by Ed Sneneh, Agent, Auto SR22 Insurance in Chicago Illinois

Insurance laws in Illinois make it mandatory for all motorists to carry auto insurance as part of their financial responsibility in Illinois . These laws do not prohibit people from not carrying car insurance. Therefore, we still have many uninsured motorists driving on Illinois road, despite the Illinois mandatory insurance laws. About 15% of motorists in Illinois operate their vehicles without any insurance, according to some estimates.

Uninsured motorists that cause car crashes face penalties from the State, including suspending their driving privileges. Paying for these damages become the responsibility of the uninsured motorists, and driving privileges will not be reinstated without either a full payment or payment plan agreement.  A victim of an uninsured motorist may take some actions against the uninsured motorists. These actions may range from reporting the judgment to the State (Illinois Department of Transportation Accident Report Office, 3215 Executive Park Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62766, phone 217-782-4516). Also, victims of uninsured motorists may take legal actions against motorists that cause the injuries and  the damage.

In the State of Illinois the extent of actions that victims of uninsured motorists are limited to reporting the claims to the State (which will suspend driving privileges pending making payments and filing for Illinois SR22 insurance) to legal actions against uninsured people. In three other states (North Dakota, New Jersey and Maryland) a special fund was created to deal with the unsatisfied judgments made in favor of victims of uninsured motorists. Illinois remains one of the States that mandate  Uninsured Motorists Bodily Injury on auto policies issued in the State. This coverage however does not offer any protection for any property damages caused by the uninsured motorists.


Car Insurance Unsatisfied Judgment Funds

Mimicking the ideas in Canada, legislators from the above three states decided to establish specialized funds to offer a recourse to victims of uninsured motorists and to  provide them with payments for  judgment issued in their favor. The first fund was created in 1947 in the State of New Jersey. The amount of payments are subject to the mandatory limits of the state.

To collect from the Fund, the victim of uninsured motorist must demonstrate that they exhausted and failed to recover using all other means.

Enacting an Unsatisfied Judgment Funds in Illinois may not help many people. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (pays for bodily damages caused by uninsured motorists) is mandatory in Illinois. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (pays for your property damage caused by someone who is legally uninsured)  is an optional coverage, but may be purchased at a very nominal premium.

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