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Illinois Car Insurance

Discover auto insurance requirements, the best companies, and how to get the lowest rates in Illinois.

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Illinois is the sixth-largest state by population. It’s also home to Chicago, the third-largest city in the country by population. In 2021, there were approximately 7.23 million registered passenger cars in the state. Even with all the people and cars in the state, Illinois drivers pay less on average for car insurance than the rest of the country.

In this article, you’ll learn about how car insurance works in Illinois. This includes a breakdown of how Illinois’ average auto insurance rates stack up against the US average. We’ll also explain specific car insurance laws and policies in Illinois.

Average Illinois Auto Insurance Rates

Your state’s average auto insurance rates are important to think about because they can help you get an idea of how much you can expect to pay. They can also paint a picture of how your state’s insurance prices rank against the rest of the country. This info can help you know if you should switch insurance to find a better deal or stay with the same company.

In the table below, you can see how Illinois’ average auto insurance rates match up with the national average. Drivers in Illinois pay less for every type of coverage. Their total price per month is also lower than the US average at $78.30.

CoverageIllinois AverageUS Average
Full Coverage$939.64$1070.47
Price Per Month$78.30$89.20
Note: cost totals are for one year of coverage. Data is from the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Average Full Coverage Rates

The graph below shows the change in average Illinois insurance rates from 2012 to 2019. Illinois car insurance rates increased from $731 in 2012 to $939 in 2019. This was an increase of $208, or 28%. Despite this rise, Illinois remains below the US average for auto insurance rates.

Illinois Average Auto Insurance Rates 2012-2019

Average Liability Coverage Rates

Below is a graph that shows Illinois’ average liability coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. Each year, Illinois’ average rates were lower than the national average. But they have been slowly increasing through the eight years, going from about $410 in 2012 to around $510 in 2019. This is possibly due to the large number of crashes that occur in the state. In 2019, there were 312,988 crashes. Meanwhile, in 2012, there were 274,111 accidents.

Illinois Average Liability Coverage Rates 2012-2019

Average Collision Coverage Rates

The graph below shows Illinois’ average collision coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. Like with liability insurance, Illinois’ average collision rates have stayed below the national average. But it has been steadily increasing each year. Rates went from about $275 in 2012 to $350 in 2019.

Illinois Average Collision Coverage Rates 2012-2019

Average Comprehensive Coverage Rates

Below is a graph displaying the average comprehensive auto coverage rates in Illinois from 2012 to 2019. Similar to the other graphs above, Illinois’ comprehensive rates have been lower than the US average throughout the eight years. Even still, rates have seen a steady increase, going from around $115 to about $145 from 2012 to 2019.

Illinois Average Comprehensive Coverage Rates 2012-2019

Illinois Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Almost all states require car insurance. Only New Hampshire and Virginia don’t require any insurance. Each state that requires auto insurance sets minimum requirements. This usually includes:

  • What type of coverage you need to have on your policy
  • How much of each coverage you need i.e., limits

Keep in mind that Illinois’ car insurance requirements are only the bare minimum. It’s always a good idea to add as much coverage as you can afford. If the costs of an accident go over your policy, you could end up paying out of pocket.

Liability Insurance

Illinois requires you to have liability insurance on your policy. This covers any damages or injuries that you cause to other parties in an accident. Illinois requires you to carry at least:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) for the injury or death of one person in a car accident you caused
  • $50,000 of BIL for all injuries or deaths in an accident you caused
  • $20,000 per accident property damage liability (PDL)

Find the Best Car Insurance in Illinois

Compare quotes among leading car insurance companies to get better coverage and lower rates.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM and UIM)

Illinois also requires you to carry UM and UIM coverage on your policy. This type of coverage protects you from having to pay out of pocket if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The state requires drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage (UM) with limits of at least:

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident

Remember that you’ll only need to buy underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage if you buy higher limits of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM).

Per the III, Illinois ranks 18th in the nation for uninsured motorists. This means that, while most drivers have the required liability coverage, 13.7% do not.

Valid Proof of Insurance

To drive in Illinois, you must carry valid proof of insurance in your car or on you at all times. If the police pull you over or if you get into an accident, you’ll need to provide your proof of insurance. Valid proof of insurance in Illinois is an ID card that displays the following info:

  • Vehicle information i.e., make, model, year, VIN
  • Insured’s name
  • Insurance company name and code
  • Policy number
  • Policy start and expiration dates

Penalty for Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance in Illinois can result in serious penalties. The only exception is if you’re able to prove after 30 days that you had minimum liability coverage for that vehicle. Otherwise, here’s what’ll happen if you’re caught driving without any coverage:

  • Fine of at least $500
  • Registration suspension
  • $100 reinstatement fee for car registration
  • Suspended license plates

Best Car Insurance Companies in Illinois

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to find the best company. But how do you find out which company is the best? The best insurers are those that have excellent customer service, great benefits, and competitive rates. It’s smart to do some research before you select a company.

Top Companies by Market Share

Looking at who owns the most market share in your state is one way to find the best company. While the biggest companies aren’t always the best, they’re usually the most popular. Below is a list of the top car insurance companies in Illinois by market share:

RankCompanyDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
1State Farm$879,96128.24%
4American Family$138,2194.44%
5Illinois Farmers$125,5554.03%
7Affirmative Insurance$43,7611.40%
10Universal Casualty$36,1671.16%

Top Companies by J.D. Power Rating

You can also find the best companies in your area by looking at J.D. Power rankings. J.D. Power scores insurance companies out of 1,000 based on their overall customer satisfaction. This can help you identify the companies with the best benefits, rates, and customer service.

Below is a list displaying the companies with the highest J.D. Power ranking in the North Central area (Illinois and several other states, such as Michigan, are part of this list):

RankCompanyCustomer Satisfaction Score (Out of 1,000)
1Erie Insurance857
2State Farm851
5American Family844
6Auto-Owners Insurance842
9The Hanover836
10Liberty Mutual831

Illinois Auto Insurance Laws

No-Fault or Fault?

A no-fault insurance state requires drivers to buy personal injury protection, which covers injuries regardless of fault. Illinois isn’t a no-fault insurance state. It’s a fault or tort state. This is where the driver who’s at fault is responsible for covering all expenses in an accident.

Totaled Car

Your insurer will declare your car to be a total loss if the cost of the damages outweighs the actual cash value (ACV). Every state has its own criteria to decide when a car is a total loss. Some states use a percent threshold, where if the damages exceed a percentage of the car’s value, it’s a total loss.

Illinois, on the other hand, uses the total loss formula (TLF) to declare a car as a total loss. With the TLF, a car is a total loss if the damages plus the salvage value are more than its ACV.

Salvage and Rebuilt Titles

If your insurer declares a car to be a total loss, it’ll receive a salvage title. Salvage title cars are illegal to drive and are usually in poor condition. It’s common for people to buy a salvage car and then restore it to a drivable state. Then, it can receive a rebuilt title.

How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Illinois

Getting a rebuilt title for your car isn’t as simple as repairing the car, though. You’ll need to go through a title application process with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS). Here’s what you’ll need to submit when you apply for a rebuilt title in Illinois:

  • Salvage certificate or out-of-state title
  • Bills of sale for every “essential” part used to rebuild the car
  • A list of each car part that was replaced and the VIN of the car that it came from
  • Photos of your rebuilt car in case the SOS requires it
  • Certificate of Safety from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)

Keep in mind that your rebuilt car will also need to pass an inspection to get a new title if it’s eight years old or newer. You’ll need to make an appointment with the Illinois SOS police for an inspection. Before you can get an inspection, your car will also need to receive a Certificate of Safety from the IDOT Safety Testing Lane.

Insuring Cars with Rebuilt Titles in Illinois

Once your salvage passes inspections and receives a state-issued rebuilt title, you must insure it before driving. Luckily, most insurers in Illinois cover cars with rebuilt titles. The catch is that you may only be able to buy liability insurance. It’s unlikely you’ll find an insurer willing to write you a full coverage policy.

Car insurance for rebuilt titles is often expensive. This is because rebuilt cars were totaled at one point and aren’t as safe as normal vehicles. Its claim history is permanent and any insurer has instant access to it with a VIN.

Even though auto insurance for your rebuilt car will be more expensive than normal, you can still find ways to pay less. Discounts are a great way to lower your monthly costs. You can also compare quotes from various insurance companies to find the lowest rates.

SR-22 Forms

An SR-22 form is a document certifying that you have the minimum amount of financial responsibility, or liability insurance, in your state. Illinois requires drivers to file an SR-22 form if they have certain violations on their record. You’ll need to file an SR-22 form if:

  • You have a safety responsibility suspension
  • The state revoked your driver’s license, plates, or car registration
  • You have an unsatisfied judgment suspension
  • You’re on mandatory insurance supervision
  • You have at least three mandatory insurance violations on your record

Once you file the SR-22 form, it’ll be on your record for three years. If you fail to maintain insurance during this time, your provider will have to inform the SOS. They’ll then suspend your driving record until you’re able to regain insurance.

If you don’t want to file an SR-22 form and buy traditional insurance, you may also:

  • Deposit $70,000 in cash or securities with the Illinois State Treasurer
  • File a surety bond
  • File a real estate bond

Full Windshield Replacement

In some states, insurers must offer you full glass coverage to repair your windshield with no deductible. However, Illinois doesn’t require insurers to offer this type of coverage. This means that you’ll need comprehensive coverage to repair your windshield. Some insurers may offer full glass coverage as an extra benefit. But know that it will cost you extra to add to your policy.

Filing Claims

You’ll probably need to file a claim with your insurer if you get into an accident. Even if you didn’t cause the collision, it’s always a good idea to let your insurer know. You might even file a claim with your own company, depending on what types of coverage you have.

What to Expect After Filing a Claim

After filing a claim with your insurance company, it becomes a waiting game. Luckily, insurers have to follow state laws. These state laws protect you and set deadlines for insurers to adhere to. Insurance companies in Illinois must respond to your claim within 15 working days. They then have 30 days to settle the claim.

The state also sets laws for how long you have to conclude the claim. This is what many refer to as statutes of limitations. Here’s how long you have:

  • Property damage claims. Five years from the accident date.
  • Bodily injury claims. Two years from the accident date or two years after your 18th  birthday if you were a minor in the accident

Credit History

Insurers often use your credit score as a way to determine how much you pay for car insurance. But some states, such as Washington and California, don’t allow this. Illinois doesn’t have any laws to stop insurers from using your credit score to set your rates. Carriers may also use your credit history as a means to deny or drop your policy.

Policy Cancellation

Illinois allows insurers to cancel your policy during the first 60 days for any reason. After that period, they must have a legit reason to cancel your policy. These reasons include:

  • Missing payments
  • Committing misrepresentation or fraud
  • Violating the terms of the policy
  • Fraudulent claims
  • Driver’s license suspensions
  • Your car is unsafe to drive
  • You’re using the insured car for illegal purposes
  • You’re using the insured car for commercial or business purposes, such as for ridesharing services
  • You committed a felony

Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

Drunk driving comes with lots of consequences. It puts yourself and others in danger. You can also expect steep legal trouble to come your way. After each offense, penalties get worse. Here’s what’ll happen if you are convicted of a DUI in Illinois:

First offense:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Suspension of driver’s license for at least one year (two years if under 21)
  • Suspension of car registration

Second offense:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Five days of jail time or 240 hours of community service
  • Suspension of driver’s license for at least five years (two years if under 21)
  • Suspension of car registration

Third offense – Aggravated DUI:

  • Class 2 felony
  • Suspension of driver’s license for at least 10 years (two years if under 21)
  • Suspension of car registration

The total cost of a DUI is far more than initial fines and legal fees. You can also expect your car insurance rates to see a huge rise. It’s also likely that you’ll become a high-risk driver and may need to buy non-standard insurance.

Illinois Driver’s License Points System

Illinois uses a driver’s license points system to keep track of violations on your record. Three or more offenses within a year will result in a driver’s license suspension. If you’re under 21 and commit two offenses in two years, you’ll lose your license. Here are the types of violations that result in points on your record:

  • Negligent driving
  • Disregarding a traffic light
  • Hit-and-run
  • Reckless driving
  • Screeching tires
  • Speeding

Most Popular Cars in Illinois

The most popular cars vary based on the state that you’re in. Car insurance companies pay close attention to which cars are the best sellers. These cars may see higher insurance rates because they’re a target for thieves. These were the most sold cars in 2021 in Illinois:

  1. Honda CR-V
  2. Ford F-Series
  3. Chevrolet Silverado
  4. Toyota RAV4
  5. Ram 1500/2500/3500

Most Stolen Cars in Illinois

Insurers keep watch on which cars are the most stolen in each state. Your comprehensive insurance rates might be higher if your car is often a target. Here are the most stolen cars in Illinois in 2021:

  1. 2015 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  2. 2018 Chevrolet Malibu
  3. 2020 Nissan Altima
  4. 2008 Chevrolet Impala
  5. 2007 Toyota Camry
  6. 2005 Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)
  7. 2019 Dodge Charger
  8. 2000 Honda Civic
  9. 2019/2010 Honda Accord
  10. 2017 Ford Fusion