Illinois Auto Insurance Requirements & Laws

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From the fast-paced city life in Chicago to the leisurely lake life in Waukegan, there are many different sights to see and lives to lead in the Prairie State. Still, all residents must have adequate car insurance coverage before taking to the state’s open roads. All car insurance policies in Illinois must meet the state’s legal minimum standards lest drivers face the penalties associated with driving uninsured.

Let’s check out what type of coverage all Illinoisans must carry on their car insurance policies, the laws that mandate these coverages, and other frequently asked questions about the state’s legal minimum auto insurance coverage.

What Are the Illinois Auto Insurance Requirements?

In Illinois, auto insurance is required by law for all drivers with vehicles registered in the state. All drivers must have at least $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $20,000 of property damage liability per accident, often expressed as 25/50/20 liability coverage. Each policy that at least includes this minimum limit of liability coverage will also include $20,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI/UIMBI) coverage per person and $40,000 of UMBI/UIMBI coverage per accident, sometimes expressed as 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI. 

Those who lease or finance their vehicles may be legally required by their lender or leaser to have comprehensive and collision coverage on their policies as part of the legally binding leasing or financing agreement. 

If you at least have 25/50/20 liability coverage and the 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI that comes with it, you’re considered adequately protected under the eyes of the law in the Prairie State. Failure to comply with the state’s auto insurance laws or driving without insurance may lead to hefty fines and vehicle or license suspension.

Illinois Liability Insurance Requirements

The Illinois minimum insurance requirements are 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI coverage. Drivers with at least this amount of coverage are adequately protected under the law and will not face the legal penalties associated with driving uninsured or underinsured in the state. However, while minimum liability coverage may protect you legally, it may not protect you financially. 

Those who carry only liability and UMBI/UIMBI coverages may risk financial ruin if injured in an at-fault accident. Liability coverage protects other drivers when the policyholder is at fault by covering their medical expenses or vehicle repairs up to the policyholder’s liability limit. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) protects the policyholder only when injured in an accident caused by a driver who lacks sufficient coverage. 

There are many accident scenarios in which a policyholder with only liability and uninsured motorist coverages wouldn’t be covered. If you want to protect yourself in a range of accident scenarios, it may be a better idea to carry a full coverage policy with coverages that protect you as the policyholder directly. These types of coverage may be collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and a first-party medical benefit (FPMB) like medical payments coverage (MedPay)

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Illinois Full Coverage Auto Insurance Requirements

Full coverage isn’t required by law in Illinois unless you’re required to have comprehensive coverage and collision coverage in the terms of your lease or financing agreement. In the Prairie State, a full coverage policy is any policy with a liability limit higher than the legal minimum of 25/50/20, a UMBI/UIMBI limit higher than 20/40, and several optional additional coverages.

While you’re legally protected with a policy that meets the coverage minimums required by law without exceeding them, you may not feel entirely safe on the road with a minimal policy. A full coverage policy offers protection in a broader range of scenarios than a liability-only policy with just liability coverage and a bit of UMBI/UIMBI. The advantage of carrying a full coverage policy is having protection in many scenarios, whether you’re at fault in an accident or not. With a minimum coverage policy, expenses are only covered for the other driver or drivers involved in an accident you caused. 

Illinois Car Insurance Law Explained

Illinois insurance laws require all drivers to have at least 25/50/20 liability coverage, and with that comes 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI coverage. Any policy in the Prairie State that has liability coverage will automatically include UMBI/UIMBI coverage. Drivers who fail to comply with this law, whether lacking proof of insurance or not carrying the legal minimum amount of coverage, will be subject to penalties like hefty fines and license or registration suspension.

Illinois isn’t a no-fault state but is instead considered an at-fault or tort state. In an accident, at least one driver must be deemed at fault, and the at-fault driver is liable for any expenses the victim or victims incur due to the accident. 

So, if an at-fault driver is injured in the accident they caused and only has the minimum legal coverage, they won’t be eligible to receive any financial assistance from their insurer to cover their medical expenses. In a no-fault state, drivers must carry coverages they can use to cover their own costs associated with an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.

A high risk of financial ruin is associated with only carrying the minimum legal coverage in at-fault states. Suppose a policyholder causes an accident that leaves all parties critically injured, but they only have 25/50/20 liability coverage. In this case, the policyholder is liable for any costs exceeding their policy limit and all the costs they incur from their own expenses. This is why it’s always a good idea to forgo the short-term savings from a liability-only policy and instead pay higher premiums for much more coverage and exceed the minimum Illinois auto insurance requirements.

Illinois Auto Insurance Laws for Claims

No matter what car insurance coverage you have on your policy, Illinois law requires all drivers to accept liability where it’s due for claims to be processed. For example, suppose a driver makes a turn at a red light from a “no turn on red” lane and hits another driver as a result of this action. In that case, the driver who disobeyed the law and turned at a red light would be 100% at fault in the accident, therefore, 100% liable for any costs incurred by the other party or parties involved in the accident.

This type of accident law is called “contributory fault,” which means that drivers will be assigned an at-fault percentage in an accident and are liable to pay the dollar amount of what the liability ratio dictates. This means if both or all drivers in an accident are equally at fault, like two drivers running a stop sign and thus hitting each other, they will split the liability for the accident in half. 

Similarly, suppose a driver runs a yellow light but is struck by a driver going 20 miles over the speed limit. In this case, they may split the liability 70/30 for this accident since both parties were somewhat at fault, but speeding is a more significant offense than running a yellow. However, accident victims under 50% liable for the accident can file a claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance.

In many accident scenarios in Illinois, the accident victim or victims will file a claim with the at-fault party’s liability coverage to receive financial assistance to pay their medical expenses or vehicle repairs. If the at-fault party is uninsured, the policyholder will have to use their UMBI/UIMBI coverage to aid with the expenses of their injuries. If either party in an accident has full coverage, they may be able to use their FPMB or additional coverages to help them cover the expenses incurred from the accident.

What Is the Illinois Minimum Car Insurance?

The minimum car insurance in Illinois is 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI coverage. Compared to other states, Illinois requires very little auto insurance coverage for its residents. 

Drivers may feel they need more protection than the legal minimum coverage in the Prairie State offers. Many Illinoisans opt for a full coverage policy with a higher liability limit, an FPMB, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, GAP coverage, and others. While you may be interested in getting the cheapest policy in the state, there may be better choices for some drivers. Some policyholders may have to compromise between cost and coverage when purchasing a policy.

Those who value coverage over cost may opt for a full coverage policy with several optional coverages added to protect themselves in various accident scenarios. In contrast, those who value cost over coverage may opt for a minimum coverage policy with several discounts added on. 

Those who value cost and coverage equally and prefer not to compromise on either will likely bind a full coverage policy with one of the state’s top insurers that offers low base rates and plenty of opportunities for discounts to reduce their premiums further. 

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Is Car Insurance Required in Illinois?

Yes, in Illinois, the state minimum insurance coverage required is 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI coverage. Drivers who don’t have this amount of coverage or lack coverage entirely may face legal penalties such as fines, license and registration suspension, and significantly increased premiums.

Do You Have To Have Car Insurance in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois auto insurance laws and regulations state all drivers must have an auto insurance policy with at least 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI coverage. Carrying the legal minimum amount of coverage required in the state will protect you from legal consequences but may not protect you from financial ruin. It’s essential to have a car insurance policy with premiums you can afford, but it’s also crucial to ensure your policy provides you with an amount of protection with which you’re comfortable.

Is Car Insurance Mandatory in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois auto insurance rules and laws mandate all drivers must meet the state’s minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage. In the Prairie State, all drivers must have at least 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI on their policies. Carrying the legal amount of coverage helps protect other drivers on the road from any accidents you may cause, and it will protect you from the legal penalties associated with lacking sufficient coverage. However, a full coverage policy will provide you and your passengers with more inclusive protection.

Finding a compromise between cost and coverage can be tricky, but being honest with yourself is crucial when binding a policy. Generally, you should have enough coverage to feel protected behind the wheel while feeling like you can easily afford your premiums and deductible. Remember, when filing a claim, you may only use the financial assistance provided up to your coverage limits after hitting your deductible. Whatever expenses remain after you reach your coverage limit must come from your own pocket. This is why carrying a full coverage policy with high limits is often recommended so you don’t risk financial ruin in the event of a critical injury from an accident.

Do You Need Car Insurance in Illinois?

Yes, all drivers in Illinois must have a car insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum legal requirements. In the Prairie State, all drivers must have at least 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI. 

If you have the legal minimum amount of coverage on your policy, you’re sufficiently protected in the eyes of the law. However, you may not be adequately covered in various accident scenarios. For example, if you’re injured in an accident you caused and only have a minimum coverage policy, you wouldn’t have coverage to help you pay for your medical expenses. However, say you have a full coverage policy with an FPMB. In that case, you may use an FPMB like MedPay to cover your medical expenses. 

Car Insurance Quotes in Illinois

In Illinois, the average full coverage premium is about $1,500 annually, which is about 10% lower than the national average of $1,670 annually, and the average minimum coverage policy in the state is about $750 annually. However, many insurers offer lower-than-average base rates and plenty of discounts you can stack on your policy to reduce your premiums even further. The best way to find a policy that meets all the legal requirements in the state and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is to get and compare quotes from several insurers.

Getting and comparing quotes from several insurers is a surefire way to ensure you get a policy with the most bang for your buck. Luckily for you, quotes are kind of our thing here at Clovered.

You can use our free quoting tool right here to get and compare quotes in minutes. If you prefer to speak with an agent about your quote or have questions about the insurance requirements in the Prairie State, you can contact us at 833-255-4117 or

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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