Auto Insurance Shopping Guide – Auto Insurance
Auto insurance helps protect you from financial losses like vehicle repairs, medical bills, and legal services that could result from a car accident. Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/7-601) requires all vehicle owners to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. In addition, lenders may require physical damage insurance (collision coverage) for a financed vehicle.
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- Contact the department to find out if a business is licensed in illinois. unlicensed businesses are not required to comply with state insurance laws or participate in the insurance guarantee fund that protects policyholders if a business goes bankrupt.
- check table of contents of complaints from a company. Our website lists complaint information for companies with ten or more auto insurance complaints.
- Check a company’s financial stability to make sure it can pay your claims.
find a reliable insurance agent. Some companies sell through local agents and others through direct marketing or group plans. Ask people you know and respect for their recommendations. Find a licensed insurance agent (insurance producer) who is trustworthy and will help answer your questions. You can check the license status of an agent at NAIC: State Based Systems (SBS).
buy carefully. You should look for the best insurance product at the best price. determine what coverage you need and how much it will cost. get more than one quote. don’t rush into a policy with high-pressure sales tactics or be fooled by advertising.
Liability coverage: Pays for bodily injury to another person or property damage that you cause due to the negligent operation of a vehicle. You can also pay if the accident was caused by a family member who lives with you or someone who uses your vehicle with your permission. The coverage may also pay for a legal defense if you are sued because of the accident. liability coverage is often divided into two separate coverages:
- Bodily Injury (bi) – Pays costs due to injury or death to a pedestrian or person in another car. You can also cover the costs of injuries to your passengers, as long as they are not members of your household. illinois law (625 ilcs 5/7-203) requires bi limits of at least $25,000 per person per accident and $50,000 total per accident.
- property damage (pd) – pays for damage to someone else’s car or property, such as fences, buildings, utility poles, signs, and trees. illinois law (625 ilcs 5/7-203) requires pd liability limits of at least $20,000 per accident.
note: consider purchasing higher limits. state minimums may not be enough to fully protect you from lawsuits.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (um) – Covers you for your bodily injuries caused by a hit-and-run or at-fault driver who doesn’t have liability insurance. Currently, Illinois’ minimum uninsured motorist bodily injury limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. For an additional premium, you can purchase higher limits to pay claims in excess of those amounts.
Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance (uim) – Pays the difference between your uim limits and the at-fault driver’s liability limits, if they are less than your uim limits. illinois law (215 ilcs 5/143a-2) requires this type of coverage if you purchase higher limits of bodily injury coverage for uninsured motorists (um).
Physical Damage: Pays for damage to your car. You may have to pay part of the loss, called a deductible. deductibles can range from $0 to $1,000. Illinois law does not require physical damage coverage, but your lender does. Depending on the value of your car, you may decide that the cost of physical damage coverage is not worth it. physical damage is split into two separate coverages:
- Collision coverage: Pays for damage caused by an accident with another car or fixed object (such as a tree).
- Coverage against all risk: pays for damage caused by most other causes, such as theft, fire, hail, etc.
In addition to required coverages, you can purchase optional coverages for an additional premium.
accidental death benefit: pays a death benefit if the insured dies as a result of a car accident.
Custom/Non-Factory Equipment – Covers custom features found on conversion vans as well as cd players, cb radios, cell phones, etc. added after the vehicle left the factory.
Gap Coverage for Leased or Financed Vehicles: Pays the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and what you still owe on your loan or lease.
Medical payments: Covers medical and funeral expenses for you or your passengers if you are injured or killed in an accident in your vehicle. It also covers you and your family members if you are hit by a vehicle while walking or riding in another vehicle. this coverage pays even if you cause the accident.
Physical Damage/Repair/Replacement Coverage – Pays for a new vehicle if the cost to repair your vehicle is more than the value of a new car. support is generally only available for the first three model years.
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Rental reimbursement: Pays a specific amount per day (for example, $15) to rent a vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired due to a covered loss.
Towing: Pays all or part of the cost of towing your disabled vehicle to a repair shop.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (umpd): Covers damage to your vehicle caused by an identified, at-fault, uninsured driver. if you do not have collision coverage, this coverage is available for a maximum of $15,000 and is subject to a $250 deductible.
Rating factors are characteristics that place you in a group of drivers with similar risk-related characteristics. Companies set a rate for each group based on the claims paid by people in that group. Hundreds of companies sell insurance in Illinois and prices can vary widely. Some factors companies use to set cost include:
age, gender and marital status: Statistics show that certain groups of drivers (for example, young single men) have more accidents. a higher chance of loss means more premium.
coverage limits: the more insurance you buy, the higher the premium.
driving record: Drivers with accidents and tickets tend to pay higher premiums than those with a good driving record.
Household driving information: The ages and driving records of other drivers in your household can affect the premium. Most car insurance policies cover family members while you drive your car. You can jeopardize your coverage if you hide this information.
Location: Since densely populated areas have more traffic, theft, and vandalism, urban drivers may pay higher premiums than rural drivers.
vehicle type: Certain vehicles cost more to insure because they are more likely to be damaged in an accident, cost more to repair, or are frequently stolen.
Vehicle use, distance driven to work and annual mileage: Drivers who travel longer distances or drive more miles per year may pay more than those who travel shorter distances and drive fewer miles per year. year.
maintain good credit. Many companies check your credit information and may charge higher premiums based on your credit information.
anti-theft devices: included in your comprehensive coverage for devices that prevent theft or vandalism.
Auto/Home Packages: Awarded if you buy your auto and homeowners policies from the same company.
carpool: Offered to those in a shared vehicle.
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out-of-home college student: for college students who attend school more than 100 miles away from home if no vehicle is brought.
Defensive Driver: Awarded to drivers age 55 and older who have passed an approved defensive driving course.
good driver: for policyholders who maintain good driving records.
Good Student: Offered to young drivers who maintain a “b” average or better.
Low Annual Mileage: For vehicles that run less than a set number of miles per year, typically 7,500.
mature driver credit: it is offered to drivers over a certain age, generally 50 years old.
multiple vehicles: given when the same company insures more than one vehicle in your household.
Safety Devices: Offered for items such as air bags, automatic seat belts, and anti-lock brakes.
Ask about discounts. The type and amount of discounts offered may vary by company. some discounts affect a portion of your coverage; other discounts may affect the entire premium.
take the highest deductible you can afford. if you increase your deductible, you may be able to significantly reduce the price of coverage; but you will pay more out of pocket each time you have a claim.
consolidate your insurance needs. if you need more than one type of insurance, you may be able to get a discount by having all of your insurance handled by one insurance provider.
Maintain a good driving record. Traffic violations and accidents can result in higher premiums. be a law-abiding and defensive driver.
Choose your vehicle carefully. Some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others. contact your producer or insurance company before making a final decision.
Maintain a good credit history. Many companies are now looking at your credit information and may charge higher premiums for those with less than perfect credit profiles.
If you can’t find car insurance because of your driving record or the type of vehicle you own, talk to your insurance agent about an illinois car insurance plan. To qualify for auto insurance through the plan, you must meet four requirements:
- must be turned down for auto insurance from other insurance companies.
- must have a valid driver’s license or be eligible to apply.
- must not You owe an outstanding premium for prior insurance coverage within the past 36 months.
- Your vehicle must be safe to drive.