Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

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Illinois Requires Drivers to Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage

To register a car in Illinois, owners must show proof that they carry the minimum amount of car insurance, which is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Even so, more than 13 percent of Illinois drivers are uninsured. These drivers get insurance to register their cars, then cancel it shortly after to avoid paying premiums. In other situations, drivers may believe they are insured, but their insurers deny coverage.

Fortunately, responsible drivers who do not cancel their insurance automatically have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in the same minimum amount of $25,000/$50,000. This is also required by Illinois law. If drivers want less UM coverage, they must communicate their desire to choose lower coverage in writing. This is not recommended.

How Much Uninsured Motorist Insurance Do I Need?

Insurers encourage drivers to get more uninsured motorist coverage, not less. This is good advice. Paying a few dollars more for extra UM coverage will seem like a pittance compared to the thousands it may cost in medical bills later. For drivers who choose UM coverage in amounts more than the required minimum, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage will automatically be included. UIM coverage clicks in when the at-fault driver has the legally minimum coverage, but it is not enough to cover the injured person’s damages. 

Your UM insurance also covers drivers colliding with hit-and-run or stolen vehicle drivers. For a complete understanding of UM coverage, download the free eBook offered by the Blumenshine Law Group’s uninsured motorist attorneys.

Statute of Limitations

Automobile insurance contracts generally have clauses that require you to bring a claim within a certain period after the accident. They also impose time limits on requesting arbitration if your claim is denied or the amount you are asking for is less than you believe you deserve. These time limits are often shorter than the state statute of limitations for filing a uninsured motorist lawsuit.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the time limits set out in the insurance policy are the ones that control. If you miss any of those deadlines, you will lose your right to collect under your uninsured motorist insurance policy.

Even though there may still be time for you to file a personal injury lawsuit, drivers who do not carry the legally required car insurance generally have minimum assets. This means collecting from them directly to pay for your damages is unlikely.

What Happens If The Other Drive Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Imagine you were injured by a car that crashed into you. The accident is the fault of the other driver. You are taken by ambulance to the nearest emergency room. Surgery is required, and you will be in the hospital for several days. You almost hear the frequent chime of a cash register as the medical bills add up.

It turns out that you are hurt so severely that your full recovery is the subject of speculation. All the while, you are losing wages because you cannot work. Your car is totaled, but you still must make the payments. Then, to add to your stress, you discover the driver who plowed into you has no insurance. What will you do? Will your automobile insurance policy cover you?

How an Uninsured Motorist Attorney Can Help

The good news is that if you carry the legally required auto insurance, you have the required Illinois uninsured motorist insurance. The bad news is that there are many rules that must be followed to collect for your injuries. At the Blumenshine Law Group, we have the experience you need to pursue your claim. We pursue your claim until you receive all the compensation the law allows. Contact us today at (312)766-1000 or email [email protected] for a free case evaluation.

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