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Car Insurance in Illinois

Illustration of Car Insurance in Illinois

More than eight million licensed drivers take to the roads and highways of Illinois every year. The state, which has more than four million registered vehicles, has averaged a little more than 1,000 car crashes in recent years. Car insurance providers know this and what it means, and so should you. With so many drivers on the road, the risk of a car crash can only increase. And that’s a fact that reflects on your premiums.

As an Illinois driver, you are required to have 25/50/20 car insurance coverage, at minimum. Below, we address some of the most crucial elements of car insurance that you need to know, including general car insurance insights and information on the major types of car insurance. Continue reading to learn how car insurance works and how you can find affordable car insurance in Illinois.


Get Low-Cost Illinois Auto Insurance

Quick Facts

    • Average premiums for full coverage in Illinois: $1,303
    • Average premiums for the legal minimum in Illinois: $104
    • Illinois drivers with a clean record and no claims history qualify for a 10% to 30% good driver discount
    • The legal minimum of coverage is liability coverage with limits of 25/50/20
    • Illinois is an at-fault state
    • Illinois roads may not be the deadliest, but they’re also not the safest, with roughly 951 fatal crashes reported in 2018 and around 938 fatal crashes reported in 2019
    • In 2019, 186 fatal crashes in Illinois were caused by unlicensed drivers

How Much Is Car Insurance in Illinois?

What Is the Average Premium in Illinois for Full Coverage Car Insurance?

The average premium in Illinois for full coverage car insurance is $1,303 a year. Although higher than the national average, which is about $1,548, Illinois premiums are not nearly the country’s highest. That title alternates between Michigan and Louisiana, whose drivers could be paying more than $2,700 a year.

How Much Is It for Just the Minimum Required Car Insurance in Illinois?

The average price for the mandatory minimum car insurance coverage in Illinois is around $854. That’s just a little more than half of the cost of full coverage.

At first, that sounds like a great deal. However, paying the least amount for the least coverage is a precarious situation for many drivers who don’t have enough cash savings to cover themselves and others if they wind up in an accident. Because Illinois is an at-fault state, drivers who cause a crash must compensate other drivers for their losses. That’s why Illinois drivers must insure against losses for both themselves and others. Otherwise, they may have to pay additional expenses out of pocket.

How Do Rates Compare Across Major Cities in Illinois?

More than 12 million Americans call Illinois home. The state known as the Land of Lincoln is the sixth-largest in the U.S., with Springfield as its capital. Bustling Chicago sits in northeastern Illinois, with small industrial and agricultural cities also dotting the landscape. The southern half of the state has bountiful natural resources, with towns and cities invested in coal, timber, and petroleum production. Here’s a look at the average car insurance premiums that Illinois drivers pay across the state.

City Population Average Rate
Cicero 80,796 $1,773
Chicago 2,693,976 $1,711
Berwyn 54,391 $1,661
Decatur 70,746 $1,238
Bloomington 77,330 $1,168
Peoria 110,417 $1,283
Naperville 148,449 $1,273
Skokie 62,700 $1,687
Springfield 114,230 $1,033
Rockford 145,609 $1,340

Is There a Good Driver Discount in Illinois?

Good driver discounts are available to all Illinois drivers through their insurers, with reductions factored in as:

    • Policy discounts that reward customer loyalty. This includes registering for paperless billing, for example, or getting both home and auto policies from the same insurer
    • Driver discounts that are available to those who are lower risk to insure, like experienced drivers with clean driving histories
    • Vehicle discounts, which help drivers save money if their vehicles have certain safety features, for example, or anti-theft systems

Your Illinois insurer may consider other factors in calculating your discount, including your employment, where you live, and your marital status. So, if you’re married, own a home, and are employed by a specific company or educational institution, you might see your premium drop significantly because you qualify for a nice discount.

Depending on their auto policy and driving record, Illinois residents who are 55 and older are typically eligible for insurance discounts that range between $20 and $150 a year if they complete a driver safety class.

Illinois Car Insurance Laws

Ensuring drivers are safe on the road is the top concern of Illinois Consumer Auto Insurance law, and so is making sure drivers are offered a fair pricing balance between car insurance providers and policyholders.

Auto insurance protects you from financial losses such as vehicle repairs, medical bills, and legal services that result from a crash you caused.

Illinois Mandatory Insurance law §625 ILCS 5/7-601 requires that all motor vehicle owners have minimum amounts of auto liability insurance. Under this law, lending institutions may also require physical damage insurance to protect their interest in a financed vehicle.

What Are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois?

Illinois is an at-fault state, which means that the driver who causes a crash must pay for the other driver’s collision bills. The negligent driver’s insurance may also cover their own damages, depending on what their coverage options are.

Per Illinois Mandatory Insurance Law §625 ILCS 5/7-601, drivers must carry the minimum liability insurance for any vehicle registered in the state. The minimum coverage Illinois requires its drivers to carry is 25/50/20, or:

    • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident that you cause,
    • $50,000 total for all injuries or deaths in an accident that you cause, and
    • $20,000 for damage to the property of another person in an accident that you cause.

The best way to keep your car insurance premium costs down is to select basic coverage. However, choosing the lower cost option is not always the best option. If you’re involved in a serious crash on any highway or city street in Illinois, costs could go over the lower coverage limits you’ve chosen. Remember, you’re responsible for anything over the basic limits.

What Factors Does Illinois Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?

Drivers who want cheap car insurance want to know how their premiums are calculated. If you know what goes into a calculation, you can hope to control where your rate lands.

There are many common data points insurance providers use in determining an appropriate car insurance rate for you, including age, education, occupation, and zip code. In Illinois, the criteria typically used are:

    These criteria might also include:

    • Your age, gender, and marital status
    • Your coverage limits
    • The type of vehicle you drive, how often you drive, and its annual mileage
    • Where you live

Combined with shopping around for car insurance quotes, you can influence your premiums by adjusting or improving any of the above factors.

What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois?

Auto insurance is not an option in the state of Illinois. Drivers must carry the minimum amount of coverage, or they’ll face stiff penalties. A first-time offender can expect:

    • A $500 to $1,000 fine
    • Have their license suspended, with a $100 fee to have it reinstated
    • Be required to have SR-22 insurance for at least three years

Repeat offenders would face higher fines along with an additional $1,000 fine if their vehicle’s plates were suspended after a previous violation.

Driving uninsured and driving without proof of insurance are both violations. Not having proof when asked for it during a traffic stop or accident is an administrative violation akin to driving without a seat belt. Both will result in a fine. Always be sure to have proof of insurance on you and in your car.

Driving uninsured, though, is much more costly.

Even if you are in an accident you didn’t cause; you can still be cited for violating car insurance law if you can’t prove you have insurance. You’ll likely be charged a fine and penalized on your driving record. You also won’t have an insurance provider to advocate on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Instead, you’ll be responsible for retrieving your compensation, which could take weeks or months.

There are more complications for uninsured drivers in Illinois. Under Illinois’ Code of Civil Procedure §735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the state has adopted modified comparative negligence as the standard for recovery of damages.

Under modified comparative negligence, an injured party may recover damages only if they are less than 50% at fault for the injury or damages. However, the recovered amount may be reduced in proportion to the degree that the injured party was at fault.

Say, for example, that the other driver is found to be 80% at fault and you were found to be 20% at fault. In this case, you can collect damages because you were less than 50% at fault. Consequently, the other driver’s insurance company would offer to pay 80% of your damages.

Driving without insurance and causing an accident will put a driver in an even worse situation. The driver will have to pay fines associated with violating Illinois’ insurance law. Because Illinois is an at-fault state, the uninsured driver will also be responsible for the injuries and damages they’ve caused to themselves and the others involved. This could mean expensive medical and repair bills.

Not having insurance is a very risky position no driver should be in. For your safety and the safety of other drivers, you should have basic coverage if you plan to drive in Illinois.

Am I Required to Report an Accident in Illinois to Authorities?

The short answer is yes. If someone is injured or killed due to a car accident you are involved in, you must typically report the incident within 24 hours.

According to Illinois Statute §625 ILCS 5/11-408, all crash reports taken by law enforcement must be submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation “within 10 days after investigation of the motor vehicle accident.”

Not reporting an accident is a misdemeanor. Failure to report a “reportable” accident could land you in jail for up to six months and lasso you with fines of $1,000 or more.

In such cases of injury or death, you will also need to inform the DMV. If no one is injured, but there is more than $1,000 worth of damages to vehicles or property, you will need to notify the DMV within 10 days.

Generally, there are no state laws that require you to inform your insurer about an accident; however, most providers have stipulations within their policies that require you to report any accidents. If you do not report within the timely manner laid out in the policy, then the insurer may have the right to cancel your policy. Likely, they will require a report within 24 to 48 hours.

Informing your insurance provider can work in your favor. Insurers want to get ahead of any claims that may come out of your accident. To offer the best defense, they need to be informed as soon as possible. They can even help file the proper reporting paperwork with the state.

What Is an Illinois Motorist Report SR-1 350M?

An Illinois Motorist Report SR-1 350M is completed by the driver who caused a crash that resulted in bodily injury, death, or property damage. It includes driver and vehicle identification information, diagrams to indicate the type of vehicle damage sustained, tow and insurance information, and descriptions of property damage and bodily injuries. An accident diagram and narrative must also be included with this report.

What Is Driving Like in Illinois?

How Many Car Accidents Happen in Illinois?

Sadly, car accidents are the leading cause of most unintentional deaths in Illinois. According to the state statistics, 938 fatal crashes were reported in 2019, resulting in 1,010 deaths. That number is slightly lower from previous years — down 1.37% compared to 2018, which saw 951 fatal crashes statewide, and down 6.19% compared to figures for 2017, which saw 998 fatal crashes.

Here’s a look at the total number of accidents in Illinois’ largest counties in 2018.

County Accidents
Cook 326,633
Lake 27,439
DuPage 41,419
Will 28,735
Kane 21,237

These numbers are frustrating because many of these accidents could have easily been prevented. In 2018, 252 drivers and passengers were killed in fatal crashes across the state because they were not wearing a seat belt. Even more disturbing, of the 951 fatal crashes that happened in Illinois in 2018, 27% were alcohol-related. Help keep Illinois’ roads and highways safe by buckling up and not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Every year, hundreds of drivers and passengers across the U.S. survive serious crashes, walking away with injuries. Be prepared. Ask yourself: What does surviving mean for your personal recovery, financial stability, and recouping your losses?

How Many Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Are in Illinois?

In 2019, Illinois reported that roughly 11.8% of its drivers are on the road without insurance. Running the risk of being involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist isn’t worth it. Uninsured Motorist Insurance coverage will keep you protected.

FAQs About Illinois Car Insurance

I am a low-income driver. What can I do about getting cheap car insurance in Illinois?

Illinois law requires that all drivers have insurance, but it may be too expensive for certain groups of people to get the mandatory minimum.

Illinois drivers who cannot find affordable car insurance might want to consider the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan, managed by the Automobile Insurance Plans Service Office (AIPSO), a nonprofit management company.

Can an undocumented worker get cheap car insurance in Illinois?

Yes. Illinois allows undocumented workers to obtain a temporary visitor driver’s license for undocumented, non-visa status individuals. This license is valid for three years and is typically issued only in a Class D, L, M, DL, or DM, authorizing operation of a personal car, motorcycle, or motor-driven cycle.

Applicants between the ages of 18 and 20 must present proof of successful completion of a six-hour adult driver education and training course.

To be eligible for this license, an applicant must:

  • Present acceptable documentation to show proof of Illinois residency for the prior 12 months
  • Provide two acceptable documents for proof of current U.S. residency
  • Be ineligible for a Social Security number
  • Provide acceptable documentation that proves date of birth and verification of written signature
  • Provide a valid passport or consular identification card
  • Pay the appropriate fee and successfully complete a vision screening and the appropriate written and road tests

Applicants must also provide proof of insurance coverage for the vehicle they will be driving during the road test.

Is it possible to get cheap car insurance in Illinois with a DUI mark on my record?

Yes, but you may have to find another insurance provider. Because having a DUI mark on your record makes you a high-risk driver, your insurer may either cancel your policy or raise your rate dramatically. You’ll need to obtain coverage from an insurer that specializes in high-risk policies.

Get an Illinois Car Insurance Quote Today!

Photo of a highway with dozens of moving vehicles and the Chicago skyline in the back.
Insurance is more than just a legal requirement. It’s an inexpensive way to protect yourself from the tremendous risks of daily driving in Illinois. Don’t let yourself get bogged down with substantial medical expenses and car repair bills that often result from collisions. Get started with a quote online, visit us at an Illinois office near you, or call us at (800) 777-5620 for a quote.

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