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Every driver wants to pay less for car insurance, but finding cheap rates in Illinois requires a lot of research. There are dozens of companies offering all types of discounts for various driver types, and comparing all the options can be a major hassle. At PennyGeeks, we wanted to take the headache out of saving on monthly car insurance premiums. We compared quotes from several top providers to find the most affordable rates.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Illinois
Comparing auto insurance policies from different carriers is your best bet for securing the cheapest rates. Below, you’ll find a list of recommendations for common types of policyholder profiles:
|Drivers in the Military
|Low Annual Mileage
|Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront
|Drivers with a DUI
Best Car Insurance Companies in Illinois
We took into account customer reviews and complaint data to find the state’s best insurance providers. The table below summarizes the results of our study:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois
If you live in Illinois, you are legally required to purchase car insurance that would cover $25,000 for bodily injuries per person, $50,000 for bodily injuries per wreck, and $20,000 for damage to property. Uninsured motorist coverage is also required with minimum limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash.
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Illinois
Illinois authorities may request to see proof of your insurance policy on two occasions: when a law enforcement officer asks to see it, and when you receive an Illinois insurance questionnaire, issued by the Secretary of State, asking for the details of your insurance policy.
You may use your insurance identification card – which you must carry in your vehicle at all times while driving – or a copy of the declaration page of your policy as proof of insurance.
When you are caught driving while uninsured for the first or second time, you could be fined between $500 and $1,000, and your driver’s license and registration could be suspended for up to three months. If you are convicted of driving without insurance again while your license is suspended, you will have your driving privileges suspended for another six months.
The third time you are caught driving without proof of insurance, you will be considered a repeat offender and must serve a four-month suspension of your license plates and file proof of financial responsibility by carrying an SR22 certificate for three years.
You maybe be able to have your fines reduced if this was your first conviction, and can show you have purchased the proper insurance by the time you appear in court.
Illinois Car Insurance FAQs
What Additional Auto Insurance Coverage Can I Buy in Illinois?
Mandatory liability coverage is designed to ensure you have the financial means to pay for the damages you cause in a crash. But the minimum limits will not extend to covering your own costs, such as medical bills and vehicle damage.
This is why licensed car insurers offer other forms of car insurance to protect the first party, such as:
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance covers you when the other driver is considered at-fault, yet is underinsured, and unable to cover the full extent of your medical expenses.
- Collision coverage pays for the costs of your car’s repairs when it is damaged in a crash. Bear in mind that you may need to pay a deductible – or out-of-pocket amount – before this coverage applies.
- Comprehensive coverage protects you from car repair expenses stemming from causes other than collisions. Some insurers may be reluctant to offer you collision cover unless you also carry comprehensive insurance.
- Medical payments will compensate you for your own medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. In some other states, this coverage is known as personal injury protection (PIP).
- Uninsured motorist property damage applies when you are involved in a crash that is caused by a driver who is uninsured and covers property damage you suffer in the accident.
What Is the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan?
Drivers with long histories of traffic violations can find it difficult to secure even the minimum amounts of car insurance in Illinois, as insurers are often wary of taking on the risk of making large or regular payouts. Created in 1940, the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan (ILAIP) ensures these high-risk drivers are able to get the insurance they need in order to drive legally.
The ILAIP places high-risk drivers in a residual pool before assigning them to insurance companies. All insurance companies in Illinois are mandated to accept a quota of high-risk drivers from the ILAIP, determined by their share of the market.
Who Is Eligible for the ILAIP?
You will only be eligible for insurance through the ILAIP if you can prove you have attempted to purchase car insurance within the past 60 days, and have been unable to either secure any coverage or have only been offered coverage at rates higher than those issued by the plan.
Your driver’s license will need to be valid, and your car registration will also need to be up to date. In addition to these, you will not be eligible for coverage through the ILAIP if you owe an outstanding premium for a previous insurance coverage policy during the past 36 months.
Once your application for insurance through the ILAIP is approved, you will be assigned an insurer, who will need to cover you for three consecutive years. Your designated insurer must sell you at least the minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage cover and offer you the option of purchasing additional coverage.
If you are assigned a policy under the terms of the ILAIP, you may find your premiums are significantly higher than they would be under normal circumstances. When the mandatory three-year period expires, your ILAIP-assigned insurer may choose to continue your insurance under the terms of a new policy – and if you can prove you have adjusted your driving habits enough to become a safer, more responsible, low-risk driver, you may be able to negotiate for lower rates.
What If I Am Caught Driving Without Insurance After an Accident?
If you are involved in a car accident in Illinois that causes deaths, bodily injuries, or more than $1,500 of property damage, you must file a crash report. If you cause bodily harm to another person in an accident and are convicted of driving uninsured, you will face fines of up to $2,500, a license plate suspension of four months, and have to pay $100 to have your license reinstated.
When Can an Illinois Insurance Company Cancel My Policy?
The first 60 days of your new car insurance policy is a time to be extra careful while on the road. During this time, your car insurance company may cancel your policy for almost any reason.
After those 60 days, however, your insurance company may only cancel your policy if you:
- Fail to pay your premium;
- Violate of your policy’s terms; or
- Have obtained your insurance with false information.
If your insurance company does choose to cancel your policy they must notify you by mail at least 10 days before they do so, if it is the result of failure to pay your premium, or at least 30 days before the date of cancelation for any other reason.
How Do Car Insurance Companies Determine Premiums in Illinois?
Illinois car insurance companies may take a variety of factors into consideration when calculating how much you will pay in premiums, including:
- Your age, gender, and marital status;
- The safety of the area in which you live;
- Your car’s age, make, and model;
- Your average mileage;
- Your credit score;
- Your deductible, or the amount you must pay towards a claim out of your own pocket; and
- Your driving record – including your history of violations.
My Insurance Premium Has Just Gone Up – Why?
Understanding how your premium is calculated in the first place is just the first step. To keep it at that level, or better yet, have it reduced further, you will need to avoid risky driving behaviors and keep your insurance policy updated. Insurers might increase your premium if you:
- Are caught violating the laws of the road;
- Cause an accident that results in damage or injuries;
- Are over the age of 70;
- Allow your policy to lapse;
- Move to a new area; or
- Suffer a drop in your credit score.
What Are the Most Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Illinois?
A car crash is a serious event that can have long-lasting and far-ranging effects. How you behave in the immediate aftermath of an accident is essential: doing the wrong thing can land you in serious trouble, and have an impact on your insurance compliance status.
Remember to follow these 6 crucial steps after a crash in Illinois:
- Stay at the scene until the authorities have arrived;
- Check all affected drivers and passengers for injuries and help where you can;
- Exchange your contact and insurance details with the police and the other drivers;
- Approach all potential witnesses for a record of what occurred;
- Document the scene, in the form of notes or photographs; and
- Notify your car insurance agent or company immediately.
What Are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Illinois?
Illinois doesn’t take impaired driving lightly; in fact, even first-time offenders can be sentenced to as much as one year in jail (and fines) upon conviction, in addition to fines and other penalties. Impaired driving is both a criminal offense and an administrative matter, meaning there will be a charge against you and your driver’s license and both matters must be adjudicated.
As in other states, the “per se” blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent in Illinois. This means that anyone with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol and subject to arrest for a DUI. If you’re under the drinking age (21), any trace of alcohol greater than 0.00 percent is considered an offense.
Alcohol is just one substance that can cause impairment. Driving under the influence of drugs, even those that are legally prescribed, also is a crime. Furthermore, an officer who witnesses erratic driving or other signs of impairment can arrest you even if your BAC is below the legal threshold and no other substances are detected.
Upon conviction of your first offense, your license will be suspended for at least six months. However, first-time offenders may apply for a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID), which allows you to start your car once you prove your sobriety (specifically, a BAC below 0.05 percent) by providing a breath sample to the device. Prior to having a BAIID installed on your vehicle, you’ll need to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).
How Does a DUI Offense Impact Car Insurance Rates?
If you’ve committed a DUI, you’ll be considered “high risk” by auto insurers. As such, your insurance rates will almost certainly go up significantly, perhaps even doubling. And while insurance companies all have their own approach to assessing a driver’s risk, they generally look at a driver’s record for the past three to five years.
Offenders will be required to provide an SR-22 form to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office in order to have their driving privileges reinstated. This form proves to the state that you’ve acquired the necessary minimum insurance coverage.
By the Numbers: Car Accidents in Illinois
1,082 people were killed in car accidents in Illinois in 2016, according to figures published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Between 2003 and 2012, 3,866 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.