Illinois Car Insurance: How to Qualify for the Cheapest Rates
Illinois has relatively inexpensive car insurance. It's important to note that Illinois acts as two states where car insurance premiums are concerned, Chicago and the rest of the state.
In Illinois, the average rate (with “full coverage”) is $1,004 per year.
Even with lower rates in Illinois, it’s essential to find the right coverage for you.
In this guide we’ll be helping you find the right rate to match the type of coverage you'll need.
Average Car Insurance Rates in Illinois
Statewide average premiums in Illinois for three popular car insurance coverage levels (all premium information we’ll be providing comes from our sister site, CarInsurance.com) are as follows:
- “Full coverage” –100/300/100***, with comprehensive and collision coverage, including a deductible of $500: $1,004 per year
- Liability only, with 50/100/50: $403 per year
- Liability only, using the state minimum coverage levels: $383 per year
Still, the average rates won't necessarily apply to your particular policy.
You may pay more or less based on the variables that make up your driver profile.
Coverage levels matter
The chosen coverage levels allow you to customize the limits that apply for different accident scenarios.
The first number represents bodily injury or death to one person in a single at-fault accident.
The second number represents bodily injury or death to two or more people in a single at-fault car accident.
The third number refers to property damage caused to other vehicles in an at-fault accident.
Full coverage also includes collision and comprehensive coverage, which pays for repairs to your vehicle no matter who is at fault.)
Factors that Will Affect Your Illinois Car Insurance Premium
Now let’s get into those variables that will affect what your premium will be.
Below are seven factors that will determine the premium you’ll pay for Illinois car insurance.
Unlike most states, gender will not play a large role when it comes to your premium.
Rates in Illinois are about the same regardless of gender.
A 30-year-old male living in Springfield will pay $122 per month for full coverage, while a 30-year-old female will also pay $122 per month for the same policy.
Like most states, age in Illinois is a major factor in determining your rate.
This affects drivers under the age of 25 the most.
An 18-year-old male driver in Rockford will pay $485 a month, or $5,820 per year for full coverage. A 30-year-old male driver also living in Rockford will pay $129 a month, or $1,548 per year for the same coverage.
An 18-year-old male driver living in Chicago will pay $820 a month, or $9,840 per year, for full coverage. A 30-year-old male also living in Chicago with the same coverage will pay $227 a month, or $2,724 per year.
As is the case in most states, insurance rates will go up once you pass the age of 65. A 75-year-old male will pay $231 per month, or $2,772 per year, while a 30-year-old male with the same policy will pay $227 per month, or $2,724 per year. There isn’t much of a difference, but illustrates how rates start to rise as you move past 65.
Your driving history will be the biggest factor in determining your insurance rate.
In Illinois, speeding no more than 10-15 miles over the limit will produce a 20% premium increase. Speeding 30 miles or more over the limit will similarly produce a 20% premium increase.
Illinois is one of the tougher states when it comes to the impact of drunk driving.
The average increase in the state is 86% for a DUI/DWI first offense (subsequent offenses will be much higher and carry serious penalties).
A much similar effect can occur with at-fault accidents. A typical car insurance premium in Illinois will increase by 30% after an accident claim that’s determined to be your fault, but it can be higher.
The premium increase will vary based on the dollar amount of any property damage claim, or whether or not the accident resulted in bodily injury. That percentage will also change based on which company you choose, given that each company assesses risk differently.
A large factor in determining your rate will be your credit score.
A driver in Illinois with bad credit will pay 87% more on their premium than a driver with good credit.
It’s important to compare company rates to find the right premium since the upcharge for poor credit can vary widely from one to another.
We’ve shared the factors that go into determining the statewide average.
Here’s a recap: a policy with liability limits of 100/300/100 is $1,004 per year, while liability coverage limits of 50/100/50 is $403. State coverage for minimum liability is $383 per year.
Carrying the minimum state liability may not be enough to protect your assets. Your net worth should be factored in to decide your liability limits.
For example, if your net worth is less than $50,000, you might be able to take the state minimum coverage. If your net worth is between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 50/100/50. If it's more than $200,000, choose at least 100/300/100. With too little coverage, a major claim or lawsuit could force you to pay out-of-pocket for expenses that exceed your policy limits.
The make and model as well as the age of your car will be another major factor with your premium.
Older vehicles generally cost less to insure, unlike brand-new vehicles or certain types of vehicles.
Vehicles such as SUVs, pickup trucks, sports cars, and luxury cars will cost more to insure than a 12-year-old sedan. And collision and comprehensive coverage may not be necessary if your vehicle is worth less than $3,000.
The insurer you use
The company you choose will be an important factor.
The differences in pricing for the same policy between different companies can amount to thousands of dollars.
Below are the average statewide premiums for full coverage (100/300/100) by six major carriers operating in Illinois:
- GEICO: $590 per year
- Amco: $678 per year
- State Farm: $1,011 per year
- Farmers: $1,170 per year
- Progressive: $1,193 per year
- Allstate: $1,375 per year
Notice that Allstate, the most expensive provider, charges premiums that are more than double those of GEICO, the least expensive provider.
Average Illinois Car Insurance Rate Based on City
Even within the same state, there can be major variations in premium levels from one city to another.
With the statewide average premium at $1,004 in Illinois for 100/300/100 coverage, average premiums on a local level are as follows:
- Aurora: $1,082
- Chicago: $1,297
- Joliet: $1,261
- Naperville: $1,074
- Rockford: $1,178
More populated areas like Chicago usually have much higher insurance rates. More populated areas mean more traffic and potential for accidents.
Rural and more remote areas will have lower rates due to less congestion and fewer vehicles.
What are Auto Insurance Laws in Illinois?
Illinois car insurance laws require that drivers carry minimum liability coverage limits of 25/50/20 on their vehicle. The minimum car insurance requirements in Illinois are listed below:
- Minimum bodily injury liability, one person: $25,000
- Minimum bodily injury liability, two or more people: $50,000
- Minimum property damage liability: $20,000
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000/$50,000
Uninsured/under-insured motorist is a provision that will protect you if you’re involved in an accident with either type of driver.
You may be fined $100 to $1,000, be sentenced to 90 days in jail, and your license and registration may be suspended for driving without insurance. Though it’s not the case in most states, this coverage is an Illinois requirement.
Basic Information on Optional Coverages in Illinois
As is the case in virtually every other state, there’s a wide range of optional coverages available to add to your policy in Illinois. The most popular include:
While the personal property damage portion of a car insurance policy covers the cost of repairs to the other driver’s vehicle when you are determined to be at fault, it will not cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.
You can add collision coverage specifically for that purpose.
If you have a loan or a lease on your vehicle, this coverage will be required by your lender.
This provision will cover your vehicle for damage sustained while it is parked.
This includes theft, damage from falling objects, and weather-related hazards, like storm damage, or collisions with animals.
It’s typically paired with collision, and a deductible is added to lower the premium cost.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
If your vehicle is stolen or totaled in an accident this provision can help you cover the loss by paying off the lease or loan.
It’s required by lenders on cars with loans greater than 80% of the vehicle’s value, but it is recommended if you believe you owe more on your car than it’s worth.
MedPay (medical payments)
MedPay offers medical and funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident up to $25,000, no matter who's at fault.
This provides you and your passengers with coverage of medical expenses if your health insurance limits are exceeded.
Tips to Get the Best Rates on Illinois Car Insurance Policies
Below are the most popular strategies to get the best rates on car insurance in Illinois:
The biggest factor in determining your premium will be your driving history.
Keeping a clean driving history for 3 or more years will provide you with the best rates available.
Complete a safe driver course
If you have driving infractions or an at-fault accident, completing an approved safe driver course could put you on a better track with your rate.
Most insurance companies provide this option, including discounts on your rate once the course is completed.
The difference in price based on the company you decide to go with can have a huge impact on your premium.
As shown above, the same premium could be thousands of dollars less or more based on the company you choose.
Find the right balance of coverage based on a price that will match your needs.
Too much could have you overpaying, while too little could have you paying for any out-of-pocket costs.
Look for discounts
Most insurance companies will offer discounts on your premium. It’s best to compare companies and their requirements for those discounts.
You may find that you qualify for multiple discounts based on the premium you choose and the factors that go into it.
A clean record for two or three years will ensure that you get the best rate for your premium.
Once again, drivers with poor credit can end up paying 87% more than drivers with good credit in Illinois.
Lower rates in Illinois can make it easy to find the right premium. However, it’s still important to find the right amount of coverage to keep yourself protected.
Too little coverage can lead to unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.
That’s why it’s important to achieve the right balance between coverage and your premium payment.