As the owner of a vehicle, you know the importance of auto insurance. In the event your vehicle is damaged or you sustain injuries in an accident, your coverage or the at-fault driver’s coverage often determines whether you receive adequate compensation to recover physically, emotionally, and financially. But what happens if the at-fault-driver’s policy limits are exceeded and there isn’t enough coverage? In some cases, this could result in further legal action or debt; however, it doesn’t have to. Umbrella policies (and uninsured/underinsured umbrella policies) can provide a safety net in coverage. Let’s take a look at the benefits of an umbrella auto policy in Illinois.
What Is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance provides extra coverage beyond the existing primary limits and coverage of a person’s auto policy. Coverage that exists under an umbrella policy can be used for injuries, property damage, certain lawsuits, and personal liability situations. In the event of an accident, an umbrella policy kicks in when policy limits have been exhausted. This could be the case in a car accident that results in severe injuries or permanent disability.
Umbrella Insurance vs. Excess Liability Insurance
While you may hear umbrella insurance referred to as excess liability insurance, they are actually two different types of insurance. Not all insurers offer excess liability coverage. Excess liability insurance is different than umbrella policies because it comes with the same exclusions as the underlying policy. This means that you only have extra protection for risks already covered.
Umbrella policies, on the other hand, provide greater liability coverage than the existing coverage, including protection for other risks. Let’s take a look at what a typical umbrella auto insurance policy covers.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
Umbrella insurance provides coverage for injuries, damage to property, personal liability situations, and certain lawsuits. With car accidents, medical bills can pile up quickly—especially when injuries are catastrophic or involve brain or spine injuries. In the event the medical bills alone exceed the auto policy coverage, the umbrella policy can kick in. If you are considering purchasing an umbrella policy, you would want to make sure that it provides for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. That way, if an at-fault party does not carry enough insurance, the portion of the umbrella policy you carry that exceeds the coverage the at-fault party carries may cover the additional damages that the at-fault party does not have enough insurance coverage to cover.
Umbrella Auto Policies in Illinois
In Illinois, car accident cases are subject to comparative negligence. This means that if the other driver was entirely at fault for the wreck, their insurance carrier will pay to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In the event both parties are at-fault, rewardable damages are reduced based on percentage. So, if you’re 10% at-fault for a crash valued at $10,000, you’ll only receive $9,000 in compensation.
In the event you’re in an accident where the other party’s insurance policy does not cover the full extent of your damages, your lawyer can find out if an umbrella auto policy applies. If that’s the case, compensation can be pulled from that policy. If not, you may need to pursue additional legal action to get the compensation you need to fully recover.
If you currently do not have an umbrella auto policy, you can look into expanding your coverage. In Illinois, insurance agents can provide information about umbrella insurance requirements, coverages, exclusions, and costs. Policies differ depending on the auto company. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, this supplemental insurance is typically sold in increments of one million dollars for a small additional premium.
Legal Representation From Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been in an accident and you’re worried about policy limits affecting your ability to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, get in touch with Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys. As Chicago injury lawyers, we represent clients who have been wrongfully injured in accidents by negligent drivers. We can determine if there’s an umbrella auto policy that applies to your accident. If there’s not, we can look into your legal options and determine your best path to recovery.
To learn about your rights after a car accident, schedule a free consultation with our law firm today.