Why Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Matters

Injury and Accident Attorneys Serving St. Louis, Nearby Missouri, Fairview Heights, and Nearby Illinois

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Think you just need the bare minimum insurance coverage on your car? Think again. Although the State of Illinois doesn’t require you to carry additional coverage beyond minimum liability insurance, there are several good reasons why you should. Attorneys who handle auto accident cases every day know that the difference in the outcome of a case can often come down to whether there is enough insurance coverage to pay for all the damages.

WHAT IS UNINSURED COVERAGE?

When you cause a wreck, your minimum liability insurance coverage pays for the people you hurt. The State of Illinois requires that you carry:

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident
  • $20,000 to cover other people’s property damages

However, this is all designed to protect other people – not you. What happens if a drunk driver hits you and has no coverage? Although they will probably face a license suspension and a citation, this doesn’t help you and your family pay for medical expenses, lost income from work, or your pain and suffering. The only way you can truly cover these losses is through an uninsured motorist policy. Yes, it will add a little to your premium, but without it you are taking a big risk.

WHAT IS UNDER-INSURED COVERAGE?

Next, consider what happens if you and your family are in a catastrophic crash and the at-fault driver only carried a minimum liability policy that covers $25,000. Assuming that driver didn’t have the money to pay out-of-pocket, you will almost certainly be limited to the available insurance. If you carry underinsured motorist coverage, then your additional insurance can help. It’s important to understand exactly how this works. Consider this easy example.

You suffer injuries worth $100,000. The other driver only has a $25,000 liability policy. But you were smart and carried $100,000 in “underinsured” motorist coverage. You don’t get to add these together, because your insurance company generally gets an offset for what you recovered from the other driver. But consider how much you could receive in this situation.

$100,000       Total injury

$  25,000        Paid by at-fault driver’s insurance

$  75,000        Paid by your underinsured motorist coverage

Now if you didn’t carry additional coverage, you would be stuck paying $100,000 worth of injuries with just $25,000.

GET HELP WITH YOUR AUTO ACCIDENT CLAIM TODAY

After a car crash in Illinois, do not delay calling a lawyer. The sooner you have an attorney involved, the faster you can begin getting the right kind of medical care. Never talk to the insurance company without first speaking with an attorney. Call Brown & Brown, LLP at 618-888-8888 for a free consultation today.

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