UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020
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Illinois drivers pay less than the national average for auto insurance, but the rates offered can vary greatly depending on where you live and your driving record. Illinois is home to the third largest city in the United States – Chicago – while also having plenty of rural land, and location can really affect car insurance rates and needs.
There are a lot of great car insurance companies to choose from in Illinois; the options range from the biggest to the small, homegrown company – and everything in between. Comparing your options will ensure you find the best value for your insurance dollar.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Illinois
Like all states, Illinois has a state minimum requirement for car insurance. All drivers are required to carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury liability. In addition to that amount, they must also carry $20,000 in property damage liability.
Illinois law also requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The requirement is for bodily injury liability in the same amounts as those required for personal liability – $25,00 per person and $50,000 per incident. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage is not required – but it is recommended.
There is no further required coverage based on state law, but drivers with a loan on their vehicle will have to meet the requirements of their lender as well. These generally include comprehensive coverage and collision coverage with a deductible that is within acceptable limits.
Illinois drivers can improve their protection further by increasing liability limits and adding additional optional coverage to create a comprehensive policy.
Specifics of Auto Insurance for Illinois
There are no specific requirements for Illinois outside of the state legal requirements. Illinois is a fault state, which means that the driver who is at fault will be financially responsible for damages that occur as a result of their actions. As a result, most drivers carry limits that are higher than the legal minimum.
There are a wide variety of insurance companies to choose from in Illinois, and some may cater more to drivers in the Chicago metro area versus those out in the rural areas.
As with every insurance company review, we approached our list for Illinois by looking for companies that have a good reputation. It does not matter how little you pay for your policy if you discover when you file a claim that the company will not pay. All of the companies we selected have a good reputation for claims handling as well as general customer service.
Rates are, of course, a big consideration, and we added reasonable prices to our list when searching for the best. As always, we looked for value over price; the companies we chose are affordable, but they also offer the best value for the dollar rather than simply being the cheapest.
Because many people like to work with a homegrown company, we added a search for some Illinois or regional companies, along with the search for the best national level companies. All of our picks offer coverage across the state, although some may be better for urban insurance and others for small town or rural coverage.
Our Top Picks
These are the top three insurance companies in Illinois based on our requirements; all will give you a good value for your dollar, although one may be better than the others for your particular needs.
Bloomington based Country Financial is an Illinois-grown company that offers personalized service with local understanding. They ranked in the top three for all insurance companies in the region on J.D. Power’s overall auto insurance satisfaction survey, so the reputation is solid.
Country Financial also offers some of the best rates across the board for any driving situation, which puts them on the list as an affordable option. Drivers in any part of the state who want an agent’s assistance as well as a solid company can look to Country.
The top-ranked insurance company in the North Central Region by J.D. Power, Auto-Owners has a solid reputation. They also came in third on a national level for claims satisfaction, so customers can rest easy that they will be taken care of when it is needed.
Auto-Owners is a large company with a solid financial standing, but still has the feel of a smaller, regional company. The company is also surprisingly competitive when it comes to rates, and they have an excellent auto insurance program with a lot of included extras.
It surprises many people that State Farm comes in among the more affordable companies out there, but once again they rank that way for the state of Illinois. Best for drivers with a good record and who qualify for a lot of discounts, State Farm is also a good pick for those who want the personal service of an agent.
State Farm is the biggest car insurance company in the nation and also holds the top spot for market share in Illinois. They have a solid reputation as well as a solid financial status, and they are a top pick in many states for good reason.
Shopping for Auto Insurance in Illinois
Illinois has higher minimum rates than some other states, but those limits are unlikely to provide enough protection in a major accident. It is a good idea to start your shopping at a higher liability level and to avoid being drawn in by low rates that do not really give adequate coverage. $20,000 in property damage is not going to cover you if you’re at fault in an accident where a new, valuable car is a total loss. You can be held financially responsible for the damages, so get the right coverage up front.
Before you shop, take a look at your coverage options and needs, and make sure that every quote you obtain meets those levels.
There are a lot of insurance companies to choose from in Illinois, and the right coverage for you may not come from one of the big names. In addition to getting quotes from the major companies online, it is always a good idea to reach out to an independent agent that can quote some of the smaller, local companies. These companies may not have the same online presence, but they can offer a lot of service in return for your taking the time to check them out.
You cannot go wrong with one of the top-ranked insurance companies in Illinois, but every individual has different needs, so be sure and take the time to compare all of your choices before you buy.
The Bottom Line
Illinois drivers can choose from a wide variety of insurers, from the biggest names to the local, homegrown companies. Shopping around and making sure you know what coverage you really need and want are the keys to getting the best value out of your car insurance company.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.