Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Illinois: Do You Need It?

Illinois drivers are required by law to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Learn more here.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is required in Illinois as part of its minimum insurance requirements. This is in addition to a minimum amount of liability insurance of 25/50/20. 
, the legally mandated amount of minimum car insurance includes
liability insurance
uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
. This coverage is designed to protect other parties who are injured or have their vehicle damaged in accidents where you are involved or at fault. 
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Illinois?

Uninsured motorist coverage is required for all drivers in Illinois—but even if it wasn’t, it should be treated as a necessity. 
Recent data provided by the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
states that Illinois has an uninsured driver rate of 11.8%. This isn’t even counting drivers with only the basic amount of coverage—those referred to as “underinsured”.
Getting in a car accident is rough. It’s dangerous and scary, and the aftermath is costly. If you have even worse luck and get in a collision with an uninsured motorist, you could be left footing the bill for car repairs, medical expenses, and more. 
UM/UIM is an affordable coverage type that fills the gap left by the other driver’s liability insurance—and your own
personal injury protection
(PIP) coverage, if you have it. 
Yes, it’s mandatory, but the good news is that it’s usually pretty cheap to add to a policy. Thanks to its low rate of uninsured drivers, the cost of UM/UIM is less expensive in Illinois than it is in a lot of other states. Illinois drivers may only have to pay about $50-$75 every year.

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Illinois

Illinois requires its residents to have $50,000 of
bodily injury liability
per accident and $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person to defray costs. Getting a basic policy will keep you out of court and offers a small amount of protection—but you could still end up paying hefty bills out of pocket.
Illinois’s car insurance laws
also require $20,000 of
property damage liability
. This is to cover repairs for damage sustained by private property and/or other vehicles in accidents where you are at fault. 
The typical ER visit in Illinois costs an average of $1,818, and that doesn’t include physical therapy, medication, further treatments, or loss of income, to name a few. There’s a good chance that only having the basic level of insurance in Illinois will end up costing you a lot.

What you need

Providers will offer different versions of UM/UIM. In Illinois, you need at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. In many cases, underinsured motorist coverage will be included if you invest in the upper tiers of uninsured motorist coverage.

What’s the difference?

The names of each coverage type kind of explains it all. That said, it’s important to know the difference between uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage covers medical expenses, including those incurred by your passengers from the accident.
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage covers medical expenses if the other driver’s liability insurance is too low to cover the costs. 

Why it’s important

This type of coverage offers peace of mind since you never know who you’ll get in an accident with. You can’t take the chance that it’s a driver who is part of the 11.8% of uninsured drivers in the state of Illinois. You might even get in an accident with someone from a state like
that does not require UM/UIM.

What it covers

It depends on your provider and your coverage, but UM/UIM typically covers the following:
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Services you can no longer perform (yard work, laundry, house cleaning, etc…)
  • Long-term healthcare (rehab, specialists, nursing care, etc…)
  • Renovating your home to accommodate any injuries or disabilities that were a result of the accident.
  • Medical devices (wheelchairs, knee braces, crutches, etc…)
  • Some instances can also see you getting reimbursed for pain and suffering.
Including UM coverage or UIM coverage in your car insurance policy means never having to worry about being left in the lurch after an accident. It’s an easy, simple, and cost-effective way to soften the blow for you and your family members after an accident. It’s hard enough overcoming the experience and the trauma—you don’t need to also worry about your finances.  

How to make a claim 

After a car accident
, try to stay calm and make sure you get all the information you need. You have to exchange information with the other party or parties, including insurance information, contact information, and whatever else you feel is pertinent. Be diligent and prudent
You should immediately file a UM/UIM claim If you or a passenger are injured and the other driver does not have any or enough bodily injury insurance. Waiting will only delay the process.  
Filing an insurance claim with your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage shouldn’t be any trouble with most providers. We recommend calling your insurance company, providing every detail of what transpired, and then submitting all relevant documentation(medical records, police reports, and medical bills). The more documents you can give your insurer, the quicker you can get to a resolution.
Keep in mind that if your medical costs exceed your UM insurance limit, you’ll be on the hook for the rest. 
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Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Illinois

Illinois’s inclusion of uninsured motorist insurance in its basic state minimum costs drivers more upfront, but it’s well worth it because of how much it could save you in the long run. It’s a smart law—and one that has benefitted a lot of Illinois residents for only a small additional fee to their annual cost.

Illinois’s bodily injury liability insurance

Illinois also requires some bodily injury liability coverage to defray medical costs for victims of car accidents or the drivers who cause them. This creates a domino effect that ensures providers don’t experience a glut of complicated claims—and that healthcare workers don’t have to turn away patients because they don’t have the means to afford services.
If your UM/UIM coverage falls short, you can hire a personal injury lawyer to prepare a lawsuit against the other party. Remember, you might get hooked by the free consultation, but a personal injury suit becomes very expensive, very fast. 
The typical personal injury attorney in Illinois costs between $133 and $388 per hour—way more than paying for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Hit-and-run accidents in Illinois

happen in every state. For example,
alone experienced over 37,000 hit-and-run crashes. That’s more than 100 per day and resulted in 36 deaths and 4,807 injuries. 
When a driver peels away after an accident, their coverage goes with them. You are left alone to deal with the aftermath. Ultimately, you cannot file a claim with the other party’s insurance if you don’t know who they are, and unless you have UM/UIM, insurance usually won’t cover hit-and-runs.
In these situations, your only shot at not being financially harmed is to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It can be frustrating that this is compulsory but you’ll be thankful if you ever need it. 

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Illinois

There’s no reason to not buy uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in Illinois. You can offset the cost by using Jerry to review your coverage and find a cheaper car insurance policy! 
is a
trustworthy licensed broker app
with over 55 top-rated partner companies. We’re pros at helping you find lower rates without sacrificing the coverage you need to feel protected. In only 45 seconds, you’ll discover if you’ve been overpaying for car insurance in Illinois—and if you are, you can browse real-time quotes that will reduce your annual costs! 
Just how much could you lower your rate by shopping with Jerry? Every driver is different, of course, but the average annual savings for Jerry users is over $800—more than enough to let you add UM coverage and still save money! 
has amazing communication! And even better deals! Thanks to Jerry, I went from $327 to $182 on my payments. I’m so grateful!” —Kim T.
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