Consumers need different types of insurance coverage. Most Chicago residents need insurance for their home and their car, and may need top purchase health insurance if it is not provided by an employer. They should also consider life insurance if they are older or have children.
Insurance policies can be challenging to read, and finding the right ones for your needs can be stressful. But by asking the right questions, you can get the right policy to help protect you in the event of a loss.
What should I know about car insurance in Chicago?
The time to inquire about the type of insurance coverage you need is before you buy a new car or any other type of vehicle. The same questions generally apply if you buy a used vehicle. Please be wary of which insurance company you decide to use. Not all insurance companies are the same. Auto insurance is like any other product. The more you pay the better product your will receive. You can purchase from higher end companies or low-cost insurance companies. In Illinois, the type of customer service you receive and claims handling often depends on they type of insurance company you choose or are dealing with after an accident.
Policy Genius suggests the following insurance coverage questions.
How much insurance do I need? Illinois’ state minimum insurance is a 25/50/20. That means that in the event of an accident, you can claim up to $25,000 for bodily injury, $50,000 in total for the entire accident, and another $20,000 for property damage. It is not nearly enough coverage for a serious accident claim, so you should ask about purchasing additional policies for:
- Collision insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
- Gap insurance
Do I need uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance? Chicago has a real problem with hit-and-run accidents, so yes – we could highly recommend UM/UIM insurance. You can waive your right to it, but if you are injured in a hit-and-run, you will be left on the hook for payment.
If you rent a car, should you buy insurance? If you cause an accident in a rented car, you will be held accountable. You should either buy liability insurance through the company you rent the car from or purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy. The coverage issues can be tricky. Call our experienced Chicago car accident lawyers to discuss how this type of coverage works.
Can the auto liability insurance carrier ask about personal details? Generally, the insurance company has the right to ask about your current and recent driving record. They’ll ask whether you use the car for pleasure, for business, or both. They’ll ask whether you had any recent crashes or driving tickets. Most states also permit the insurance companies to ask about your age, gender, income level, credit status, education, and marital status. Those items of information can affect your insurance risk.
Does the make, model, and color of my car matter? The make and model of your car certainly matters regarding collision insurance. Fancier cars and newer cars cost more to fix or replace, and classic cars require special insurance because of their status. Insurance carriers may be concerned that if you drive a sports car, you’re more likely to get into a car accident. Newer cars generally have more safety features that reduce the impact of a collision. It’s doubtful that an insurance company will charge higher premiums because you own a red car instead of a blue car.
Common homeowner’s insurance questions
Your mortgage lender may require that you have homeowner’s insurance to pay off the mortgage if you die or can’t work. Homeowners need to consider insurance coverage if there is a fire, vandalism, or a natural disaster, or if someone gets hurt on your property. If you rent an apartment, you should still consider buying homeowner’s insurance in case someone is injured while in your apartment, and condo owners will need insurance to cover their own units.
Insurance questions you shouldn’t be afraid to ask
You should never hold back from asking any question because of embarrassment or you think you’ll look silly. It’s always best to ask a lawyer if you’re unsure about your insurance rights and duties.
Infinity insurance reminds us that there are a few things that insurance can cover, that many policyholders don’t think to ask about.
- Your homeowner’s insurance should protect you if your dog bites someone while that person is on your property.
- Your homeowner’s coverage “may” protect you from identity theft – but it may not. You should find out if it’s covered, especially if you work from home.
- You might want to ask your insurance carrier if your dog or cat is covered if they are injured while riding in your car.
- Your auto insurance carrier should protect you from natural events and disasters, too.
Why is insurance so important in the event of an injury?
Accident victims have the right to seek damages from the liable parties. Damages include all your pain and suffering and your financial losses, including medical expenses and lost wages. In most cases, the insurance companies for the responsible parties pay the damages. So when you slip and fall in a neighbor’s yard, you’re not suing Brenda and Ted Smith – you’re making a claim against their insurance company. The same thing applies if you get into a fender bender or if your tree falls on the neighbor’s fence, which is why having more than the minimum required insurance is such a good idea.
At Gainsberg Law, P.C., our skilled Chicago personal injury lawyers either negotiate a strong settlement with your consent or seek a verdict before a jury of your peers. If there is a verdict (our lawyers have a substantial record of success), then the insurance companies for the liable parties pay your damages. In some cases, your own UM/UIM insurance carrier pays the damages.
If you were injured or a member of your family tragically died, call us at 312.600.9585 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment at our Chicago office. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
Neal S. Gainsberg has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of the injured in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From consumer rights and bankruptcy to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, Mr. Gainsberg stands up to large corporations, insurance companies, creditors and hospital administrators to ensure that his clients’ futures are safe and secure. Learn More