If you own a motor vehicle in Illinois, you are required to have car insurance. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is the job of the insurance company to cover any car repairs and medical bills up to the limit of their liability. At the same time, you might be wondering exactly how car insurance works. Take a look at a few of the most important points to keep in mind, and do not hesitate to reach out to a professional for details about your own policy. It is important to note that Illinois is NOT a “no fault” state when it comes to car and automobile insurance. This means that in a car accident, the party that is found to be more than 50 percent at fault will be responsible for covering the damages of the other party.
If The Accident Is Not Your Fault
If the accident is not your fault, then the insurance company of the other driver should pay to fix your car and cover your medical expenses. They are responsible for their driver, so they should eventually cover your bills.
At the same time, it can take a long time for all of this to get worked out. The claim has been processed, the police report has to be finalized, and the auto insurance company needs to get answers to its questions. Therefore, you should reach out to your own insurance company and ask them to cover your bills first. Then, the other insurance company will reimburse your insurance company down the road. You do not want to delay your medical care, so reach out to your insurance company even if the accident was not your fault.
If The Accident Is Your Fault
If you end up getting blamed for the accident, whether your repairs and medical bills are covered will depend on the type of policy you have. Some of the options include:
If You Have Liability Only
The minimum level of coverage you need to have to legally operate a vehicle in Illinois is called liability coverage. If you have a liability only insurance policy, you can save money on your car insurance. On the other hand, if you are blamed for the accident, your insurance company will only pay to fix the car for the other driver. They will not pay to fix your car. Therefore, you are taking a significant risk if you only have liability only coverage. It would probably be better to purchase a policy with better coverage if you can afford to do so.
If You Have Collision Coverage
One of the most common policies that people get is called collision coverage. This is an insurance policy that will protect not only the other driver but also your car. If you end up getting blamed for the accident, your collision policy should pay to fix not only the car of the other driver but also your car. Every collision policy is a bit different, so take a look at the maximum financial benefit for both car repairs and medical bills. You need to make sure you have enough coverage to pay for your medical bills and your potential car repairs.
If You Have Comprehensive Coverage
Finally, the highest level of coverage is called comprehensive coverage. This is a policy that will pay to fix your vehicle not only in the event of an accident but also in the event of a natural disaster that damages your car. This could include a fire, a flood, or even a tornado that goes through Illinois. This policy might even pay for a rental car if your car has to go to the shop for an extended amount of time for potential repairs. Even though this policy is one of the most expensive options, it will also give you the best coverage. Take a look at the details of your policy to make sure you understand what is covered.
How Are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident?
In states, such as Illinois, that do not adhere to a no fault system for car accidents, you will, in general, be accountable for paying your medical bills as they come in. However, if you are covered by medical payment insurance (also known as “med pay”) and/or have personal injury protection (PIP) car insurance, your insurance policy will cover up to a predetermined limit of your medical bills. If your medical bills exceed the limits of your policies then you will be responsible for their payment. At this point, if you are also covered by health insurance, you can use it to help as secondary or additional coverage.
It’s important to note how the different insurances and coverages are used and come into effect. Typically, for auto injuries, med pay and PIP claims will need to be applied first. After the limits of the policy coverage has been met or exceeded, health insurance will then come into play.
Buy The Right Car Insurance in Illinois
In the end, these are just a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind if you have questions about car insurance in Illinois. You must make sure you have the right car insurance policy to cover any car repairs and medical bills you might face following a motor vehicle accident. Keep in mind that there are numerous options available if you are looking for car insurance, so you need to compare the benefits and drawbacks of each option to figure out what is best for your needs. Even though it might be a bit more expensive to go with a collision or comprehensive insurance policy, it might be worth it because you can save money in the event of a motor vehicle accident.