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Federal Highway Administration data shows there were 8,514,644 licensed drivers in Illinois in 2016. Chicago, the state’s largest city, is home for many of those drivers. Here are the details on shopping for car insurance as a Chicago resident, and how factors such as your age and driving record affect what you’ll pay for auto insurance premiums.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Chicago

The rates shown here are based on a study performed by Quadrant Information services on behalf of U.S. News. The study examined rates from the largest car insurance companies in the United States, using certain driver profiles. Your rates will very likely differ. See more about the rates in this study. 

How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings.

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the nine largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes.

Gian Lorenzo Ferretti Photography / Getty Images

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 15,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Chicago?

See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Of the nine major insurance companies in our study, USAA has the lowest average representative rate for driver profiles that reside in Chicago, at $1,160. This is about 31% less than the citywide average of $1,686. Geico’s study rate of $1,182 is a close second, and is probably the best option for most Chicago residents, since USAA membership is limited to members of the military, veterans, and their families. On the high end are Nationwide, at an average study rate of $2,247, and Allstate, at an average study rate of $2,472. Allstate’s representative rate is about a 47% increase over the statewide average.

Chicago Car Insurance Rates by Age

Company

25-year-old female

25-year-old male

35-year-old female

35-year-old male

60-year-old female

60-year-old male

Allstate

$2,695.60

$2,905.13

$2,254.48

$2,265.03

$2,355.51

$2,355.51

American Family

$1,937.97

$2,500.34

$1,937.97

$1,937.97

$1,785.08

$1,785.08

Farmers

$2,213.06

$2,323.69

$1,864.17

$1,859.36

$1,549.44

$1,682.59

Geico

$1,375.47

$1,165.56

$1,207.32

$1,172.10

$1,096.03

$1,074.44

Nationwide

$2,753.53

$2,995.27

$1,987.66

$2,079.34

$1,735.27

$1,930.10

Progressive

$1,855.47

$2,029.56

$1,499.28

$1,393.07

$1,169.51

$1,236.41

State Farm

$1,447.71

$1,669.21

$1,292.82

$1,292.82

$1,188.23

$1,188.23

Travelers

$1,441.88

$1,515.60

$1,359.62

$1,428.76

$1,118.12

$1,185.58

USAA

$1,494.93

$1,564.64

$1,014.78

$1,024.55

$939.71

$921.82

Study data shows that, in general, the female driver profiles have lower sample rates than the male driver profiles within the same age group, though there are several exceptions. The study also reveals that, in general, car insurance representative rates decrease with age. That means the 60-year-old driver profiles generally enjoy the lowest car insurance study rates in Chicago. However, there’s an exception in that Allstate’s representative rates are lower for the 35-year-old driver profiles than the company’s study rates for the 60-year-old driver profiles. For the 60-year-old driver profiles, Allstate has the highest study rate of $2,356 for both females and males. Compared to the citywide average study rates of $1,437 for females and $1,484 for males, Allstate’s study rates are about 39% and 37% higher than average, respectively. USAA has the lowest average study rates for the 60-year-old driver profiles. The rate of $940 for the female driver profile is 53% lower than the statewide average, and the rate of $922 for the male driver profile is 61% lower than the statewide average.

Chicago follows the national trend of 35-year-old driver profiles paying the second-lowest average car insurance rates, according to study data. Allstate has the highest representative rates for women and men, at $2,254 and $2,265, respectively. Allstate’s representative rate for the female driver profile is 29% higher than this group’s study average rate of $1,602, and Allstate’s representative rate for the male profile is 29% higher than the rate of $1,606. USAA’s representative rates of $1,015 for the female driver profile and $1,025 for the male driver profile are the cheapest for this age group. The female study rate is 58% below average and the male study rate is 57% below average. 

The study shows that the 25-year-old driver profiles have the highest average car insurance representative rates of these three age groups. Nationwide has the highest study rates for both driver profiles, $2,754 for females and $2,995 for males. Compared to the average citywide study rates of $1,913 for the female profile and $2,074 for the male profile, Nationwide’s representative rates are higher by 31% for both groups. For these driver profiles, Geico has the lowest study rates of $1,375 for females and $1,166 for males, representing savings of 39% and 78% compared to the average representative rate.

To determine the average rates based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

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Chicago Car Insurance Rates by Mileage

Company

6,000 annual mileage

12,000 annual mileage

Allstate

$2,471.88

$2,471.88

American Family

$1,878.76

$1,980.73

Farmers

$1,915.38

$1,915.38

Geico

$1,142.14

$1,181.82

Nationwide

$2,246.86

$2,246.86

Progressive

$1,530.55

$1,530.55

State Farm

$1,212.44

$1,346.50

Travelers

$1,245.92

$1,341.59

USAA

$1,082.80

$1,160.07

If you think driving less is a key to saving on car insurance, you might be in for a surprise. Four of the nine insurance companies studied had the same average representative rates for low-mileage and high-mileage driver profiles. Of the five remaining companies, which showed higher representative rates for the higher-mileage driver profile, with three of those companies, the difference was less than $100 annually, and with the other two, the difference was less than $200. The study average rate for the lower-mileage profile is $1,636 and the higher-mileage profile is $1,686, a difference of 3%.

We created two driver profiles to compare how annual mileage can change car insurance rates: one with low mileage (6,000 miles per year) and one with high mileage (12,000 miles per year). The profiles covered males and females in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Chicago Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type

Company

Low

Medium

High

Allstate

$2,365.55

$2,471.88

$2,597.94

American Family

$1,831.27

$1,980.73

$1,925.98

Farmers

$1,817.45

$1,915.38

$1,986.79

Geico

$1,056.80

$1,181.82

$1,319.55

Nationwide

$2,292.76

$2,246.86

$2,221.50

Progressive

$1,409.78

$1,530.55

$1,687.05

State Farm

$1,256.33

$1,346.50

$1,438.87

Travelers

$1,272.99

$1,341.59

$1,422.43

USAA

$1,078.38

$1,160.07

$1,246.47

In general, prices go up from low to medium to high coverage insurance policies, but not as much as you may expect. The study’s average representative rate for low coverage is $1,598, which increases just 5% to $1,686 for medium coverage. Going from medium to high coverage, with an average study rate of $1,761, costs about another 4%. However, it’s always worth checking quotes. The study shows that American Family and Nationwide’s representative rates are higher for medium coverage than high coverage.

We created identical profiles in our study to represent drivers, then found out how rates changed with the three levels of coverage. The profiles were assigned a clean driving record, a good credit score, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. We used both males and females aged 25, 35, and 60. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis.

Chicago Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

Company

Good

Fair

Poor

Allstate

$2,471.88

$2,752.85

$3,513.43

American Family

$1,980.73

$2,345.97

$3,410.20

Farmers

$1,915.38

$2,146.56

$3,069.37

Geico

$1,181.82

$1,396.52

$2,473.29

Nationwide

$2,246.86

$2,676.55

$3,180.56

Progressive

$1,530.55

$1,925.23

$2,588.92

State Farm

$1,346.50

$1,725.94

$2,862.53

Travelers

$1,341.59

$1,567.22

$2,142.81

USAA

$1,160.07

$1,357.19

$1,929.38

Each major insurance company in the study charges the lowest average study rates to customer profiles with good credit, higher study rates to customer profiles with fair credit, and the highest study rates to customer profiles with poor credit. However, there is a lot of variation across credit tiers and between companies, so it definitely pays to shop around. Allstate, for example, has the highest representative rates for all three credit tiers, and the increase from the good credit rate of $2,472 to the poor credit rate of $3,513 is 42%. USAA has the cheapest study rates for all three groups, starting at $1,160 and going up to $1,929, an increase of 66% even though the rates are much lower overall.

Based on profiles of male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60, our study verified that credit scores affect car insurance rates. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis.

Chicago Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

Company

Clean record

With 1 speeding violation

With 1 accident

With 1 DUI

Allstate

$2,471.88

$3,300.14

$4,328.10

$3,961.99

American Family

$1,980.73

$2,352.78

$2,916.96

$3,562.17

Farmers

$1,915.38

$2,609.85

$2,944.81

$2,840.59

Geico

$1,181.82

$1,515.12

$1,887.26

$2,732.05

Nationwide

$2,246.86

$2,958.23

$3,692.59

$4,580.17

Progressive

$1,530.55

$2,063.48

$2,734.53

$1,762.82

State Farm

$1,346.50

$1,476.10

$1,605.75

$1,476.10

Travelers

$1,341.59

$1,813.99

$1,895.88

$2,093.92

USAA

$1,160.07

$1,409.68

$1,656.40

$2,517.26

Let’s take a look at how certain traffic violations can affect insurance rates. All nine major insurance companies in our Chicago study have the lowest average representative rates for the driver profile with a clean driving record. A speeding violation increases the cost of car insurance, on average, 28%, from $1,686 for a clean record to $2,167 for a speeding violation. With State Farm, the increase is only about $130, though with Allstate, it’s more than $800. While most companies had higher representative rates for an accident or DUI than a speeding ticket, Progressive is an anomaly in that the driver profile with a speeding ticket has a higher study rate than the profiles with an accident or DUI insured by Progressive.

The next category is for the driver profile with one accident. Four of the companies in the study, Allstate, Farmers, Progressive, and State Farm, have the highest average representative rates for this group. The average representative rate for this group is $2,629, an increase of 56% over the driver profile with a clean record. 

The final driver profile used to illustrate car insurance rates by driving record has one DUI. Five of the companies in the study had the highest representative rates for this group. The average is $2,836, an increase of 68% over the average for the driver profile with a clean record.

The driver profile with a clean driving record gets the lowest average rates in our study with USAA, at $1,160, and the highest average representative rates with Allstate, at $2,472. For the driver profile with one speeding violation, USAA again comes in the cheapest, at $1,410, while Allstate is again the most expensive, at $3,300. For the driver profile with one accident, State Farm has the lowest study rate of $1,606, and Allstate again has the highest at $4,328. State Farm also has the lowest representative rate for driver profiles with one DUI at $1,476, while Allstate again has the highest, at $3,962.

To find out just how much of an effect a person's driving record has on insurance rates, we made driving profiles with a clean record, with one speeding violation, with one accident, and with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females who drove 12,000 miles per year and had a medium level of insurance coverage and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

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Chicago Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

Drivers in Chicago must abide by the auto insurance laws for the state of Illinois, which requires liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. The state minimums are as follows: 

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident.
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in an accident 
  • $20,000 for damage to the property of another person.

The law states that Illinois drivers must carry proof of their auto insurance policy and provide it to a law enforcement officer upon request. The penalties for failing to show proof of insurance include a minimum fine of $500 for driving uninsured and a suspended vehicle registration. If this is a subsequent insurance violation, the minimum fine goes up to $1,000. 

Illinois residents may also be contacted by mail to provide proof of auto insurance, based on random checks of the registration database. Failure to respond or to provide proper proof will result in a suspended vehicle registration. For a first-time offense, the fee to reinstate the vehicle registration is $100 after proper proof of current insurance is provided. For subsequent offenses, the vehicle registration suspension is four months, after which a $100 fee applies.

To learn more, read our guide to figuring out how much car insurance you need.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Chicago

Note: Due to USAA's limited membership, we excluded them from this segment evaluation.

Category

Cheapest Company

Drivers with a Military Affiliation

USAA

Young Adult Drivers

Geico

Married Adult Drivers

Geico

Senior Drivers

Geico

Drivers with Good Credit

Geico

Drivers with Poor Credit

Travelers

Drivers with a Clean Record

Geico

Drivers with One Speeding Violation

State Farm

Drivers with One Accident

State Farm

Drivers with One DUI

State Farm

Low-mileage Drivers

Geico

High-mileage Drivers

Geico

Drivers with Low Coverage

Geico

Drivers with High Coverage

Geico

Drivers with Used Cars

Geico

Drivers with New Cars

Geico

According to the results of our study, driver profiles in Chicago can save on car insurance premiums by choosing a low-coverage policy, building a good credit history, and avoiding situations like speeding, accidents, and DUIs.

To find which car insurance company offers the lowest rates, our study used representative driver profiles with good credit, medium insurance coverage, and a clean driving record. Our profiles included males and females aged 25, 35, and 60 who drove 12,000 miles per year. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Chicago

Even within the city of Chicago, car insurance rates can vary a lot. Premiums can be higher in areas that statistically have higher rates of car theft, vandalism, or crashes, and in a big city like Chicago, there can be a lot of variation even between adjacent zip codes. And, as already discussed, factors like a driver’s driving record, credit history, and age also affect insurance rates.

How To Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Chicago

Regardless of where you live, experts offer the same recommendations for lowering car insurance costs. Even if you live in an expensive city like Chicago, there are other steps you can take to reduce your car insurance premiums. Maintaining a good driving record and credit score are important, though it takes a long time to improve poor or mediocre records.

wundervisuals / Getty Images

In the short term, the best way to get the cheapest car insurance in Chicago is to shop around and look for discounts. Examples include multipolicy or bundling discounts, which are available from most major insurance companies and provide incentives for customers who insure more than one vehicle on the same policy or who combine homeowner's or renter's insurance policies with an auto insurance policy from the same company. Other popular discounts include good driver discounts, discounts for completing driver training courses, student or good student discounts, and discounts for those working in a specific profession, such as teachers, active members of the military, and military veterans. Your employer or a club you belong to may offer prenegotiated group rate insurance with a specific insurance company, known as an affinity discounts. If you drive only occasionally or drive few miles during the year, see if your insurance company will offer a low mileage discount. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for enrolling in paperless billing or automatic payments. Your vehicle may be eligible for discounts if it’s new or if it features certain anti-theft or safety systems.

If you’re willing to share your driving data in exchange for potential discounts, see if your company offers a program that may provide discounts for using a tracking device or smartphone app that records your driving habits.

Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Chicago

Chicago’s auto insurance laws and regulations fall under the laws for the state of Illinois. The following laws are important to keep in mind within city and state lines. Some pertain specifically to auto insurance, while violations of others can cause your auto insurance rates to go up. 

Chicago Driving Laws and Punishments

The following sections cover specific laws that you should be aware of while driving in and around Chicago.

Texting While Driving and Distracted Driver Laws in Chicago

Drivers in Chicago are subject to the same distracted driver laws as those that apply in the rest of the state of Illinois. All underage drivers are restricted from using handheld devices, even if they are hands-free. Adult motorists are also restricted from using handheld devices, though they are permitted to use them hands-free. All motorists get an exception to this rule for the purpose of emergency calls. These restrictions are covered by two separate, but overlapping, state laws.

Tassii / Getty Images

Violating these laws results in fines, points on the driver’s record, and possible jail time. First- and second-time offenders get fines between $75 and $150 for minor violations, plus 10 to 30 points, depending on the exact offense. Subsequent violations see higher fines and more points. If the offense results in bodily harm, it’s a class A misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If the offense results in death, it’s a class 4 felony with three to six years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. As of July 2020, the state has increased the penalties for offenses that cause bodily injury or death to include a fine of a minimum of $1,000 plus a one-year license suspension.

DUI Laws in Chicago

The city of Chicago is subject to the DUI laws for the state of Illinois. In Chicago and Illinois, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for drivers 21 and older is 0.08%, and for drivers younger than 21, the legal limit is zero percent. Drivers found with a BAC of 0.16% or more, which is twice the legal limit, will be charged with an aggravated offense with an enhanced penalty.

Drivers who are suspected of DUI but refuse to submit to a sobriety test will face a license suspension of one year for the first offense and three years for the second offense. This penalty applies even if the driver is not ultimately convicted of the DUI.

In Chicago, a driver’s first DUI conviction has a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and 100 hours of community service (if it is an aggravated offense), along with a fine of between $500 and $2,500. Furthermore, first-time offenders older than 21 will have their license revoked for one year, while those under 21 lose their license for two years.The second DUI offense in Chicago carries penalties of five to 364 days in jail and 480 hours of community service, as well as fines of between $1,250 and $25,000 and a license suspension of five years. Subsequent offenses may result in penalties including 10 days to seven years in jail, 480 hours of community service, fines of between $2,500 and $25,000, and a 10-year license suspension. Furthermore, offenders carrying passengers under age 16 at the time of the offense must also complete 25 days of community service.

Uninsured Motorist Laws in Chicago

Chicago drivers are required to comply with the law for the minimum required auto insurance for the state of Illinois. A canceled or lapsed insurance policy is a violation of state law, and it is also a violation to fail to show valid proof of insurance when requested by a police officer during a traffic stop. Drivers in Chicago are required to carry proof of insurance and show it to any law enforcement officer upon request, and those who fail to do so will have the vehicle’s registration suspended, plus a minimum fine of $500 for driving without insurance. If it is a first-time offense, the driver must provide proof of insurance and pay a $100 fine to have the vehicle’s registration reinstated. Repeat offenders must pay the same fee and provide proof of insurance after a suspension of four months. If the registration was previously suspended for a previous insurance violation, there is a minimum fine of $1,000.

Chicago Car Insurance FAQs

Is Car Insurance Required in Chicago?

Yes, Illinois requires motorists to carry auto liability insurance with specific minimums. Chicago drivers who recently moved to Illinois or are registering a new vehicle must be prepared to provide proof of liability insurance at registration.

Which Cars Are Required To Be Insured in Chicago?

Chicago drivers are required to comply with Illinois state regulations that any vehicle registered in Illinois must meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements.

When Should I Get Car Insurance in Chicago?

A Chicago driver will need proof of car insurance before registering a vehicle in Illinois.

What Happens if My Car Is Not Properly Insured in Chicago?

Drivers in Chicago and throughout Illinois are required to carry proof of insurance and show it to any law enforcement officer upon request. Failure to comply will result in a suspended registration and a minimum fine of $500. For a first-time offense, a Chicago driver must provide proof of insurance and pay a $100 fine to have the vehicle’s registration reinstated. Repeat offenders must wait for four months, then pay a $100 fee as well as provide proof of insurance.

Is Chicago a No-Fault City?

No, Chicago, like the rest of Illinois, uses the at-fault state insurance system. That means drivers who cause a crash in Illinois can be sued by others involved in the crash for losses that exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. By comparison, in a no-fault state, any driver involved in an accident can collect compensation from their own insurance company regardless of whether or not they had a role in causing the crash.

Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Chicago?

No, Chicago drivers do not need to purchase separate uninsured motorist coverage, according to Illinois state law. Though there are minimums for uninsured motorist coverage, insurance companies are required to include this coverage in policies for state minimum liability insurance coverage.

Is Liability Insurance Required in Chicago?

Yes, in Chicago and throughout Illinois, drivers must carry automotive liability insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage according to the following statewide minimums: $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident, $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in an accident, and $20,000 for damage to the property of another person.

Does Chicago Accept Digital Insurance Cards?

Chicago drivers benefit from Illinois laws that allow digital insurance cards. That means drivers who have participating insurance companies can store proof of insurance on a smartphone. Chicago drivers who would like to use a digital insurance card should contact their insurance company to see if it is available.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

  1.     USAA
  2.     Geico
  3.     Allstate
  4.     State Farm
  5.     Farmers
  6.     Progressive
  7.     American Family
  8.     Nationwide
  9.     Travelers

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

Car Insurance Hub | Best Car Insurance Companies | Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

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