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Auto Accidents & Auto Insurance

Q: Am I required to have automobile insurance? If so, how much?

A: Anyone operating a motor vehicle on public highways in Illinois is required to carry automobile insurance. The minimum amount of coverage required is $20,000 for injury to another person, $40,000 for injury to two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage. Insurance policies must also offer a minimum level of uninsured and underinsured ("UM/UIM") coverage in case the other driver is not insured in an amount identical to these limits, although this coverage can be rejected. Additionally, a driver is required to carry proof showing that he or she has at least the minimum required coverage.

Q: Should I obtain more than the minimum coverage?

A: That depends. All drivers must carry the minimum coverage required, but more coverage might be advisable to protect your assets. If you are responsible for a collision that causes damage that exceeds your insurance coverage, you might have to pay the difference from your assets. You might also consider getting other kinds of insurance, such as collision (which covers damage to your vehicle) and comprehensive (which covers damage from such things as hail and falling trees). You might also choose to get more UM/UIM coverage.

Q: What do I do if I am involved in a collision?

A: First, notify the police. Get the name and address of the other driver, his or her insurance information, and the names and contact information of any witnesses. Afterwards, promptly contact your insurance company.

Q: What will my insurance company do?

A: Your insurance company will protect your rights after a collision. If necessary, it will hire a lawyer to defend you and it will pay out for injuries you may have caused, up to the amount of the policy.

Q: What if the collision is not my fault?

A: The other driver's insurance company should do the same for him or her as your insurance company does for you. It may try to settle your claim, offering money for repairs to your vehicle and for your injuries. If you are uncertain about your rights or the value of your claim, consult a lawyer.

Q: What if the other driver does not have insurance?

A: This is when your UM/UIM coverage is valuable. Instead of making a claim against the other driver's insurance, you make a claim against your own UM/UIM insurance. Your carrier should then try to settle your claims, compensating you for your losses.

Q: What if the other driver has insurance coverage, but not enough?

A: If the other driver's insurance coverage is not enough to cover your loss, you would still make a claim against your UM/UIM coverage, which covers underinsured motorists.

Q: What if I have more questions or a complaint about my insurance company?

A: Contact the Illinois Department of Insurance at 1-866-445-5364, or check out its website, www.insurance.illinois.gov.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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