Many drivers in Illinois don’t understand the importance of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, or UI, and UIM. The truth is, these are vital forms of coverage that every driver should have, but far too many drivers don’t carry at high enough levels. Let’s examine the reasons why you need underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, and how an insurance agent can help you get the coverage you need.
State Minimum Coverage
Every state has its own minimum required insurance coverage. This is the level of coverage you have to carry to operate your vehicle legally. While each state is unique, in Illinois the requirements are a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 per accident, $20,000 in property damage per accident, and $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage and $50,000 per accident.
The types of coverage that different states require can include:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Personal injury protection
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Underinsured motorist coverage
The Problem of Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers
There’s really no way to understate the problem of uninsured and underinsured drivers. As of 2015, it’s estimated that up to 13.7% of drivers on the roads in Illinois are completely uninsured. That means if you’re in an accident with one of these drivers, they won’t have the coverage necessary to pay for the damages you suffer, from your wrecked car to your injuries and lost wages.
Even worse, the problem is only going to grow. This is because, in addition to premium refunds and discounts, many insurance companies during the COVID-19 pandemic are offering deferred payments on premiums. Drivers take advantage of these without realizing that eventually they’ll have to pay their premiums in full. When they come due, to save money, these drivers will reduce or even drop coverage.
Understanding UI and UIM Coverage
UI is uninsured motorist coverage, while UIM is underinsured motorist coverage. It’s important to carry both, as UIM will cover you if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance, and UM will cover you if the other driver isn’t insured at all, though this can depend on the specifics of your policy.
How Coverage Is Expressed
Essentially, UI and UIM provide coverage for you and your passengers if you’re in an accident that’s someone else’s fault, and they don’t have the coverage to pay for your damages. This coverage is usually expressed as a “split limit,” which looks like a fraction such as 100/300. The first number in the amount, in thousands of dollars, that each passenger is covered for, up to a total limit in thousands expressed by the second number. In the previous example, each passenger would be covered for $100,000, up to a maximum total payout per accident of $300,000.
Some policies are also in what are called “combined single limits.” With this type of coverage, your policy will list a single number, like 300, which is the amount in thousands that covers a single person per accident. These policies sometimes carry a lower premium at higher limits but only cover a single person and not all passengers.
Call Myers Insurance Group for Coverage Today
If you’re curious about whether your coverage is enough, Myers Insurance Group is here to help. We’ve served the Savoy community for many years, and we’re ready to help you. Get in touch with us for a review of your UI and UIM coverage today!