Car Insurance Done the SMARTWAY™
You’re a smart, savvy shopper. We get that. You don’t visit the airport when you need to book a trip, you use TripAdvisor.com or Expedia.com. Car insurance is no different. We’ll help you quickly figure out who offers the best car insurance in Illinois for your smart, savvy self.
We are carrier-neutral because our customer is you. Have no fear of the unknown after reviewing the data points provided here, especially when purchasing car insurance for the first time. You will be armed and prosperous! And then you can get on with your life. We get that, too. So, let’s do this…quickly!
Illinois Auto Insurance Rates
You’re on the go and don’t have time to answer our questions. Don’t worry, we’ve still got you. Below are the top three auto insurance companies in your state, all things considered (see the full list).
- COUNTRY Financial
- The Hartford
- State Farm
Some things considered. Where can I find the cheapest car insurance in Illinois? Which insurance company offers the best coverage? Which is the most popular in my area? Who has the most rejected claims or repeat business?
Click on your city to compare auto insurance rates where you live! Don’t see your city listed? Start comparing rates instantly.
You’re on your way to finding a great car insurance rate, but what else do you need to know? Illinois auto insurance comes with its own unique set of laws. You are not only a smart, savvy shopper but a good citizen, so we have outlined the most important driving and insurance laws in Illinois for you.
Illinois Driving Safety Stats
- Don't drink and drug and drive
- Don't cell phone and drive
- Don’t anything-that-might-cause-distracted-driving and drive
Driving in Illinois with a blood alcohol content (including that from medications) at or below the set limits WILL put you at risk of being arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences are real, and they are as harsh as you would suspect. Visit our FAQ to learn the limits and possible consequences of a DUI conviction or refusal to submit a chemical test.
Texting and driving in Illinois can also have extreme consequences. Watch this video with your family to understand that what we often think is just a safe, quick glance could mean permanent damage, our own death or even homicide. The fact is, a one-second glance away from the road is what the Journal of Adolescent Health has deemed safe, but the average text message takes five seconds. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t text and drive either.
While it might seem like all of these driving laws go without saying, the statistics tell us otherwise. SmartFinancial encourages you to avoid all non-driving activities while driving. Keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe by limiting your road activities strictly to driving while driving.
Do it because it’s your social responsibility, and because Oprah said so! Take the “no phone zone” or #itcanwait pledge and share this information with your social networks.
With more than 305,842 miles of scenic road to cover, there is a large amount of driving being done in Illinois. Here’s how you can do your part to “drive green.”
Car Insurance Laws
Being a Minimalist
You like to keep it simple, and so do we! Just don’t go too minimalist and skip the auto insurance altogether (see our FAQ for more information). In Illinois, you are legally required to obtain liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. Both are for your protection if you are deemed “at fault” in an accident that causes injury and lost wages to another driver or passengers in another vehicle (whether or not the other driver is insured or is underinsured). Liability coverage pays up to the amounts listed below.* It also pays for damages to the other driver’s vehicle. Trust us, you’d want this coverage even if it wasn’t legally required!
Since Illinois is a “fault” or “tort” state, your carrier will pay for accident damages only once you are found responsible for causing the accident. You can also be sued by the other driver if found at fault. Consider this: $20,000 is the maximum payment for property damage in Illinois but you collide with a $35,000 vehicle. If you are found at fault, you are on the hook for any damages beyond $20,000. Between this and the high cost of medical care, we recommend you carry more than the minimum required coverage!
*Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance requires a minimum motorist bodily injury coverage (max. payout) of $25,000 per person and $50,000 total per accident. This does not cover property damage.
Max. payment for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
Max. payment for all injuries that you cause in an accident when more than one person is hurt.
Max. payment for damaged property in an accident caused by you.
Maximizing your Return on Investment
While not legally required, drivers can also elect to carry full coverage insurance. For more information, read the SmartFinancial blog 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.
Since you are smart and savvy, you should know that there are instances where your lender will require you to carry one of the optional coverages listed below (typically collision and comprehensive).
Optional coverage in Illinois
- Gap Coverage
- Loan/Lease Payoff
- Medical Payments and Funeral Services
- Rental Car Reimbursement
- Roadside Assistance
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
- Windshield Replacement
*Coverage for those who cannot afford or have otherwise been denied) auto insurance in Illinois is available through the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan (ILAIP). For a list of requirements, visit ILAIP’s website.
Illinois car insurance companies
*Ratings for the North Central Region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) in order of consumer rating as documented in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, which examined five key customer service areas: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims. USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families, and therefore, is not included in the rankings.
Car Safety for Illinois Kids
Illinois Car Seat Regulations
The Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act requires that all kids under the age of 8 be properly secured in a Federally approved car seat or booster seat. Up to age 1 and 20 pounds, babies should ride in a rear-facing car seat. It should be installed in the back seat; if a back seat is unavailable, the front passenger seat may be used, provided it doesn’t have an enabled airbag.
It’s safest to continue using the rear-facing car seat up to age 2, or whenever the child reaches the manufacturer’s weight and height limit. Then, use a front-facing car seat with a harness system until the child reaches its size limit. After that, a belt-positioning booster seat is appropriate.
The booster seat should be used until the child outgrows its size limit, although under State law it’s only required up to age 8. However, children can’t usually be properly restrained by a vehicle’s built-in seat belts until reaching 4′ 9” tall. At this height, kids can sit up straight in the seat with their knees bent over the front, with the shoulder strap crossing their shoulder and chest and the lap belt passing over their upper thighs.
Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle
It’s against the law in Illinois to knowingly endanger a minor. It’s also against the law to leave a child 6 or younger unsupervised in a vehicle by someone who’s at least 14 years old for more than 10 minutes. A first-time violation of this law is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and 1 year’s imprisonment.
Children are at risk of injury, abduction, violence, hypothermia, and hyperthermia when left alone in a vehicle. Interior temperatures can reach extreme levels and become dangerous—even potentially fatal—in under half an hour. Don’t leave kids (or pets) unattended in a vehicle.
Car Insurance FAQ
Will my credit score be used to obtain car insurance in Illinois?
Yes and, unfortunately, car insurance companies in your state do not have to reveal to you how they are going about setting your rate. Here are a few things you can do to keep your rate down.
Is there a good-driver discount in Illinois?
It is always best to ask you selected car insurance company about good-driver and other discounts to obtain cheap auto insurance in Illinois! Possible discounts include:
- Good driver
- Good student
- Defensive driver
- Safety device
For more ways to obtain cheap car insurance in Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Insurance website.
Can I use my digital insurance card in Illinois?
Yes! Thanks to Bill SB1775, getting pulled over in Illinois is slightly less panicky since you don’t have to locate the hard copy of your insurance card for the officer. BUT, be mindful of unlocking your phone to access your digital insurance card before the officer has determined whether you were cell-phoning and driving!
What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Illinois?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is a required coverage in Illinois!
What happens if I don’t have insurance or my coverage lapses?
Since liability insurance is a minimum requirement in your state (and most others), there are penalties for being caught driving without it. The fines are as high as $1,000 according to the Illinois Secretary of State, so don’t take the chance!
What are Illinois' blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages limits under the driving under the influence (DUI) laws?
It is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle in Illinois with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ @ 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.01%+ @ < 21 years old
What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Illinois?
Refusal to submit to a chemical test leads to a 12 month driver’s license suspension in Illinois on the first offense, 36 months in subsequent offenses.
What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI in Illinois?
If convicted of a DUI, say goodbye to being financially savvy, and quite possibly, to your freedom. If arrested, you’ll face varying degrees of jail time, fines, driver’s license suspensions, community service, DUI school and reinstatement requirements. The financial obligations extend beyond the DUI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, SR-22 filing and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle.
For more information on Illinois’ drinking and driving laws, refer to the Illinois State Police website.
What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Illinois?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage!