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  • By: Sharks At Law
  • Published: May 30, 2024
Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Illinois and Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Too many people are completely unaware of uninsured motorist coverage and just how important it is. I was having a conversation with my mother a few months ago. She was considering switching auto insurance carriers and she asked me my opinion about a few different insurance carriers in Wisconsin. As we talked about it, I told her that one of the factors she should consider is uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage. I was shocked to learn that, for many years, my parents had gone without UM coverage! “Mom!” I said, “do you realize what would happen if an uninsured driver hit you?” Thankfully, she changed her coverage shortly thereafter!

In Illinois and Wisconsin, uninsured motorist coverage provides crucial protection in such situations. As a trusted personal injury law firm in Illinois and Wisconsin, we’re here to explain what uninsured motorist coverage is, why it’s important, and how it can benefit you.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is a type of car insurance that protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have liability insurance. It covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident, up to the limits of your policy. In Illinois, UM coverage must be offered by the insurance company ensuring that you have financial protection even if the at-fault driver is uninsured.

Key Benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  1. Medical Expenses: UM coverage helps pay for your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. This includes hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and other necessary medical treatments.
  2. Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, UM coverage can compensate you for lost wages.
  3. Pain and Suffering: Beyond medical bills and lost wages, UM coverage can also compensate you for pain and suffering caused by the accident. This includes physical pain, emotional distress, and reduced 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 Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work in Illinois?

  1. Mandatory Coverage: In Illinois, all auto insurance carriers must offer uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. The minimum required limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. However, you have the option to purchase higher limits for greater protection. We highly recommend that you have coverage above the minimum.
  2. Making a Claim: If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you must file a claim with your own insurance company under your UM coverage. Provide them with all relevant information, including the police report, medical records, and any other documentation of the accident and your injuries. This often must be done in a specific time frame – a good lawyer should always make this claim for you in order to preserve your UM claim.
  3. Proving the Driver is Uninsured: Your insurance company will need to verify that the at-fault driver is indeed uninsured. This typically involves checking the driver’s insurance status through state databases or other methods.
  4. Settlement Process: Once your claim is approved, 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 policy.

Why is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Important?

Despite mandatory insurance laws, not all drivers comply. For instance, in Illinois, an estimated 13% of drivers are uninsured. Without UM coverage, you could be left paying out-of-pocket for medical bills and other expenses if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. UM coverage provides essential financial protection and peace of mind, ensuring that you’re covered no matter the circumstances.


Uninsured motorist coverage is a vital component of your auto insurance policy in Illinois and Wisconsin. It offers protection and financial security if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you have any questions about your UM coverage or need assistance with a claim, our experienced personal injury lawyers in Chicago and throughout Illinois and Wisconsin 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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