Ill. Legislators Pass Bill Seeking Higher Car Insurance Minimums

A piece of legislation that will likely increase the minimum levels of mandatory liability coverage that Illinois car insurance policies are required to have was passed by legislators there over Memorial Day weekend.

The state House in Illinois approved SB 1898 with a 70-41 vote on Sunday after it saw a 45-9 vote from senators earlier this month.

Currently, the state requires drivers to carry a total of $55,000 worth of liability coverage for a single accident. That $55,000 per-accident total is broken down as follows:
–$20,000 worth of coverage for a single person’s crash-related medical bills
–$40,000 worth of coverage total for all crash-related medical bills
–$15,000 worth of coverage for property damages

SB 1898 would increase the minimums to provide a total of at least $70,000 worth of liability coverage for a single accident. That per-accident total would be broken down as follows:
–$25,000 worth of coverage for a single person’s crash-related medical bills
–$50,000 worth of coverage total for all crash-related medical bills
–$20,000 worth of coverage for property damages

Increased minimums under the proposal, if approved, would be applied to policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2015.

The original bill presented different minimums than those ultimately approved by legislators. In the initial draft, the total amount of liability coverage required per accident would have been increased to a much steeper $140,000; an amendment added by senators earlier this month upped the amount of property damage minimums from $15,000 to $20,000.

Other States Attempt to Get Higher Minimums

In Ohio, officials recently addressed concerns that liability minimums were too low with HB 278, which doubled the limits required by the state.

Ohio approved a 25/50/25 structure late last year, bumping up coverage from what used to be the lowest minimum levels in the U.S.; the new limits go into effect this December.

West Virginia also tried to increase its minimums with SB 443, which was introduced in March but hasn’t seen action since being assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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