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Illinois Car Insurance Coverage Types, Requirements and Policy Options

Are you looking for ways to save money on Illinois car insurance? Do you know what your auto insurance policy covers? Let's take a look at what coverage is required in the state of Illinois and what options are available.

The state requires a minimum of $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident for Bodily Injury liability and $10,000 per accident for Property Damage liability. You are also required to carry Uninsured Motorist coverage with minimum limits of 20/40 and Underinsured Motorist coverage if your UM limits are greater than 20/40. Both provide bodily injury protection for you or your passengers in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver or a driver whose liability limits aren't enough to cover your medical expenses. Uninsured Motorist coverage is available for property damage as well (UMPD) at a limit of $15,000 with a $250 deductible if you don't carry collision coverage on your policy.

There are several additional coverage options available. Comprehensive covers things like hail damage and hitting animals in the road. Collision coverage applies when you hit another vehicle, back into a pole, etc. Many companies offer Emergency Roadside coverage which pays for towing, changing a tire or battery, etc., if you're stranded away from home. Rental Reimbursement coverage provides a replacement vehicle for you to drive while your car is being repaired if the damage is due to a covered loss. Ask about other coverage options offered when you review your auto insurance policy with your agent.

Consider these tips on how to save money before you shop for a car insurance rate quote. Vehicles with a lower MSRP, domestic vehicles, 4-door cars or mini-vans like the Toyota Sienna and 4-cylinder autos are cheaper to insure. Higher comprehensive and collision deductibles will result in lower premiums.

Your credit history has a major impact on your insurance rates too. A higher credit score will help lower your premium. You can improve your credit score by repairing errors, and you may consult your credit report via Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

Obviously, your driving record plays a huge role in your rates. You can improve your driving record by taking a defensive driving or other type of course to erase a minor citation. Contact the Illinois Driver Service Department at 312-793-1010 or 800-252-8980 for a listing of state approved courses.

Finally, ask about what discounts are available. Many companies offer discounts for safe drivers, low annual mileage, good students, and seniors. If you're satisfied with your current property insurer, you may want to piggyback your auto policy onto your homeowners to receive a multi-line discount.

When you've obtained quotes on Illinois car insurance rates, find out about the financial strength of the companies before you make your final decision. The Illinois Department of Insurance can provide the A.M. Best rating, complaint ratio, and other information for companies that are licensed to sell insurance in the state. They can be reached at 312-814-2427 or 866-445-5364. A.M. Best gives an "A+" rating to companies with the greatest financial strength. Always take the time to research all of your available options thoroughly before deciding on the best policy for Illinois car insurance for you.

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