13% of Illinois Drivers Are Uninsured: Here’s How to Protect Yourself
Over 13% of Illinois drivers are uninsured, according to a recent survey by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). So if you get in an accident in Illinois, it’s a real possibility the other driver could be uninsured. Protecting yourself from uninsured motorists is easy if you take preventative action and know what to do if you’re involved in an accident.
Purchase Good Insurance Coverage
The best way to protect yourself from uninsured drivers is to carry good uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage is relatively inexpensive considering the benefits. And with 13% of Illinois drivers being uninsured, UM coverage is more important than ever.
Illinois requires drivers carry a minimum amount of UM coverage equal to the minimum amount of liability insurance. The minimum policy limits in Illinois are $20k for property damage, $25k bodily injury for one person per accident, and $50k for more than one person involved in an accident. In many cases, these policy limits are insufficient and quickly exhausted. We recommend bodily injury policy limits of $250k per person and $500k per accident for your protection.
Know How to File an Insurance Claim
You can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company if the at-fault driver is uninsured or fled the scene (hit and run). UM claims are also common in accidents involving a car and a bicyclist or pedestrian. But it’s important to know that even if you are filing a claim with your insurance company, you need to be aware of your rights to make sure your insurer doesn’t violate them. A good first step is to read through your insurance policy to learn about the policy terms when filing a UM claim. Also, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Illinois auto accident attorney who can sort out the limits and terms of your policy so you can get maximum compensation.
In very few instances, it’s worth it to file a personal injury claim directly against the at-fault driver. These claims can be very complex and are best handled by a seasoned personal injury attorney. Direct claims require more legwork and can be difficult to pursue in court. In certain cases, however, a direct claim is the only way to recover damages.
The State of Illinois is cracking down on uninsured drivers, enforcing fines and conducting random surveys requiring drivers submit proof of insurance. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to protect yourself adequately and know what steps to take after being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured Illinois driver, you should contact an Arlington Heights auto accident and attorney immediately. The sooner you involve an attorney in your claim, the better your chance of getting fair compensation.