After 5 Years
If your Illinois car insurance company has provided your insurance for at least 5 years, they can elect to non-renew your policy for almost any reason,* provided they give you a 60-day written notice.
Note that your insurance provider may not use any of the reasons listed above to make the decision to non-renew.
If your insurance company only gives you a 30-day notice of non-renewal, the only legally accepted reasons for non-renewal include:
- Violations of terms and conditions.
- Proof that you obtained your policy by providing false information.
- Proof that you have made a fraudulent claim.
* The Illinois DOI provides a detailed list of reasons car insurance companies may elect not to renew your policy.
Cancelation or Non-Renewal Hearing
If you feel that your car insurance has been unjustly canceled, you may appeal your cancelation to the Illinois Director of Insurance.
To appeal your cancelation, you must:
- Have had your insurance canceled for any reason other than failure to pay your premium.
- Mail or bring in a written request for a hearing to the Department of Insurance at least 20 days before your cancellation date to:
Department of Insurance
320 W. Washington St
Springfield, IL 62767
Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22/SR22), helps monitor drivers with poor driving records by ensuring that they have car insurance.
You may be required to purchase SR-22 insurance and file an SR-22 certificate if you:
- Have several traffic violations on your record.
- Have several insurance violations.
- Have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked.
You can file an SR-22 certificate through your car insurance company.
SR-22 insurance must be held for at least 3 years.
Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan
High-risk drivers, such as those with poor driving records, may have a difficult time finding car insurance companies willing to provide them coverage.
If you are turned down for car insurance, you can apply for coverage through the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan (ILAIP).
Through the plan, Illinois car insurance companies share the risk of covering high-risk drivers between each other.
To be eligible for car insurance through the ILAIP, you must:
- Have been turned down for car insurance.
- Have a valid driver’s license, or be eligible to apply for an Illinois driver’s license.
- Not have any outstanding premiums owed to a car insurance company in the past 36 months.
- Have a car that can be safely operated.
You can apply to the ILAIP with the help of any IL car insurance agent.
Other Car Insurance Issues
The IL DOI has several programs to help consumers with auto insurance-related issues, such as fraud and consumer complaints.
Car insurance fraud in Illinois costs insurance companies a large sum of money annually. These losses get passed down to you through increases in car insurance rates.
You can help keep rates low by reporting any suspected car insurance fraud to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at their website: www.naic.org.
Common forms of car insurance fraud include:
- Staging car accidents.
- Exaggerating or falsifying injuries.
- Falsifying vehicle repairs.
Questions and Concerns
If you have a question or concern regarding car insurance issues you can call the IL Department of Insurance’s hotline at (866) 445-5364.
If you have a complaint against an auto insurance company, you may file it with the IL DOI by filling out their online complaint form.
Common insurance complaints involve:
- Coverage issues.
- Claim disputes.
- Policy cancellations.
- Sales misrepresentations.
Determining Your IL Insurance Premium
When shopping for insurance, remember that Illinois car insurance companies can use the following factors to determine your when shopping for car insurance quotes:
- Driving record.
- Marital status.
- Your car’s make and model.
- Your average mileage.
- Credit history.
- The types of optional car insurance you purchase.
- Your deductible (out-of-pocket expenses you must pay towards a claim).
- The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
Car Insurance Discounts in Illinois
One way to get affordable car insurance rates is to take advantage of any discounts for which you are eligible.
When making car insurance comparisons, ask about the following standard discounts:
- Good driver discount.
- Good student discount.
- Multi-car discount.
- Homeowner’s discount.
- Defensive driver discount.
- This is usually afforded to seniors after taking a defensive driving course.
- Anti-theft device.
- Safety device.
While discounts are a great way to get low-cost car insurance, your best bet for affordable Illinois car insurance rates is to maintain a clean driving record. Obey traffic laws and drive safely to get the best possible rates.
Most Stolen Cars in Illinois
Owning a car that is a popular target for theft will probably mean having to pay higher car insurance rates.
The following is a list of 2013’s most stolen cars in Illinois according to www.nicb.org:
- Dodge Caravan.
- Honda Civic.
- Honda Accord.
- Chevrolet Impala.
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Nissan Altima.
- Chevrolet Malibu.
- Toyota Camry.
- Nissan Maxima.