Auto Insurance + Accident Check List

Liability insurance is required by law, and pays if you are responsible for another person's crash-related damages. Choose policy limits that adequately protect your financial assets.

Illinois law does not require physical damage insurance, but most lenders do. Physical damage pays to repair your vehicle, and is divided into collision (crash-related) and comprehensive (hail, theft, vandalism, etc.) coverages. Both have deductibles. High deductibles lower the policy premium, but you pay more out-of-pocket when a loss occurs.

Coverage for towing, rental car reimbursement, custom equipment, gap protection for leased vehicles, uninsured motorist property damage, etc. are optional.

Review the policy declarations page for accuracy. Be sure your name, address, vehicle descriptions, and identification numbers, drivers, etc. are correct. Failing to disclose information could jeopardize coverage.

Confirm each insured vehicle has a current insurance identification card in the glove box.

Promptly notify the insurance agent or company if you are involved in an accident.

Asking your insurance company to pay your crash-related damages is a 'first-party' claim. Check the 'Loss Settlement' provisions of your policy for information about the claim settlement process.

Asking the other driver's insurance company to pay your crash-related expenses is a 'third-party' claim. The claim is settled according to terms outlined in the other driver's policy.

An insurance adjuster and claim number will be assigned to the loss.

The adjuster will conduct a detailed claim investigation to verify coverage, determine fault, and evaluate damages.

Illinois is a 'comparative negligence' state. This means more than one person can be at-fault in an accident. You must be less than 50% at-fault to collect damages from the other driver. The claim settlement is reduced according to your fault percent.