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Does Auto Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in Illinois

Written by Ankin Law Office

In Illinois, most automobile insurance coverage follows the car. When an accident occurs, it is usually the vehicle owner’s insurance policy that is required to cover the accident. However, there are exceptions that a car accident lawyer can help accident victims understand.

Insurance in Illinois

Each automobile insurance policy is different. However, in Illinois, most types of coverage follow the vehicle. These include bodily injury liability and personal injury liability coverage. Other insurance coverage that follows the vehicle includes uninsured motorist protection, collision, and comprehensive coverage. 

State law requires all drivers in Illinois to carry a minimum of $20,000 in property damage coverage, as well as $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury coverage. However, it is advisable to carry more than these minimum requirements as these minimums evaporate quickly when new vehicles are involved in an accident, or when personal injuries occur.

First-Party Coverage

First-party insurance coverage is optional in Illinois, however, it is strongly advised to secure this coverage. In fact, if the vehicle is financed, it is likely to be required by the financing company. This insurance provides additional insurance to cover medical expenses involving the driver and passengers of a covered vehicle. It also provides additional uninsured/underinsured coverage, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage. When an individual files a first-party claim the insurance provider pays the individual’s expenses and pursues the at-fault party’s insurance provider for reimbursement.

Negligent Entrustment

Car owners in Illinois should be cautious about who they allow to drive their vehicles. Illinois statutes recognize the principle of negligent entrustment. Essentially, the owner of the vehicle may be liable for any accidents, injuries, or wrongful deaths caused by a friend or family member whom they allow to drive the vehicle. Examples of negligent entrustment include allowing an unlicensed driver, an intoxicated driver, or an inexperienced driver to operate the vehicle. For instance, a parent who loans their vehicle to a teenage driver, or a vehicle owner who allows their intoxicated friend to drive the vehicle home from the bar. 

Proving Negligence

Individuals pursuing claims following a motor vehicle accident are required to establish that the other party was responsible for causing the motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s negligent actions resulted in bodily injury or property damage. Plaintiff must establish that the injuries and damage that occurred were the direct results of the accident, and that the treatment of injuries and repair of the property was necessary after the crash.