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FAQ

Public Insurance Agency
Here you will find the most frequently asked questions. Click on a question to jump to the answer. If you can’t find the answer you were looking for give us a call at (773) 725-9333 and one of our licensed agents will be glad to answer your question!

General Insurance Questions

What determines my insurance rates?
What do the different coverages mean?
What other types of insurance do you offer?
What are the required minimum limits in Illinois?
Do I need full coverage (comprehensive and collision)?
What if I have a bad driving record?
Will my rates be higher if I have a bad credit score?
What if I don’t have a license?
What if I have a foreign license?
I don’t own a car, do I still need insurance?

SR22 Insurance

What is SR22 insurance?
Reasons for required SR22 insurance?
How much does SR22 insurance cost?
How long does SR22 insurance last?
What do I need to do if SR22 insurance is required?
How is SR22 insurance enforced?
How can Public Insurance Agency help me with SR22 insurance?
Additional SR22 insurance information and links.

General Insurance Questions

What determines my insurance rates?
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Driving record
  • Type of vehicle
  • Geography

In general the same formula is used, but each insurance company gives different weights to the above factors when setting their rates. This is why it is important to use an independent agent like Public. We compare quotes from multiple companies to find you the lowest rate possible. We can also split your coverage between two or more companies to save you even more.

What do the different coverages mean?
  • Bodily Injury (BI)– pays for costs due to injury or death that you, the covered driver, cause to passengers in another car or pedestrians in the event of an accident.
  • Property Damage (PD)– pays for damage to another person’s car or property like a fence, street sign, buildings, etc that is damaged in an accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM)– covers bodily injury costs that happen to you caused by a hit-and-run driver or if the person that hits you does not have insurance.
  • Collision– pays for damage caused by an accident with another car or a fixed object, like a tree.
  • Comprehensive– pays for damage to your car than does NOT involve a collision with another car. It does cover theft, vandalism, breakage of glass, wind, water damage, hail, and damage caused by an animal.
  • Medical Payments– pays for medical and funeral expenses if you or your passengers are injured or killed in an accident. It also covers you and your family members if hit by a car while walking or while riding in another car. Medical payments pay even if you cause the accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage– pays for damage to your car if you are hit by an uninsured, at-fault, and identifiable driver. Can’t have this coverage if you have Collision. It will pay a maximum of $15,000 and is subject to a $250 deductible.
  • Rental Reimbursement– pays a certain amount per day for you to rent a vehicle while yours is being repaired for a covered loss.
  • Towing– pays for either all or part of the cost to tow your disabled car to a repair shop.
  • Emergency Roadside Service– 24 hour service for emergency road service, delivery of supplies (fuel, oil, etc.), battery service, tire change, mechanical breakdown, and towing
  • Bond Cards– presenting a bond card to an officer during a traffic stop will allow you to keep your license.

For a even more detail check out our blog post Understanding the Different Auto Insurance Coverages

What other types of insurance do you offer?

Public offers the following types of insurance:

  • Personal Auto Insurance
  • Commercial Insurance
  • Motorcycle Insurance
  • Home Owners Insurance
  • Renters Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance

Huge discounts are available for customers who place all their insurance policies with Public. Bundling your policies is easy and it can qualify you for some of the largest discounts available. Call us at (773) 725-9333 to learn more. You’ll be glad you did.

What are the required minimum limits in Illinois?

The state of Illinois Financial Responsibility Law requires drivers to have 3 types of Liability coverage. Bodily Injury (BI), Property Damage (PD), and Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM)

  1. Bodily Injury (BI)– The minimum required limits for BI are $20,000 per person injured and $40,000 total per accident
  2. Property Damage (PD)– The minimum required limit for PD is $15,000 per accident
  3. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM)– The minimum required limits for UM are $20,000 per person and $40,000 total per accident

Often times you may see this referred to as 20,000/40,000/15,000 on you insurance policy documents. This simply means that you are insured for these amounts in an accident when you have been determined to be at-fault.

Do I need full coverage (comprehensive and collision)?

There are a few reasons that someone would purchase a full coverage policy. If you are financing a new car, the bank or finance company will require you to have full coverage while you are paying off the car. If you already own a new car or if your car has a high value, it is smart to have full coverage because it will cover any damage done to the car. On the other hand, if you car is an older model and not particularly valuable or you are looking for the minimum legal limits then full coverage may not be worth the higher premium. It is never a bad idea to have more protection, but you should discuss your situation with one of our agents and they will build a policy that fits your need at the most affordable price.

What if I have a bad driving record?

Even if you have tickets, accidents, DUI, no license, bad credit, or anything else it’s no problem at Public. We accept all drivers no matter what your driving history looks like.

Will my rates be higher if I have a bad credit score?

No, at Public we do not use your credit score when we give you a quote.

What if I don’t have a license?

No problem. We insure all drivers whether you have a license on not.

What if I have a foreign license?

No Problem. You can still get great low rates with a foreign license.

I don’t own a car, do I still need insurance?

Yes, you should purchase a non-owners policy. Non-owner policies are extremely affordable.

Top of Page

SR22 Insurance

What is SR22 insurance?

An SR22 refers to the document that shows proof of Financial Responsibility Insurance. SR22 insurance is required for a number of reasons, but the most common reasons are when:

  • You are involved in an accident and do not have insurance.
  • You are pulled over for a traffic violation and cannot provide proof of insurance.

Your driver’s license and/or vehicle registration will be suspended until you have paid a reinstatement fee and can provide evidence of a current SR22 insurance policy. You must maintain an SR22 insurance policy for a period of three (3) years in order to fulfill the requirements.

There are three (3) forms of SR22 insurance:

  • Operator– Covers the Motorist in the operation of any Non-Owned vehicle.
  • Owner– Covers Vehicles Owned by the driver. The type of vehicle must be listed on the SR22 or may be issued for all owned vehicles
  • Operator-Owner– Covers all vehicles Owned and Non-Owned by the driver

See “Reasons for Required SR22 Insurance” below for a complete list of reasons why an SR22 would be required.

Reasons for required SR22 insurance?

SR22 insurance and additional fines/fees may be required for the following reasons:

  • At-fault accident while driving without insurance.
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance when stopped for a traffic violation.
  • DUI.
  • Repeat traffic violations or multiple tickets in a short amount of time.
  • Severe traffic violations involving negligence or endangerment of other drivers or pedestrians.
  • Failure to satisfy the requirements of a random questionnaire sent out by Secretary of State.
  • Unsatisfied Judgment supervision – when someone sues you in civil court for damages that you caused while driving without insurance and you fail to comply.
  • Safety Responsibility suspension – if you are involved in an accident that results in personal injury, death, or property damage in excess of $500 dollars while driving without insurance. The difference between an unsatisfied judgment and a safety responsibility suspension is the involvement of the civil court.

For more information on Unsatisfied Judgments and Safety Responsibility suspensions see, “What do I need to do if SR22 insurance is required?” below.

How much does SR22 insurance cost?

Short answer: A lot more than if you would have kept up with your insurance policy in the first place. But nobody is perfect and sometimes its a matter of choosing which bills to pay. We get that, which is why we do everything we can to find you the most affordable SR22 insurance possible. Outlined below is a list of fines and fees that the State of Illinois requires you to pay if you are caught driving without insurance:

  • minimum $500 fine for driving uninsured.
  • minimum $1000 fine for driving a vehicle while the license plates are suspended for a previous insurance violation.
  • First offense: Your license plate will be suspended until you pay a $100 reinstatement fee and provide current proof of insurance.
  • Repeat offenders: Your license plate will be suspended for four (4) months, after which you must pay the $100 reinstatement fee and provide current proof of insurance.
  • $70 driver’s license reinstatement fee if you are involved in an accident it is suspended due to an unsatisfactory judgment or a safety responsibility suspension./li>

So depending on whether this is your first offense, a repeat offense, and if there is an accident involved the fines/fees can range from a minimum of $600 to $1170 plus a mandatory 4 month suspension of your license plates. After these fines/fees are paid you also need to provide proof of a current SR22 insurance policy. The SR22 must be maintained for 3 years.

How long does SR22 insurance last?

In most cases you must maintain SR22 insurance for three (3) years.

What do I need to do if SR22 insurance is required?
  • If your driver’s license gets suspended you will need to pay a $70 reinstatement fee to the State.
  • If your license plate gets suspended you will need to pay a $100 reinstatement fee to the State.
  • Once you have paid the driver’s license and/or license plate reinstatement fees you will need to purchase an SR22 insurance policy from an agency like Public.
  • Public will then electronically notified the Department of Motor Vehicles to certify that you have coverage.
  • In most cases, we can get you covered and back on the road the following morning.

How is SR22 insurance enforced?

The mandatory insurance law in Illinois is enforced through traffic tickets and a random questionnaire sampling process.

  • Traffic ticket– If you are stopped for a traffic violation or involved in an accident, an officer may issue a traffic citation if you can’t provide proof of insurance. If convicted you license place will be suspended. The fine for a first time offense is $500. The fine for driving a vehicle while the license plates are suspended from a previous traffic violation is $1000.
  • Random questionnaire– If your vehicle is randomly selected by a computer, you will receive a questionnaire asking for the name of your insurance company and policy number. Your answers are then checked with the insurance company that you named. If you don’t have insurance or fail to return the requested information, your license plate will be suspended.

How can Public Insurance Agency help me with SR22 insurance?

We will never lie about what we can and can’t do for you. So to start, you should know that we can’t help you with the fines/fees imposed by the state. However, we can find you the lowest rate for your SR22 insurance policy and provide you with added support to make sure everything goes smooth while the SR22 is required. Public Insurance agents are experts in SR22 compliance, so you can be sure that your renewals and State filings will be handled properly.

Additional SR22 insurance information and links.

Information on Illinois’ mandatory insurance law.
Information on Illinois’ safety responsibility law and license reinstatement.
Information on Illinois SR22 insurance.
Illinois SR22 insurance publications and forms.
Illinois Secretary of State facility finder. This is where you go to reinstate your license plates.