The tough economy is forcing people to reduce their automobile insurance, increase their deductibles, shop for cheaper coverage and, in some cases, even cancel their insurance.
The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes urge motorists to carry as much uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as they can afford. Reducing expenses by reducing auto insurance is shortsighted at best — the cost is minimal compared to the expense of being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
The Insurance Research Council reports that a recent survey found 15 percent of those surveyed said they had increased their deductibles or reduced their coverage in order to reduce their premium costs.
Nine percent of those surveyed said they canceled or did not renew vehicle coverage in response to the economic downturn.
Encouragingly, the survey found most homeowners and drivers have continued their insurance coverage, even if they shopped for a lower rate.
“These findings confirm that most Americans recognize the importance of maintaining essential insurance coverage on their homes and cars,” said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC. “But they also show that Americans are willing to shop and reevaluate their insurance needs in order to reduce insurance costs.”
And a proposal awaits the signature of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn that would make failure to carry auto insurance a criminal offense, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Current law allows for a fine of up to $1,000 and license suspension of up to 6 months.
Chicago car accident attorney Dave Abels was recently interviewed about the new law and blogged about the inadequacy of the state’s mandatory minimum insurance of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
The new law is tougher, but still not tough enough.
Here is the big problem with the insurance law in Illinois. The minimum coverage is still $20,000 per person, and $40,000 per occurrence. No amount of money is going to bring a loved one back or make a family whole again, but $20,000 is a slap in the face. (I have handled car accident death cases where the victim incurred over $500,000 in medical bills before passing away).
If you or someone you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Chicago car accident, the attorneys at Abels & Annes urge you to speak with a qualified personal injury or wrongful death lawyer, even if you think there may have been inadequate or nonexistent insurance. Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.