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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Illinois for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in Illinois, comparing rates from several companies is key. Rates can spike or dip from one company to the next for seemingly no reason, so shopping around is the best way to avoid getting stuck with sky-high prices.

To help drivers in Illinois get the best deal possible, NerdWallet collected rates from the 12 largest insurers in the state and found the cheapest options for several motorist groups.

Cheapest for good drivers in Illinois

For Illinois drivers with clean driving and credit histories, the cheapest insurers we found and their average rates for full coverage car insurance are:

  1. Safeco: $637 per year.
  2. Pekin: $641 per year.
  3. Geico: $741 per year.
  4. Erie: $867 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,092 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Illinois

For minimum required auto insurance in Illinois, the cheapest companies and their average rates for someone with good credit and a clean driving record are:

  1. Safeco: $248 per year.
  2. Pekin: $248 per year.
  3. Geico: $292 per year.
  4. Erie: $304 per year.
  5. Country Financial: $365 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

For an Illinois resident with blemished credit and a clean driving record, these are the cheapest insurers and their average rates:

  1. Safeco: $1,180 per year.
  2. Pekin: $1,203 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,503 per year.
  4. Country Financial: $1,634 per year.
  5. Travelers: $1,817 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

Illinois drivers who have caused a wreck recently might want to take a look at these companies, which returned the cheapest average rates:

  1. Safeco: $837 per year.
  2. Pekin: $852 per year.
  3. Erie: $1,123 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,239 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,388 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Illinois

For Illinois drivers with a recent DUI on their record, these are the cheapest insurers we found, ranked by their average rates:

  1. Safeco: $895 per year.
  2. Erie: $1,336 per year.
  3. Pekin: $1,369 per year.
  4. Country Financial: $1,599 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,600 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Illinois

For drivers in Illinois with a recent speeding ticket on their record, the cheapest companies and their average rates are:

  1. Pekin: $805 per year.
  2. Safeco: $819 per year.
  3. Erie: $910 per year.
  4. Geico: $925 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,260 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Illinois

For families with multiple drivers, the best rates for car insurance may not come from the same companies that are cheapest for singles. For that reason, it’s smart to shop around for car insurance quotes whenever a big change happens in your life, like getting married or adding a teen driver. To see which insurers have the best prices in Illinois, we checked rates for a 50-year-old married couple, with and without a teen driver on the policy.

Cheapest for a married couple in Illinois

For a husband and wife with clean driving and credit records, both 50 years old, the cheapest companies and their average rates for a two-vehicle policy in Illinois are:

  1. Safeco: $820 per year.
  2. Geico: $926 per year.
  3. Pekin: $957 per year.
  4. Erie: $1,303 per year.
  5. Travelers: $1,677 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Illinois

For a 50-year-old couple plus an 18-year-old driver, the cheapest insurers and their average rates in Illinois for two vehicles are:

  1. Safeco: $1,597 per year.
  2. Pekin: $1,769 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,120 per year.
  4. Erie: $2,520 per year.
  5. Country Financial: $2,922 per year.
Taking that same couple and adding a teen with two years’ driving experience is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers across the state.

Cheapest for young drivers in Illinois

Drivers in their 20s typically pay higher rates for auto insurance than people with more driving experience. But insurers consider age and other personal factors differently when they set rates, so prices can vary widely. We analyzed rates for 25-year-olds to see which companies are cheapest for young drivers in Illinois.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a full coverage policy, the cheapest companies and average rates in Illinois for a 25-year-old with a clean driving record and good credit are:

  1. Pekin: $726 per year.
  2. Safeco: $768 per year.
  3. Geico: $860 per year.
  4. Erie: $1,040 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,305 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers all over the state with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount, but no others. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For a young driver in Illinois who wants just minimum required coverage, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates, assuming clean driving and credit histories:

  1. Pekin: $285 per year.
  2. Safeco: $292 per year.
  3. Geico: $332 per year.
  4. Erie: $364 per year.
  5. State Farm: $447 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers living across the state who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

These insurers returned the cheapest average rates for a 25-year-old Illinois driver with poor credit and a clean driving record, buying minimum coverage:

  1. Safeco: $494 per year.
  2. Pekin: $522 per year.
  3. Geico: $605 per year.
  4. Country Financial: $691 per year.
  5. Allstate: $927 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates across the state for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

A young driver with a recent at-fault accident may want to consider these companies, which showed the cheapest average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Safeco: $372 per year.
  2. Pekin: $383 per year.
  3. Erie: $491 per year.
  4. Geico: $527 per year.
  5. State Farm: $582 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers across the state with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For 25-year-old drivers in Illinois with a recent DUI on their record, the cheapest companies and their average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. Safeco: $389 per year.
  2. Erie: $601 per year.
  3. Progressive: $661 per year.
  4. Pekin: $668 per year.
  5. State Farm: $685 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent on-record DUI. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

For a young driver in Illinois with a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. Safeco: $361 per year.
  2. Pekin: $371 per year.
  3. Erie: $382 per year.
  4. Geico: $396 per year.
  5. State Farm: $519 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Illinois

  • Good drivers: Safeco
  • Minimum coverage: Safeco
  • Poor credit: Safeco
  • After an at-fault crash: Safeco
  • After a DUI: Safeco
  • After a speeding ticket: Pekin
  • Married couples: Safeco
  • Families with a teen: Safeco
  • Young good drivers: Pekin
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Pekin
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Safeco
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Safeco
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Safeco
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Safeco

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum auto insurance limits required in Illinois

Illinois law requires residents to carry liability insurance, including uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI), in the following amounts:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per incident.
  • $20,000 property damage liability per incident.
  • $25,000 UMBI per person.
  • $50,000 UMBI per incident.

Even though this will be enough to drive legally, you may want more than the minimum requirements. Imagine causing a crash and totaling another person’s car, for instance. The damages could easily top your $20,000 liability limit, and the remaining balance would have to come out of your pocket.

The Illinois secretary of state randomly selects registered vehicles and requires their owners to prove they have insurance via questionnaire. Residents who fail to fill out the form or who report they don’t have insurance will have their license plates suspended.

Check out NerdWallet’s guide to car insurance requirements by state to learn more about coverage options for your policy in the Land of Lincoln.

Alternative car insurance in Illinois

High-risk drivers who are denied car insurance on the voluntary market because of prior crashes, DUIs, poor credit or other factors can seek coverage through the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan.

For even more help finding cheap car insurance in Illinois, try NerdWallet’s auto insurance quotes comparison tool.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.