Here's what you need to know when driving in Illinois
Across the Prairie State, there are 292,789 miles of road just waiting to be driven. We’ll get you prepped, then you take the wheel.
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Compare the best rates from 24 car insurance companies in Illinois.
Across the Prairie State, there are 292,789 miles of road just waiting to be driven. We’ll get you prepped, then you take the wheel.
|Rank||Company Name||Avg. Annual Premium|
|21||Auto Club Group||$1,315|
|37||First Chicago Maverick||$3,265|
Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. Illinois drivers without a recent at-fault accident save 32% on their car insurance, on average — on pace with the national average. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.
|Rating Factor||$ Savings||% Savings|
|No Traffic Tickets||$214||16.22%|
Young drivers (those between the ages of 16 and 25) pay extraordinarily high auto insurance rates, with those aged 16-19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teens pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In Illinois, the typical teen driver pays $4,669 per year — a bit cheaper than average for teen drivers nationwide — but four times times more than the rate for all Illinois drivers.
|Age||Annual Rate with Parents||Annual Rate Alone|
If you have no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, or DUIs, you can save money on car insurance. As insurance companies use your driving record as a way to predict the level of risk you present, keeping your driving record clean will lead to lower premiums. It's especially important to avoid DUI citations in Illinois, where insurers penalize drivers with an average rate hike of 53% after a DUI. Illinois' other post-incident premiums align with national averages (16% for speeding infractions and 32% after an at-fault accident).
|Rating Factor||Annual Rate||% Increase|
Every car insurance company plays up its low costs. But as with any product, the most affordable car insurance isn't always the finest option. Considering the stakes, it's worthwhile to do your due diligence to find a policy that insures your vehicle completely after an accident. Consider doing research to discover the best value, rather than settling for the most affordable auto insurance in Illinois.
Review top auto insurers' financial strength and claims satisfaction levels to better understand the level of service they'll provide. Claims satisfaction — assigned by J.D. Power — is ranked on a scale of 2 to 5, with 5 being "among the best" and 2 being "the rest." Financial strength — calculated by A.M. Best and running from "Poor" to "Superior" — assesses an insurer's financial strength and ability to satisfy its contractual and policy obligations.
|Insurance Company||Claims Satisfaction (J.D. Power)||Financial Strength (A.M. Best)|
|Cincinnati Insurance||Not Rated||Superior|
|Hastings Mutual||Not Rated||Excellent|
The minimum allowed insurance in Illinois is $25,000 Bodily Injury per person, $50,000 Bodily Injury per accident, and $20,000 Property Damage per accident.
For the minimum required coverage in Illinois, you'll owe an average of $484 annually. This cost is cheaper than the U.S. average by 26%. If you opt for more comprehensive coverage, you can choose a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, which will protect against damages incurred by car-versus-car collisions, theft, or weather incidents. Better auto insurance comes at a cost: in Illinois, a comprehensive policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $997, 106% more than liability-only coverage. For comprehensive insurance coverage with a $500 deductible, you can expect to pay 131% more than you would for a basic liability-only policy.
Examine average premiums for basic and comprehensive coverage tiers below.
|Location||Liability-Only||Comprehensive — $1,000 Deductible||Comprehensive — $500 Deductible|
Liability coverage is legally required in Illinois and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In Illinois, the minimum is listed as 25/50/20 and explained below:
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is legally required in Illinois and pays for injury and lost wages that you or your passengers may suffer in the event that you are hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver who is at fault. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into two categories. In Illinois, the minimum is listed as 25/50 and explained below:
No. Illinois is an at-fault state. You are responsible for any damage you cause to another vehicle. Fault can only be determined by an insurance adjuster.
While the amount may vary, generally you should expect a fine and to have your license suspended if you're found guilty of driving without insurance. The fine can range from $500 to $1,000, and the fee for having your license suspended hovers around $1,000.
Age does not change the fact that car insurance is required in Illinois. If you are driving a vehicle — licensed or not — you need to have car insurance.
Car insurance companies calculate your rate based on many factors, location of the vehicle being an important one. The cheapest car insurance is found in Champaign, Illinois, and the most expensive in Cicero, Illinois.
|Rank||City||Avg. Annual Premium|
In Illinois, a driver's first and second DUI convictions are considered misdemeanors. Their third and subsequent DUIs are felony offenses. A DUI may also be deemed a felony if it’s committed while transporting passengers for hire, the violator does not have a license or insurance, or if an incident results in injury or death. Penalties are also increased for violators whose BAC is 0.16% or higher or if transporting a child under 16 years old. There is a lifetime lookback period in Illinois, so subsequent DUI offenses are much more severe.
First-time DUI offenses in Illinois lead to:
Drivers are speeding in Illinois when their vehicle exceeds a reasonable or proper speed in relation to traffic conditions or the roadway or travels at a speed that endangers people or property.
Reckless driving in Illinois occurs when a driver operates a vehicle with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Driving a vehicle and using an incline in a roadway to cause the vehicle to become airborne also constitutes reckless driving in Illinois.
Illinois prohibits the use of handheld wireless devices, such as cell phones, while driving. Drivers are also prohibited from using headsets while driving, but are allowed to use single-sided headsets or earpieces. Drivers who are age 19 or older are allowed to use hands-free devices and Bluetooth.
Distracted driving in Illinois may also be caused by:
It is illegal to take part in or allow your vehicle to take part in racing in Illinois. Racing and street racing in Illinois is defined as the:
Illinois is a fault-based state when assigning fault after an accident. To determine fault, Illinois uses a “comparative fault” rule, which means both parties may share some degree of fault for an accident. A party whose share of fault is less than 50 percent may be entitled to compensation equal to the percent for which they are not at fault for the accident.
If you get a ticket, your car insurance rates will probably rise. How much your rates rise depends on the severity of the violation, your insurer's pricing standards, and differing local insurance regulations and risks. That's why tickets may have a different impact on insurance in your state compared to the national average.
Below is a look at typical auto insurance rates in Illinois after a few common violations.
|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|
|Driving with a Suspended License||$1,903||56%||$681|
|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|
|Following Too Closely||$1,688||38%||$466|
|Failure to Stop at a Red Light||$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|
|Driving with Expired Registration||$1,256||3%||$34|
|Failure to Show Documents||$1,256||3%||$34|
|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|
At The Zebra, we know better than most just what a pain buying car insurance can be. We also know that students suffer from higher-than-average policy rates. Talk about a double-whammy. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to continue The Zebra’s annual scholarship with the goal of helping to alleviate the financial pressures of college-bound students in the Illinois area, while also getting an insider view of the Prairie State.
So, students, we want to see your favorite road trip destination(s) in your state— from your unique perspective. If it makes sense to hit the open road and be our virtual tour guide, that's great! But there are no limits to what we're looking for: a narrated animation, a slideshow of memorabilia, an illustrated map of the best roadside attractions on the way. This is a chance for you to showcase any place you love in as an original way as possible.
The length of the road trip to your feature destination is inconsequential. So if you have an awesome spot in mind that's just two miles from home, we want to see it.
Applicants must be currently enrolled at or planning to attend a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States. Upon notification, winner(s) must supply a current proof of enrollment or letter of acceptance.
Your original video should not exceed 2 minutes
The video must be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo
Email your submission to email@example.com
your name, address, and phone number when you submit
Selected winner(s) will be awarded a check for $1,000
Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31st, 2019
Winner(s) will be selected and notified by email by January 31st, 2020
The winner will be selected based on creativity in the content and presentation
*Upon notification, winner(s) must also supply a current proof of enrollment at a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States.
By participating, entrants represent that the video submitted is their sole and original work and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other party. In other words, no copyrighted music or images may be used.
Employees of The Zebra and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest.
Written credits for any technical or talent positions (e.g., editor, director, actors) should be included with your submission, along with any sources used to create the video.
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