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  • By: Sharks At Law
  • Published: May 30, 2024
Understanding Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Illinois and Wisconsin: Essential Protection Explained

Car accidents can have significant financial repercussions, especially when the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover your expenses. In Illinois and Wisconsin, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage provides critical protection in such scenarios. As a leading personal injury law firm in Illinois and Wisconsin, we’re here to explain what underinsured motorist coverage is, why it’s important, and how it can benefit you.

What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is a type of auto insurance that protects you when you’re involved in an accident with a driver whose liability insurance is insufficient to cover your damages. UIM coverage kicks in to bridge the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance limits and your actual expenses. For instance, if you are badly injured in a crash with a driver who has only $25,000.00 in coverage, your UIM policy will step in to cover the rest of your injuries.  In Illinois and Wisconsin, UIM coverage is typically bundled with uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to provide comprehensive protection.

Key Benefits of Underinsured Motorist Coverage

  1. Medical Expenses: UIM coverage helps pay for your medical bills if the at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough. This includes emergency room visits, surgeries, rehabilitation, and other necessary medical treatments.
  2. Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, UIM coverage can compensate you for lost wages.
  3. Pain and Suffering: UIM coverage can also compensate you for pain and suffering caused by the accident. This includes compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and a diminished quality of life.
  4. Loss of Normal Life: UM coverage can also compensate you for the way your injuries robbed you of your “normal life.” This includes things like missing out on a family vacation, being unable to help out with chores around the house, or missing out on social activities with friends.

How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work in Illinois?

  1. Mandatory Offer: Illinois law requires insurance companies to offer UIM coverage in all auto insurance policies. While it is not mandatory for drivers to purchase, it is strongly recommended for comprehensive protection.
  2. Filing a Claim: If you’re involved in an accident where the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient, you must file a claim with your own insurance company under your UIM coverage. Provide them with all relevant information, including the police report, medical records, and documentation of the other driver’s insurance limits.
  3. Determining Underinsurance: Your insurance company will verify the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and compare it to your total damages. If their coverage is inadequate, your UIM coverage will cover the difference up to your policy limits.
  4. Settlement Process: After verifying the at-fault driver’s underinsurance, your insurance company will work with you to settle the claim. They will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages up to the limits of your UIM policy.

Why is Underinsured Motorist Coverage Important?

Even though Illinois requires drivers to carry liability insurance, the minimum coverage limits may not be enough to cover serious accidents. Medical expenses and vehicle repairs can quickly exceed these limits, leaving you with significant out-of-pocket costs. UIM coverage provides essential financial protection, ensuring you are adequately compensated even if the at-fault driver’s insurance falls short.


Underinsured motorist coverage is a crucial aspect of your auto insurance policy in Illinois. It offers an extra layer of protection, ensuring you are covered when the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient. If you have questions about your UIM coverage or need assistance with a claim, our experienced personal injury lawyers in Chicago are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us guide you through the process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

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(312) 586-2820

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