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Illinois Car Insurance

Auto Insurance Basics in Illinois

Car insurance is a contract between an automobile owner and an insurance company. The car owner agrees to pay a predetermined amount to the carrier and, in return, the insurance provider agrees to help pay for potential costs in the event of an accident. The fees you pay are called premiums and policies are usually for either 6 or 12 months in duration after which you can seek to renew. The exact conditions under which the insurance provider will pay out on your behalf is very carefully negotiated and defined within your policy. In the event you need to make a claim, virtually every car insurance policy requires you to first pay some money out of your won pocket before they kick in.

The price of car insurance is very dependent on a host of variables, so don’t go looking for coverage thinking it all costs the same. The first category of variables is the type and depth of coverage you want to carry. The basic form of coverage is called liability insurance. In the event you cause an accident, your liability insurance will help pay for any resulting bodily injury expenses or property damage to the other party. However, the amount of damages your insurance provider will pay is not open ended. Your policy has a defined maximum amount it will pay out. If the cost of your accident exceeds that cap, you may be liable for that amount. You can opt to raise the ceiling of your coverage in return for higher premiums. Keep in mind that getting insurance is a form of financial protection and, as you would expect, deeper protections cost more money.

Liability coverage doesn’t protect you and your own vehicle from the cost of an accident. There are three main types of insurance protection for your accident related damages: comprehensive, collision, and personal injury protection. Comprehensive will cover you from dames related to things like theft, vandalism and weather-related damage. Collision will help you recoup the costs of repairing your own vehicle after an accident. Personal injury protection, known as PIP, helps cover your medical costs if you are injured in a crash.

There are even more ways to protect yourself from car accident related financial losses. You can see if your carrier provides protection from uninsured or underinsured drivers. You can get

Get roadside assistance protection in the event your car breaks down and need a tow. You can get coverage that will help you get a temporary rental car to tide you over if your car needs to spend a few days in the shop for repairs. So, as you can see, there are many options.

The other big determinant of your premiums will be your own personal profile. Insurance companies go to great lengths to try to quantify the probabilities and costs of auto accidents and price their products accordingly. The final cost of your policy will be determined by your age, your place of residence, the driving record and other factors. There is no one size fits all rate for most car insurance.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Illinois

Illinois requires that any vehicle registered within the state be covered with a defined minimum amount of liability coverage. The required coverage has three components. Your policy must have at least $25,000 for the death or injury of another person in an accident you caused. It must have at least $50,000 to cover the death or injury of two or more persons. And, finally, your policy must have $20,000 for property damage of another person. These are minimum levels of liability insurance and will not cover any of your own medical bills or damages. Illinois drivers should consider getting additional protections for themselves if at all possible.

Average Cost of Coverage in Illinois

For a good driver with good credit, the cost of car insurance in the state is, on average, around $1,100 or 20% below the national average. Illinois drivers with an accident on their record can expect to pay $400 or more per year extra and serious moving violations like Reckless Driving and DUI can add almost $1,000 to your annual insurance bill. Having a strong credit score will help lower your premiums. Teenaged drivers will pay a multiple of the annual costs of a middle aged driver in Illinois, and everywhere else for that matter. Finally, having higher minimums and lower deductibles on your coverage will give you a larger financial cushion but will increase the cost of your coverage.

Age Average Premium (yearly)
16 $5,313
17 $4,547
18 $4,071
19 $2,779
20s $1,531
30s $1,082
40s $1,055
50s $947
60s $994
70s $1,187

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Illinois

With all the variable that go into car insurance pricing, it’s difficult to say which would be cheapest for any particular driver. The Illinois market is served by all of the big name players that you see on TV. But there are many other smaller local and regional carriers that may give out great deals along with good customer service. Some insurance carriers such as USAA, cater to current or retired members of the armed forces. Your best bet is to do your legwork.

Rank Company  Avg. Premium (annual)
1 The Hartford $762
2 Travelers $978
3 Safeco $1,075
4 State Farm $1,201
5 Grange Mutual $1,273
6 USAA $1,317
7 Nationwide $1,358

Unique Car Insurance Rules and Penalties in Illinois

The state of Illinois follows the at Fault model of car insurance. This means that the party responsible for causing an accident is the one who pays the damages. After meeting your deductible your insurance company will pay the claims up to the stated limit of your policy. Illinois drivers are required to carry proof of their insurance at all times while driving. If you are caught driving without insurance you will face a fine and a possible suspension of your license.

Violation Avg. Annual Auto Insurance Rate % Insurance Rate Increase $ Insurance Rate Increase
Hit and Run $1,883 54% $661
Refused Breathalyzer/Chemical Test $1,835 50% $613
DUI $1,835 50% $613
Racing $1,883 54% $661
Reckless Driving $1,856 52% $634
Driving with a Suspended License $1,903 56% $681
At-Fault Accident $1,831 50% $609
Driving with an Open Container $1,638 34% $416
Operating a Vehicle Without Permission $1,629 33% $406
Passing a School Bus $1,584 30% $362
Improper Passing $1,698 39% $476
Following Too Closely $1,688 38% $466
Speeding $1,580 29% $358
Failure to Stop at a Red Light $1,688 38% $466
Illegal Turn $1,688 38% $466
Driving Wrong Way/Wrong Lane $1,584 30% $362
Failure to Yield $1,688 38% $466
Speeding in a School Zone $1,570 29% $348
Driving Too Slowly $1,571 29% $349
Distracted Driving $1,542 26% $320
Driving with Expired Registration $1,256 3% $34
Failure to Show Documents $1,256 3% $34
Not-at-Fault Accident $1,488 22% $266
Failure to Use Child Safety Restraint $1,222 0% $0
Failure to Wear a Seat Belt $1,222 0% $0
Driving Without Lights $1,222 0% $0

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Illinois

The best way to get the cheapest rates in Illinois is to do some good old fashioned comparison shopping. Decide on what levels of coverage you want and get quotes from at least three vendors. Quotes are free, there’s no obligation to buy. Once you see side by side quotes you’ll undoubtedly save money. Our free, easy to use online tool at General.com can simplify your search for car insurance and help you save some bucks.

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