It is important for drivers to take the necessary precautions before getting behind the wheel, and that involves more than completing driver's education courses and obtaining driver's licenses. In most states, drivers must also maintain valid liability car insurance. The state of Illinois is no exception. In fact, the only way to drive legally in the Prairie State is by maintaining active liability insurance coverage. Unlike some states, there aren't other ways to show proof of financial responsibility. This doesn't mean that drivers have to break the bank. With auto insurance quotes in Illinois, drivers can find excellent deals on high-quality policies.
It's tempting to immediately request car insurance quotes for Illinois. It's certainly easy enough to do. However, it's also wise to do a little research about car insurance requirements in the state first. Like other states that require auto insurance coverage, Illinois has specific requirements concerning minimum coverage amounts. Most auto insurance companies are aware of the minimums and only sell policies that fulfill them. Still, drivers should look out for themselves by doing the small amount of research that's needed to learn the basics.
Who Drives in Illinois?
Maintaining auto insurance in Illinois isn't just about obeying the law. It's also about protecting a driver's financial best interests. People sometimes struggle to understand why car insurance is so necessary. By considering the number of people who drive in the state of Illinois, it's easier to see why car insurance is important. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Illinois had a population of 12,875,255 in 2012. Of that number, 8,373,969 people, or 65 percent of the population, were licensed to drive. That information comes from the Federal Highway Administration. Male drivers totaled 4,122,828 people, or 49.23 percent of all licensed drivers while female drivers totaled 4,251,151, or 50.77 percent of all licensed drivers.
It's interesting to see how licensed drivers split according to gender, but insurance companies don't consider gender when determining auto insurance premiums. One thing they definitely do consider is age. In November 2012, there were 429,355 drivers aged 19 and under, which equaled 5.1 percent of all licensed drivers. Drivers between the ages of 50 and 54 totaled 827,338, which equals 9.9 percent of all licensed drivers in the state. Those drivers certainly enjoy lower rates than their younger counterparts.
Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois
Drivers occasionally cut right to the chase by collecting auto insurance quotes in Illinois. That's okay in some ways, but it's problematic in others. Most notably, it may cause a driver to get a policy that doesn't fulfill the minimum requirements of the state. In that case, the driver could face the same penalties as any driver who operates a vehicle without valid liability insurance. Therefore, all drivers should brush up on current requirements concerning auto insurance in the state of Illinois.
The minimum requirements for liability car insurance in Illinois are:
- At least $20,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $40,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $15,000 in property damage coverage
In some states, the Department of Motor Vehicles or Secretary of State requires insurance providers to electronically submit information about drivers' insurance policies. That's not the way it works in Illinois, but the state still works to ensure that all drivers maintain coverage. This is enforced by random checks by the Secretary of State, which mails out letters to confirm coverage. Drivers have 30 days to comply.
People who are caught driving without valid auto insurance in Illinois have their license plates suspended until they can show proof of coverage. They must also pay a $100 fine in order to get their plates back. That applies to first offenses only. If a second offense occurs, a driver's plates will be suspended for at least four months. If a driver is caught without valid insurance after an accident or traffic stop, he will face a fine of up to $500. These penalties prompt most people to maintain valid coverage at all times.