What are the risks of driving without insurance in Illinois?

Illinois state law requires that you buy an insurance policy for any motor vehicle you want to register and drive. The state requires liability insurance coverage. You need at least $20,000 worth of coverage in case you damage someone else’s property.

You also need a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 in bodily injury coverage. That coverage will pay up to $25,000 for someone’s injuries and $50,000 per crash if multiple people get hurt. Those are the basics you must carry, but you can pay for extra insurance if you want.

How much will insurance cost you?

If you only buy the least amount of coverage to legally drive, you will probably spend around $440 a year on insurance. Car insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense if you are a safe driver. You have to spend hundreds of dollars to pay for something you assume you will never need.

Some people let their insurance policy lapse to save money. Others forget to send the payment. If you get pulled over by the police and you don’t have insurance, what happens then?

You will have to pay a fine

Motor vehicle insurance coverage is mandatory. You have to provide evidence of it when you register your vehicle and again any time a police officer pulls you over. Failing to carry it is a violation of state law.

When an officer pulls you over and you can’t prove that you have insurance, they will find you at least $500. They will also suspend your license plate. If you have already had your license plates suspended, the minimum fine increases to $1,000.

Repeat offenders and those who cause car crashes while they don’t have insurance can expect bigger penalties. Causing a crash without insurance could also mean facing a civil lawsuit if there is damage to the other driver’s vehicle or if someone gets hurt.

Traffic infractions can affect your life

A citation for driving without insurance won’t just cost you money. It will also affect your ability to keep driving. Losing your license can affect your job and your education okay. Sometimes, drivers don’t have proof of insurance but can show the court that they had a policy active at the time of the traffic stop. These individuals may be able to go to court and fight the fines and citations.

When you understand the laws about insurance for vehicles in Illinois, it’s easier to respond to a recent alleged traffic violation.