Illinois has car insurance rates close to the national average. Our research found that the overall average cost of insurance in Illinois is about $1100 compared to about $1300 across the country. We researched the cheapest insurers in Illinois to see how you can save money on car insurance.
We sampled information from a number of sources and developed a range of what cheap car insurance usually costs per year in Illinois. We based these samples on a driver with at least a decade of driving experience, a clean driving record, driving one of America’s most popular, non-exotic vehicles.
The important thing to remember is that insurance rates can vary widely, and prices can change almost daily. This range is only a GUIDE to give you a basic idea about the rates insurance companies charge today in New Jersey.
DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2020 to get a better idea.
In Car Talk’s deep dive on affordable car insurance, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,341. In Illinois, depending on what city and county you live in, you’re probably going to be paying a bit less. Our prior research also revealed that the overall average is about $1100 in the Prairie State.
|Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) online||Average (annual)||Adjusted average* (annual)|
|USAA**||$1326, $951, $443||$906||N/A|
|State Farm||$1200, $981, $1092, $495||$942||$1036|
|Travelers||$971, $1049, $1007||$1009||N/A|
|GEICO||$1895, $829, $741, $981||$1112||$905|
(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.
(**) You may need to be, or have been a service member to apply.
Let’s start by asking, “Why is insurance expensive in Illinois in the first place.” Well, it is only expensive if you live in one of the high-premium locations in the state. Cass County residents pay about 25% more than residents of Coles or Livingston. You could move, but that comes with costs of its own.
Crashing your car means you win the bet. You just beat your insurer who was betting that you would not crash. Now you have to pay up going forward. The house always wins. If you play bumper cars with another motorist, your insurance rate is going to go up. Exactly how much is known only to the insurer you have. Illinois is one of the majority states that uses a “fault” system. That can actually help reduce costs overall. But it can also mean costly lawsuits.
Here are the best estimates we could find from various sources on how much one accident will raise your policy premium in Illinois;
|Range of Rate Increases for One Accident||Average of Rate Increases||Adjusted Average of Rate Increases|
|33%, 33%, 42%, 29%||34%||38%|
This information is just an approximation. Many factors can change how much your insurance goes up after you have one accident. For example, if you’ve paid more in your annual insurance cost to be a part of an accident forgiveness program, your increase for one accident is nothing, but your overall cost of insurance is higher every year than if you hadn’t. Almost all of the insurers on our list above of cheap insurance providers, and many others, offer this option which was popularized by Allstate.
If you drive like Jake and Elmo your insurer is going to raise your rates. How much the sting will be in Illinois varies based on the type of ticket and the severity of the offense.
Here is the data we could dig up on the percent increase range a ticket will raise your car insurance policy premium in Colorado;
|Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding Violation||Average of Rate Increases||Adjusted Average of Rate Increases|
|16%, 25%, 21%, 9%||18%||19%|
The most significant discount you can realize in Illinois is to move to a location with lower rates. Even just being outside of the downtown area can help. Move to a county or city or town with lower claim rates and you may save as much as 30% per year. We looked at the comparative costs of insurance in Illinois and found that a move from Chicago to Springfield would likely save a driver 25%. But moving comes with a lifestyle change many are not willing to make.
The easier way to manage your insurance costs is to avoid crashing and getting traffic tickets. And your car and phone apps can help. Avoiding accidents has gotten easier in recent years as vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems have become the norm, even in affordable vehicles like the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. Ironically, insurers don’t discount cars with those systems yet because they cost a lot to repair (so they say…)
Avoiding speeding tickets in Illinois is harder than in some states. The speed limit in Texas on a lonely state highway is as much as 20 MPH higher than in Illinois. However, apps like Google Maps Waze to help you know where the speed traps are and warn you to slow down.
We also have an entire story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. Some of the more common meaningful discounts relate to low mileage driving, bundling with your home owner’s policy, and carrying high deductibles. Students take note: Many insurers will offer good students a discount. Parents take note: If your kid is at college more than 100 miles away you may see big savings.
Insurance is required by law in Illinois. To drive in Illinois, you must have at least $25,000 in liability coverage for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage per accident. This basic coverage is called 25/10/50. Almost no homeowner with any assets will buy just the basic coverage required by law. More typical is coverage on the order of 100/300/50. It seems unfair, but that’s the way it works when you have assets to protect
Nearly every state’s minimum is way too low. If you have a vehicle loan or lease, or own a home, you will find that you are required to carry higher levels of coverage to satisfy other agreements and responsibilities you have. Our focus in this story is on cheap car insurance.
Insurance rates vary greatly between carriers and even between policyholders. Our research showed that USAA and State Farm have the best rates. If you fall into any of the categories that bump up rates, you may be better off with a smaller carrier looking to exploit certain niches. If you are a service member, definitely cross-shop USAA.
There’s no tried-and-true rule for getting cheap car insurance. The best rates available to you will depend on where you live, your driving record, the coverage you need, the type of vehicle you own, and other factors like your credit score. Also, make the carrier aware of other memberships or special circumstances you have. If you’re a veteran, active military, senior citizen, or if you have a membership to an organization like AAA or AARP, you may be eligible for discounted or special rates.
Years ago, only a few companies offered online applications for their insurance policies, but that has changed in recent years. Almost all insurance carriers offer an online-only option to apply for coverage now, so it’s just a matter of shopping around. Data reported on multiple sources shows that USAA is still one of the most affordable options, but well-known insurance carriers State Farm aren’t far behind for many people.
Unsurprisingly, some car insurers have been called out by their customers for having poor customer service and in some cases unexpected rate changes. We recommend checking recent online reviews before you switch to a new carrier.
Unfortunately, yes. The Federal Trade Commission found that low credit scores were relatively accurate predictors of a driver’s risk for an accident. As a result, insurance companies will sometimes charge higher rates and have more restrictive coverage offerings for people with spotty credit histories. Illinois has one of the widest swings in car insurance cost from good to bad credit.
There is no state law in Illinois mandating low-income car insurance.
Full coverage costs vary by carrier. USAA and State Farm are among the cheapest full coverage providers in Illinois.
Illinois requires insurance by law. If you are unable to afford any coverage, the best option will be finding alternative transportation like Uber and Lyft.
One day insurance can be very helpful if you’re buying a car or moving a vehicle from one location or another. You can also buy temporary coverage and supplemental coverage for special activities like track days and off-roading.
Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete with each other for your business. You can also take advantage of any other memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts.
No. Lying about any part of your insurance application can result in lost coverage, uncovered accidents, or legal action.
Your age, marital status, the city or town you live in, your credit score, and your driving record all have an influence on what you pay for car insurance.
An older car is not always cheaper to insure. Insurance companies use complex algorithms with many factors to set a price. The value of the vehicle does matter.
It goes up. A lot. On the order of 20% for minor offenses and DUI convictions can be game changers. The insurance increases will likely be much more of a financial hit than the actual traffic fine.
Car insurance becomes expensive for people with spotty driving records, poor credit, or for those that live in extremely congested areas with other people that get into lots of accidents. Insurance is a numbers game, and companies are constantly trying to adjust their rates to match their perceived level of risk.
The best way to save is to compare multiple quotes. Start now.