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What to watch out for when buying vehicle insurance in Illinois

In a previous post, we talked about the minimum auto insurance that Illinois requires of all vehicle owners, including the types of coverage that satisfy the state's insurance laws. We advised owners to shop around and find the best possible deal before buying.

In this post, we talk more about what motor vehicle owners should consider when buying insurance. This will allow them to prevent problems if they are involved in a car accident that causes property damage or bodily injury and necessitates payments for medical expenses and property repair or replacement.

Choosing a reliable company and agent is the most important part of choosing an insurance policy. For any insurance company a consumer considers, finding out details about the company is critical. Is the company licensed to do business in Illinois? Is the company financially sound enough to protect a motorist's interests in the event of an accident? Is there a history of complaints against this particular company?

Getting quotes from more than one company is a good approach that will maximize any consumer's chances of finding the best deal. Avoid unlicensed companies. The Department of Insurance has no regulatory authority over them and probably cannot help a vehicle owner if the company goes bankrupt or fails to make required payments under the terms of its insurance contracts and policies.

All consumers should have a clear idea what they most need in insurance coverage as well as what they want. Anyone who has trouble understanding the terms of a vehicle insurance policy should ask for a detailed explanation in easily understood terms from the insurance agent or insurance company.

Filling out an insurance application completely and accurately is critical. Any details later found false by the insurance company could mean insurance benefits are denied just when the motorist most needs them.

Source: Insurance.Illinois.gov, "Shopping for Automobile Insurance," accessed on Apr. 1, 2015

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