Auto insurance is required for all motor vehicles in the US with the exception of Virginia, Mississippi and New Hampshire. Each state has its own minimum coverage for third person (another car or pedestrian) liability, and in Illinois, these are:
- Bodily injury (per person) – $20,000
- Bodily injury (per accident) – $40,000
- Property damage – $15,000
While many individuals make sure to get the auto insurance coverage they need, many companies forget about the importance of having the minimum amount of coverage required for company-owned vehicles. It is essential for businesses to secure at least the state-required amount of liability coverage, or they could face serious penalties under the law.
How the law is enforced
The law requires that proof of coverage, such as an insurance card, is always available in the car and has to be shown to any law enforcer when requested. Failure to do so, insured or not, will result in a traffic citation. If it turns out that you are not insured, your license plates will be suspended and you will have to pay a minimum of $500 in fines.
Illinois also makes random checks of vehicles by sending out a questionnaire regarding your insurance coverage. Failure to return the questionnaire, insured or not, will lead to a suspension of your license plates.
Getting your license plates reinstated
If this is the first time you were ever caught driving uninsured, you may have your license plates reinstated after paying a fee of $100 provided you already have insurance coverage. Repeat offenders will not be able to reinstate their plates within a four-month period. The suspension is only valid for a specific vehicle; it does not mean the driver is also suspended from driving other vehicles. Driving a vehicle with suspended license plates, however, carries a fine of a minimum $1,000.
You need auto insurance
Unless you rarely use your vehicle in Illinois, it is cheaper and less of a hassle to get at least the minimum required auto insurance coverage in Illinois. It serves not only to protect you from liability in case of an accident, it also protects the people you may injure or whose property you may damage. After all, a motor vehicle is a moving missile with the potential for causing a great deal of damage to yourself and other people. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, auto insurance is still very important.