Uninsured motorists in Illinois could soon be legally-bound to pay for any property damage they cause in a collision. State Representative Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) Wednesday won Illinois House approval of legislation requiring them to pay full restitution.
“Currently, the victims of accidents caused by irresponsible, uninsured drivers are more often than not forced to pay for the damages to their car or property – either out of pocket or through higher insurance rates. That’s really adding insult to injury,” Hatcher said. “The legislation we passed today will make the uninsured drivers legally responsible to pay in full to repair the damage they cause.”
Hatcher’s House Bill 5630 specifies that in addition to penalties levied for driving without insurance, which is itself a Class A Misdemeanor, uninsured drivers who cause accidents will be ordered to pay the full cost of repairing the damages. The legislation was sparked by a 2011 incident in which an uninsured driver plowed through the Batavia West Cemetery causing thousands of dollars in damage.
“The City of Batavia was not able to get restitution from the uninsured driver, which means local taxpayers are on the hook to repair the damage he caused. That’s not fair,” Hatcher said. “All Illinois drivers are required by law to carry insurance. We’re sending a strong message that if you choose to ignore that law, you will be held financially accountable.”
House Bill 5630 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.