From fender-benders on State Street to multicar collisions on the expressway, accidents can happen to anyone, especially in the winter when the roads in Chicago can be slick with ice and sleet. That is why if you own a vehicle in the state of Illinois, you are required by law to carry car insurance.
Finding the best auto insurance policy is easy when you work with a local independent agent. These agents can gather a variety of customized car insurance quotes from competing providers. That way, you can choose the policy that offers the coverage you want at the most competitive price.
Find an insurance agent near you to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Chicago, IL?
The average cost of car insurance in Illinois is lower than the national rate. This is great news for Chicago vehicle owners who are looking for an affordable auto insurance policy.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Illinois average annual car insurance cost: $1,079
Of course, an average can only give you a ballpark idea of what your actual costs will be. Rates can vary significantly from one driver to the next because they are based on several considerations.
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, occupation, marital status, and driving record
- Details about other licensed drivers in your household
- The collision and auto theft rates in the vicinity of your home
- The amount of coverage you are purchasing
- Whether you are bundling your coverage with another policy like home insurance or renters insurance
Every insurance company has its own way of calculating rates. That is why it pays to compare rates from multiple providers before purchasing a policy.
What Are the Car Insurance Requirements in Chicago?
In the state of Illinois, you are required to cover your vehicle with car insurance before you can legally take it out on the road.
All car insurance policies in this state must include liability insurance and uninsured motorist insurance. The coverage in your Chicago car insurance policy must meet or exceed the following minimum requirements.
- Liability coverage: This covers injuries and property damage that you may cause to other people if you are responsible for a collision. Your policy must include the following, at a minimum.
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance: $20,000 per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: This covers your losses if an uninsured driver causes a collision with you. Your policy must include the following, at a minimum.
- UIM bodily injury insurance: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- UIM property damage insurance: No minimum requirement
The costs associated with major collisions can easily exceed what a minimum coverage policy will pay for. That is why many residents of Chicago opt to purchase car insurance with higher liability limits than the state requires.
If you have a lot to lose and want to have even more liability coverage than your car insurance carrier can provide, you may also want to purchase an umbrella insurance policy. This is a very affordable way to boost all of your personal liability coverage.
What Else Can Chicago Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the coverage that is required by law, insurance companies give you the choice of several options. You can add some or all of the following to your car insurance policy.
- Comprehensive insurance: This can pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is lost or damaged by a non-collision event such as a flood or a windstorm. You usually need to have it if you are leasing or financing your car.
- Collision insurance: This can pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is lost or damaged in a collision, regardless of fault. You usually need to have it if you are leasing or financing your car.
- Medical payments insurance: This can cover the cost of medical treatments if you or your passengers are injured in collision, regardless of fault. It can also cover funeral expenses if the collision is fatal.
- Gap insurance: This can pay off your car loan or handle your lease buyout if your car is totaled in a covered event.
- Towing and roadside assistance insurance: This pays for needed assistance if your vehicle becomes disabled while you are out on the road.
- Loss of use/rental reimbursement insurance: This can pay for a rental vehicle while repairs are being made to your car following a covered event.
By reviewing costs for each coverage option, you can decide which are are a good value for you and your family.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Illinois?
It is illegal to drive without insurance in Illinois. A first offense is charged as petty offense, but second and subsequent offenses are charged as misdemeanors and typically have more severe consequences. The penalties for driving without insurance include the following costs.
- Fines starting at $500
- A first offense will incur a fine of $500 to $1,000.
- Subsequent offenses can incur an additional $1,000 fine.
- If you have had two previous convictions and cause an accident while uninsured, you can be fined an additional $2,500.
- The suspension of your driving privileges for three to four months
- The need to pay a $100 reinstatement fee to get your driving privileges back
- Higher car insurance rates
Despite these tough penalties, the rate of uninsured drivers in this state is higher than the national average.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of Illinois drivers who are uninsured: 13.7%
All car insurance policies in Illinois include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This means that you do not need to worry that you will face difficulties collecting money owed to you if you are in a collision caused by someone who lacks the insurance necessary to compensate you.
Does Chicago Car Insurance Cover against Vehicle Thefts?
The auto theft rate in Illinois is lower than the national average. However, in Chicago the risk is higher. Residents of this city report about 10,000 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.29
- Illinois auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.54
- Chicago, IL auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 3.36
It is important to know that you cannot be compensated for a stolen car unless your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive, or “other than collision” insurance, which is optional.
Comprehensive insurance covers against far more than just property crimes. It can also reimburse you for loss and damage to your car due to a variety of other non-collision hazards like floods and hailstorms.
If you are still paying for your car or you have it on a lease, chances are good you have comprehensive insurance already. Otherwise, you may want to look into how much it will cost to add this valuable coverage to your policy.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
You can turn to a local independent agent for help when you are looking for the right auto insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs. These agents are free to work with several different insurance providers, so they can shop around to find you the best and most affordable policies.
It won’t cost you anything to get information from an independent agent. Find an insurance agent near you to start comparing customized quotes. You will soon discover how easy buying the best car insurance can be.
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