Computers Will Start Checking for Uninsured Drivers in Illinois
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Uninsured driving is dangerous and costly. Driving without car insurance is illegal, and if you’re caught you’ll face fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.
In Illinois, to reduce uninsured driving, starting July 1, drivers will face an automated computer check twice a year, according to Illinois Policy. Here are more details about the dangers of driving without insurance, the amount you’ll be fined, and how to avoid a fine.
Why is it dangerous to drive without car insurance?
As much as 15% of all drivers don’t have car insurance. This means that in the event of a car accident, you’re responsible for all of the costs for vehicle repairs. Even if the uninsured driver is at fault, if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you also have to cover the costs yourself.
Illinois Policy reported that this new policy targets up to 1.5 million uninsured drivers. This will help keep drivers safer on the road. Illinois has about 8.5 million drivers, and the state estimates that random checks can reduce the number of uninsured drivers by hundreds of thousands.
What is Illinois doing to curb uninsured driving?
On July 1, the Illinois Secretary of State will start to use a vendor that checks the insurance of drivers in Illinois. These computer checks will occur twice a year, and drivers might not even know they’re being checked—unless your insurance information can’t be found.
If you’re driving without insurance, a warning letter will be generated saying that your license plate is being suspended. After that, you’ll be required to get insurance and pay a $100 fine to reinstate your license plate.
If you get a warning letter, you must contact your insurance agent, give them the reference number, and the agent will solve the issue with the state. The state is also offering drivers help finding liability coverage through their Illinois Independent Insurance Agents website.
What is the minimum car insurance coverage Illinois drivers need to carry?
If you’re a driver in Illinois, you’ll need to carry this amount of coverage at minimum:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of a person
- $50,000 for injury or death of multiple people
- $20,000 for property damage
If you’re stopped by police, you’ll face a bigger fine: $500 for driving without insurance, and $1,000 if you drive while your plates are suspended. Over the past decade, other states have successfully reduced uninsured driving using similar programs.
However, Illinois Policy pointed out that the negative impacts of the pandemic and the reliance on an outside vendor to generate fines could be a bad combination. Either way, it’s not worth it to drive without insurance.
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