At least 8.3 million licensed drivers hit the roads in Illinois, and each of them travel an average of 8,000 miles per year. With so many drivers on the road and thousands of traffic accidents each day, including serious and fatal injuries, it’s important to know the laws of the land and to be protected. No matter where you live and drive in the Prairie State, having adequate auto insurance coverage is essential. Before you hit the road for your next excursion, we’ve created a guide to help you find the best vehicle insurance in Illinois and know important state laws.
The Best Auto Insurance in Illinois
- Best For:AARP members at least 50 years oldRating:
Illinois Vehicle Insurance Minimum Requirements
Liability insurance is required for all motor vehicles in Illinois. With an average of 2 vehicles per household, the following insurance overview is helpful:
- Minimum state insurance requirements is as follows:
- $20,000 bodily injury per person per accident
- $40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $15,000 property damage liability
- $20,000/$40,000 underinsured motorist coverage
- $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- $15,000 with $250 deductible uninsured motorist property damage
- The average rate with a clean driving record is $803.64 per year.
Illinois Car Insurance Law
Illinois state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include expensive fines and even jail time. Under Illinois law, you can be held liable for expenses associated with property damage and medical costs, lost wages, and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
Illinois law requires carrying proof of Illinois auto insurance in your car and showing it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it.
If you can’t find your documents or refuse to show proof, it can result in a minimum fine of $500 and your license plates can be suspended for up to 4 months. Driving with a suspended registration can mean a $1,000 fine. Illinois randomly selects licensed drivers to verify that they have the minimum car insurance coverage. You will have 30 days to complete and return a form or face fines or suspension.
If you are caught driving uninsured or with a suspended license in Illinois, you can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and sentenced to up to 1 year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.
Illinois Traffic Laws You Should Know
Even if you’re just driving around the corner from home, not knowing Illinois road rules can be costly. Here are some traffic laws you should know:
Texting: Illinois bans texting for all drivers. No exceptions.
Cell phones: Talking on cell phones is illegal for newbie drivers, but adult drivers can use a hands-free device while driving except in a school or construction zone. You can use a hand-held phone in case of an emergency. A violation will cost a $75 fine.
Accidents caused by electronic devices: If you’re using a cell phone or any other electronic device and you cause an accident that injures or kills someone, you may face additional penalties.
Tossing cigarette butts: Throw that butt out the car window and risk a $1,500 littering ticket.
Speed limits: The speed limit on most Illinois highways has increased to 70 mph. But only about 30% of the state’s toll roads and spotty areas in Chicago have a 70 mph speed limit.
Child seats: Children younger than 2 should be strapped into a rear-facing car seat. If you’re caught without the correct car seat, you can face a $75 fine. Get caught twice and the fine increases to $200.
Dutch reach method: If you’re parallel parking, use your right hand to open the car door. Reaching across your body to open the driver door is the Dutch reach method. You avoid injuring a passing bicyclist who could slam into your car door if it’s opened too widely. So heed this new and unusual traffic law.
Illinois Vehicle Insurance Rates per Vehicle
The Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Malibu and Toyota Camry are the most popular vehicles in Illinois. Wherever you live, the type of vehicle you drive impacts your auto insurance rates. Auto insurers often develop vehicle safety ratings by collecting data from customer claims and analyzing auto industry safety reports.
Vehicles more susceptible to theft, damage and occupant injury have higher rates. Vehicles with lower theft rates and risks typically have lower insurance rates. In Illinois, reports show the 2003 Dodge Caravan, the 2007 Chevrolet Impala and the 2016 Nissan Altima are the most stolen.
Vehicle Insurance Rates by Insurance Credit Score
Your auto insurance rates are determined by your insurance credit score. Your insurance credit score is a derivative of your credit score. In Illinois, like in most states, insurance companies can use credit-based insurance scores to decide how much your premiums will be.
Lenders use your credit score to indicate how likely you are to be late repaying a loan or line of credit. Lenders use your insurance score or credit-based insurance score to predict risk or the likeliness of an insurance loss. Research suggests there is a correlation between credit characteristics and insurance losses.
An insurance carrier determines a credit-based score by using your zip code, age, make, model and age of your vehicle, previous claim history plus the number of miles you drive each year. FICO, which issues credit scores, reports that 95% of auto insurers and 85% of homeowner insurers use credit-based scores in states where it is a legal underwriting or risk classification factor.
Improving your credit-based score is like improving your FICO rating: make timely payments, stay current and catch up on late payments.
You can get a free annual credit report from the 3 credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit annualcreditreport.com to check each of your reports and correct any mistakes by individually contacting the bureaus. It can help raise your credit score.
Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record
The better your driving record, the cheaper your insurance rates will be. But good driving habits are about more than avoiding texting and driving, and remembering to brake when turning. It’s also important to drive defensively to avoid accidents.
Consider properly maintaining your vehicle a good driving habit. You can avoid accidents simply by checking your tire pressure, brakes and oil. Practicing good driving and maintenance habits may help you get cheaper standard and full coverage car insurance in Illinois.
Standard coverage is considered liability only, and covers only the damage you cause in an accident — not your vehicle. Full coverage that includes comprehensive and collision coverage. Full coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. Comprehensive coverage covers you in noncollision-related situations like fire, theft, weather-related incidents and damage from animals.
Full coverage is required if a vehicle is financed. If you don’t have it, you won’t get anything if your vehicle is severely damaged, totaled or stolen.
See the table below for average costs of Illinois vehicle insurance including minimum, standard and full coverage:
Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions
Even if you don’t have a great driving record, you may still be able to save money on your car insurance. The good news is your insurance rates might not dramatically increase with an infraction from an at-fault accident or speeding. But you’ll get hit hard with a serious infraction like a DUI.
So what could you expect to pay for car insurance in Illinois? See the table below for some examples:
Best Car Insurance Providers in Illinois
We’ve taken a look at insurance ratings, customer satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports national survey and J.D. Power’s regional evaluation. Here’s how Illinois insurance carriers measure up.
1. Best Overall: State Farm
Almost a 3rd of Illinois’ car insurance policies are covered by State Farm. That’s because the carrier can be counted on to pay out claims, and its outstanding financial strength ratings show it. State Farm received the highest ratings from A.M. Best, S&P Global and Moody’s, which means it can pay even in large-scale disasters like a hail or wind storm.
It also has a generous list of discounts —12 for Illinois — including multi-policy, accident-free discounts and the outstanding 50% off your premium for driving the speed limit and braking while turning while using OnStar or State Farm’s real-time monitoring.
2. Cheapest Vehicle Insurance in Illinois: Progressive
When price shopping for vehicle insurance, Progressive may give you the cheapest quote ever — $228 for 6 months of coverage. Like State Farm, Progressive offers a safe driving program and gives a discount based on your driving ability. The company says it will save you $130 per year on average.
While it doesn’t offer as many discounts as some other companies, it makes up the difference with its gap insurance. That will fill in the gap if your newer model car is totaled but is under lease or loan, and that’s a rarity in the insurance industry.
3. Best Coverage for Multiple Vehicles: Travelers
When coverage really matters for multiple vehicles, Travelers may be your best bet. Not only are its premium prices cheap, it offers a high number of discounts when compared to many other top auto insurance carriers. Its deductions are based on you, the driver.
For example, you can get 2%–3% off your monthly premium for using an electronic funds transfer to pay your bill. It also offers discounts like accident forgiveness and a wide range of coverage to protect you in ways that matter most.
4. Best for Military Personnel: USAA
USAA is the best insurance company for military families. It’s ranked highest for claims and overall experience in J.D. Power’s regional evaluation. Consumer Reports gives USAA 95 points on a 100-point scale and excellent ratings in all categories. USAA also has the strongest financial strength ratings from AM Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
Choosing the Right Car Insurance
You can find the best Illinois vehicle insurance by getting quotes from a number of top-rated and reliable carriers. Get a custom quote for an accurate rate tailored for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?
It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage. Get the coverage that makes sense for you here.
How does my personal credit play a role?
Insurance carriers run an insurance credit score to help determine policy premiums. As mentioned earlier, the two run close together. Your insurance rates will likely be lower if you have an excellent credit score. On the other hand, your insurance rates may be higher if you have a poor credit score. Insurance companies believe credit scores are an indicator of whether you’ll make your insurance payments on time and credit scores combined with other data can be predictive of risk. Check out the best companies for all credit scores now.
What kind of discounts are usually available?
The most common discounts available are multi-policy and auto-pay, but every company is different. Other discounts that are widely available are loyalty, good student and anti-theft device discounts. See our top providers with the best discounts and get a unique quote.
*Quotes were obtained using the following profile: base 2015 Toyota Camry, male, 40-years-old. Policies reflect state minimum coverage options. We make every effort to provide the most accurate quotes based on the profile above. Due to the many combined variables involved in insurance quotes, the only way to get an accurate quote is to enter your own information through our partners' secure websites.