In 1989 the Illinois General Assembly voted to require all motorists to carry auto liability insurance. At that time, Auto insurance liability limits in Illinois were set at a minimum of $20,000/ $40,000/ $15,000, and for more than 25 years those same limits have remained. Effective January 1, 2015 a new law increases the mandatory minimum auto liability insurance coverage’s to $25,000/$50,000/$20,000 on all new car insurance policies.
Liability coverage pays for damages you cause to other peoples person, or property. It is divided into three parts. Bodily Injury Liability pays for damages to others caused by covered drivers on your auto insurance policy. In Illinois the minimum limits are increasing to $25,000 per person and $50,000 total Bodily Injury per accident if multiple people are injured. The third part involves damage done to others property. Property Damage Liability will be going up to $20,000.
The reason for the state of Illinois raising the required minimum limits of insurance is based on the realization that over the past 25 years the average cost of an accident has risen substantially while the required coverage has remained level. According to Truecar.com, the average new-car was $30,084, twice the current insurance requirement of $15,000 for property damage. The cost of cars has not increased as much as the cost of a trip to the hospital, so the legislators were most concerned about the gap between the cost of injuries, and the coverage in place to compensate the victims.
One of the vocal proponents for the new auto insurance law is state Rep. Laura Fine, her own husband received serious injuries in an auto accident with a driver that carried minimum coverage.
“These rates have not been changed in 24 years and do not keep pace with rising medical costs,” “This will save people who are injured in an accident that is no fault of their own from some of the out-of-pocket medical costs they may incur.”
Even with these new limits, it is still vital that you carry enough liability insurance, because if your the cause of a serious accident, you could be sued for a considerable amount of money. Medical bills arising from a serious accident, particularly if several people are hurt, will certainly exceed the basic mandatory limits. While obtaining the State required limits will allow you to be in compliance with Illinois laws, remember, you can be held responsible for damages in excess of your policy limits. Yes they can take your home or other assets. It is for this reason that people often opt to by higher limits.