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Auto Insurance Coverage Amounts

In Illinois, drivers of motor vehicles are required to buy minimum insurance coverage to pay for damages they may cause to others while driving.  The minimum coverage required is $20,000 per person, $40,000 total per accident.

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That means for any given accident, the total amount of coverage available to any one person injured by a driver carrying a 20/40 policy is $20,000, and that the total amount available for everyone is $40,000.  As you might imagine this is the cheapest insurance policy available.

One of the most popular policies in Illinois is to have coverage for $100,000/$300,000.  Similar to the example above, it is $100,000 per person, and no more than $300,000 for the total accident.  It is important to know that these numbers are the same coverage amounts for your uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage discussed in an earlier post.  This is important because if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone who has a 20/40 policy, and you sustain a serious injury, your recovery from that person would be limited to their policy limit of $20,000.  If your policy is also 20/40, your recovery will be capped because your coverage amount is the same as the individual who struck you.

If you have a 100/300 policy, and are hit by someone with 20/40 policy you would have $80,000 of additional coverage available after settling with the 20/40 driver.   Having enough coverage is important because while you may not be the cause of an accident, there are many drivers out there with no coverage or minimum coverage.  When one of these people causes you a serious injury your you better hope that you have bought the right coverage.

Insurance is about protecting your family and your assets.  Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish when purchasing auto insurance coverage.  Ask your agent about the coverage you are buying.  Ask about pricing for 100/300 or 250/500 or other combinations. The scary thing about auto accidents is that you don’t know when they are going to occur, we don’t get to pick who causes the accident, and we certainly don’t get to choose what kind of coverage the other driver will have.

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