Auto Accidents: Understanding Insurance Coverage

Understanding your own insurance policy can be difficult enough, let alone understanding the policy held by another motorist. Therefore, it is important to understand the various types of auto insurance coverage, as well as what coverage is minimally required under Illinois law. Our injury attorneys offer the foregoing to provide explanation as to additional, supplemental and extended coverage that is available, as well as the benefit of obtaining such coverage. At Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C., our experienced team of injury attorneys remind residents of Chicago, and surrounding suburbs, that is always best to carry an auto insurance policy which provides the most amount of liability coverage that one can afford. By doing so, you will have the added security that adequate coverage is available to compensate for injuries in the unfortunate event of an auto accident.

  • Property Damage: Damage or destruction to personal property, such as a vehicle itself or personal items which were inside a vehicle and destroyed as a result of an accident. Property damage also includes damage or destruction to property surrounding the accident scene, such as signage, guard rails, fencing, landscaping, or any other property lost as a direct result of the auto accident.
  • Bodily Injury Coverage: Required Insurance coverage available to provide compensation for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Illinois motorists are required under state law to carry a minimum of $20,000 per individual, and $40,000 per accident, in bodily injury liability coverage.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM): Supplemental insurance coverage which provides compensation in the event that you are involved in an accident in which the other motorist does not have insurance coverage. This coverage can also provide compensation in the event of a hit and run accident. Illinois law requires insurance companies to offer its motorists uninsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to bodily injury coverage limits, but such coverage may be rejected in writing if only minimum coverage is desired.
  • [Note: Rejection of uninsured motorist coverage is NOT recommended]
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): Supplemental insurance coverage which provides compensation for injuries sustained in an accident when the other motorist’s coverage is insufficient to fully compensate for all damages caused as a result of the accident. Like uninsured motorist coverage, this coverage is optional, and may be waived in writing, however such rejection is not recommended.
  • Med-Pay; Extended Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Supplemental insurance coverage that can be purchased to cover your own injuries, or injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants, in the event that other available coverage is insufficient to fully compensate for bodily harm caused as a result of an accident.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Additional auto insurance coverage that provides recovery for damage that are unrelated to an auto accident, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. Under this type of coverage, the motorist must select a deductible amount to be associated with such coverage. In most cases, the deductible amount chosen will typically affect the ultimate policy premium amount. Although this coverage is not required by Illinois law, you may be required to carry such coverage, pursuant to contract, by the company or financial institution through which you received financing for your vehicle.
  • Collision Coverage: Additional auto insurance coverage which can be purchased to provide compensation for damages that occur during a motor vehicle accident in which you are found to be the at-fault party. Similar to comprehensive coverage, even though collision coverage is not required under Illinois law, if your vehicle is finances, you may be required to carry collision coverage on your auto policy.
  • Towing and Rental Reimbursement. Additional coverage that can provide reimbursement for a rental vehicle following a covered loss, or towing reimbursement in the event your vehicle becomes incapacitated, whether or not the result of a covered loss.

If you or a loved one were involved in an auto accident, you may have questions regarding which auto policy coverage will be invoked to provide compensation for your damages. Because the process can be highly complex, it is imperative that you seek consultation with a licensed Illinois auto accident attorney to discuss your legal options. For a FREE personal injury consultation with a Chicago personal injury attorney, contact Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. today at (773) 516-4100, or online at

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