Illinois Auto Insurance [Comparison & Companies]

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Elijah Black is a Greenville, South Carolina native with a B.A. English from Coastal Carolina University. He is a fiction writer and also works as a freelance writer and editor. He’s worked as a Production Assistant for WYFF 4 and has been published in several publications...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance...

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Reviewed byRachael Brennan
Licensed Auto Insurance Agenthttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/sr22iq-live/2020/03/rachael-brennan.jpg

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Illinois Statistics SummaryDetails
Annual Road MilesTotal in State: 145,840
Vehicle Miles Driven: 105,223 million
VehiclesRegistered: 10,249,044
Total Stolen: 17,652
State Population12,741,080
Most Popular VehicleHonda CR-V
Uninsured Motorists13.70%
State Rank: 18
Total Driving Fatalities2008-2017
Speeding: 462
Drunk Driving: 349
Annual PremiumsLiability $446.72
Collision $309.71
Comprehensive $128.13
Cheapest ProviderSafeco

Because of its central location, the state of Illinois has the distinction of serving as a national crossroads for traffic flowing by air, rail, or land. As such, it has an extensive highway network. With 23 road routes that span 2,169.53 miles, it ranks third (behind California and Texas) for the longest interstate mileage nationwide.

As one of the states with the most highway miles, many residents can’t live without their cars — and they can’t drive without insurance. With all the data available at the touch of a button these days, when you’re looking for coverage, it’s hard to find exactly what you need.

There’s no need to get annoyed, Illinois. We’ve gathered everything here. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare rates, learn about companies, coverage options, and more aspects of car insurance to complete your knowledge.

First up, get ready to find out about car insurance coverage and rates. If you want to compare prices right now, enter your ZIP code in our free tool.

Table of Contents

Illinois Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

If you haven’t paid attention to state car insurance laws and the types of coverage available, finding what you’re looking for can be a challenge. The task can become worse if you get stuck plowing through piles of information. You may feel like a dog chasing its tail.

This section is here to help you break free from that pattern. We’ll explain the state minimum coverage requirements, insurance you can add to a policy, and other details to consider when you buy one.

Before we dive into that data, we’ll explore the Prairie State residents’ views of cars.

What is Illinois’s car culture?

The Land of Lincoln has earned a place in American driving history as the starting place for U.S. Route 66, which brings to mind classic cars and a simpler life. This once heavily traveled roadway is lined with several tourist attractions and eateries for those who want a more scenic cross-country trek.

In the Prairie State, as The Hartford notes, cars aren’t always necessary in bigger cities, like Chicago, where residents have access to several forms of public transportation. Illinoisans don’t see autos so much as a status symbol, but more of a commonplace form of transportation that they sometimes need, especially in rural farmland.

Whether you’re preparing to take backroads or for urban traffic congestion in your commute, you’ll need adequate car insurance coverage, which we’ll cover below.

How much coverage is required to meet the Illinois minimum limits?

Under state “fault” laws, according to Nolo, Illinois drivers must carry liability coverage to pay for damages in an accident they cause.

The coverage you buy must also include uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. It pays for losses you incur from crashes with drivers who don’t have insurance. It doesn’t cover property damage. The uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury amounts required match the liability limits.

You must buy coverage in the following minimum amounts:

Insurance RequiredMinimum Limits
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage$25,000 per one person
$50,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability Coverage$20,000 minimum
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident

As shown above, state law has certain coverage limits. To protect yourself from paying expensive fees out of pocket if you lack enough coverage, it’s wise to buy more than the minimum required.

What are the forms of financial responsibility in Illinois?

As we mentioned earlier, car insurance coverage is proof of your financial responsibility for an accident. Whenever a law enforcement officer pulls you over at a traffic stop or at an accident scene, or you receive a random questionnaire, you must provide proof of insurance.

The following are acceptable forms of proof of insurance or financial responsibility:

  • Your car insurance card (electronic or on paper)
  • An insurance binder
  • A copy of your current policy declaration page
  • A certificate of insurance
  • Your last insurance payment receipt

If you can’t show proof of insurance, you face fines, criminal charges, and suspension of your registration and driving privileges. So, remember to carry your insurance card with you whenever you drive.

How much percentage of income are premiums in Illinois?

Car insurance can seem like just another bill, but we don’t always think about how much of our income pays for that expense.

The table below shows how much the average Illinoisan earned and the amount they paid for car insurance compared to the typical American.

Illinois Insurance and Disposable Income2012 (Illinois)2012 (National)2013 (Illinois)2014 (National)2014 (Illinois)2014 (National)
Disposable Income Amount (Average)$40,143.00$39,473.00$40,619.00$39,192.00$42,256.00$40,859.00
Full Coverage Policy Cost (Average)$806.21$924.45$819.27$950.92$854.10$981.77
Percent of Income Spent on Car Insurance2.01%2.34%2.02%2.43%2.02%2.40%

From 2012 to 2014, incomes increased, as did annual car insurance costs. Illinois residents paid 2 percent of their incomes toward car insurance, while nationwide, that figure was closer to 2 and a half percent.

Looking at nearby states, Iowans paid less than 2 percent of their wages toward car insurance and had the lowest annual premium costs, while nearly 4 percent of Michigander’s incomes covered premiums, which were also the most expensive. Residents in those states earned less than those in Illinois.

How much of your income goes toward car insurance? Find out with our free calculator below:

CalculatorPro

What are the core coverages in Illinois?

Liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance are part of core or full coverage. With data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), below are the state and national average costs for each type of coverage.

Coverage TypeAverages Cost, Illinois(2015)Averages Cost, National (2015)
Liability$446.72$538.73
Collision$309.71$322.61
Comprehensive$128.13$148.04
Combined$884.56$1009.38

As shown, Illinois drivers paid less for all of the coverage types than U.S. motorists. The law firm video below explains full coverage and the state-required minimum limits:

Besides core coverage policies, you can also buy additional liability. We’ll go over those insurance options next.

What additional liability is available in Illinois?

An optional form of additional liability coverage available to Illinoisans is Medical Payments (MedPay). This insurance pays for medical bills incurred from an accident, regardless of who caused it.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage for bodily injury is added to every policy in Illinois at the same limits as bodily injury liability, but you can add UM/UIM property damage coverage.

Loss ratios compare how much insurance companies pay in claims versus the amount they charge for premiums. They measure financial stability. The below loss ratios from 2012 to 2014 show how Illinois insurers have handled MedPay and UM/UIM claims:

Illinois Loss Ratio201420132012
Medical Payments (MedPay)75.51%77.03%22.23%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist62.98%62.11%66.57%

For the most part, Illinois loss ratios were in the middle — neither too high nor too low. An exception is the low rate of 22 percent in 2012 for MedPay. A loss ratio under 40 percent is probably too low, while a loss ratio of over 75 percent is too high.

If a company’s loss ratio is too low, it collects more money in premiums than it needs for the number of claims it receives. On the other hand, if a loss ratio is too high, the carrier doesn’t earn enough money for the claims it receives; it might seek to increase rates soon to adjust for the loss.

Unless a loss ratio has been high for several years in a row, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an insurance company will face bankruptcy.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that 13.7 percent of drivers in Illinois don’t have coverage. The state ranks 18th nationwide for uninsured/underinsured motorists.

UM/UIM coverage will protect you in case you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. Again, we suggest you buy coverage beyond the state minimum limits so that you won’t end up paying claims yourself.

What add-ons, endorsements, and riders are available in Illinois?

Below is more coverage you can add to a basic car insurance plan for greater protection tailored to your needs.

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Pay-as-You Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-Owner Car Insurance
  • Modified Car Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Car Insurance

These options help you customize the perfect coverage just for you.

Usage-based insurance is available through companies such as Root and MetroMile. These programs require the use of an app or a telematics device that plugs into a car’s diagnostic port. Some of them track mileage, others monitor how users drive, and some do both.

MetroMile tracks mileage only, rather than hard braking, speed, or turns. Root bases its car insurance pricing solely on driving habits. You need to qualify for coverage through taking part in their test-drive period. If you pass, Root will tell you how much you’ll need to pay for car insurance. But, if you engage in risky driving behaviors, watch out. The company may later deny you coverage or raise your rates.

Do gender and age affect my car insurance in Illinois?

We’ve partnered with Quadrant Data to bring you the information below. It’s based on coverage the state population has purchased and includes rates for high-risk drivers and those who choose to buy more than the state minimum. That covers other types of insurance the state doesn’t require.

Factoring a person’s gender into car insurance rates is legal in Illinois, but by itself, it’s not as much of an influence as age and marital status.

Here’s how car insurance rates vary among different ages, genders, and marital statuses in the Prairie State:

CompanyMarried 35-year-old FemaleMarried 35-year-old MaleMarried 60-year-old FemaleMarried 60-year-old MaleSingle 17-year-old FemaleSingle 17-year-old MaleSingle 25-year-old FemaleSingle 25-year-old Male
Allstate F&;C$3,305.50$3,320.65$3,452.26$3,452.26$8,547.98$11,112.80$3,973.25$4,293.46
American Family Mutual$2,369.94$2,369.94$2,168.97$2,168.97$6,676.10$9,263.85$2,369.94$3,056.23
Geico Cas$1,691.91$1,711.59$1,614.70$1,892.49$5,407.10$5,673.56$2,074.22$2,048.08
Illinois Farmers Ins Co$2,456.68$2,457.73$2,179.75$2,305.14$10,514.80$10,961.50$2,803.50$2,931.88
Nationwide Mutual Fire$1,926.46$1,960.52$1,713.84$1,816.17$5,285.82$6,786.79$2,242.62$2,429.53
Progressive Northern$2,055.34$1,946.27$1,694.99$1,773.48$7,336.88$8,239.12$2,450.28$2,647.61
Safeco Ins Co of IL$1,401.51$1,512.93$1,165.71$1,303.12$4,621.83$5,140.83$1,464.07$1,543.97
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,454.19$1,454.19$1,299.88$1,299.88$4,229.18$5,361.67$1,643.58$1,887.70
Travelers Standard Fire Ins Co$1,570.87$1,657.44$1,431.81$1,526.42$4,533.18$5,685.41$1,665.85$1,754.69
USAA$1,647.73$1,676.66$1,532.32$1,509.06$5,332.28$5,880.44$2,170.35$2,385.18

For the most part, married, 60-year-old females have an edge over their male counterparts and younger drivers — they pay less for coverage. Generally speaking, after age 17, car insurance costs level off for drivers by several thousands of dollars until they reach age 25. Rates continue to decline slightly as drivers age (and gain more wisdom and experience).

What are the cheapest rates by ZIP code in Illinois?

Where you live also factors into your coverage costs. Rates vary by ZIP code because insurers look at accident and theft rates and even how national disasters have affected certain neighborhoods.

Below are the rates for the top 25 districts in Illinois:

ZIP CodeAverageAllstate F&CAmerican Family MutualIllinois Farmers Ins CoGeico CasSafeco Ins Co of ILNationwide Mutual FireProgressive NorthernState Farm Mutual AutoTravelers Standard Fire Ins CoUSAA
60409$4,869.58$8,440.63$5,512.97$7,307.96$4,174.80$2,962.87$5,154.39$5,093.07$3,559.89$3,224.92$3,264.26
60419$4,916.48$8,376.85$5,512.97$7,307.96$4,174.80$3,196.44$5,154.39$5,250.21$3,654.17$3,272.76$3,264.26
60426$5,086.94$9,019.10$5,512.97$8,005.22$4,174.80$3,250.04$5,154.39$5,163.41$3,720.23$3,421.74$3,447.54
60428$4,909.88$9,019.10$5,029.41$7,454.20$4,174.80$3,021.11$5,154.39$4,814.27$3,623.53$3,360.48$3,447.54
60609$4,977.73$6,676.64$5,490.47$6,648.83$5,381.89$3,218.94$6,161.09$5,082.91$3,534.20$3,667.12$3,915.22
60612$4,900.57$6,972.00$5,527.58$6,745.47$4,816.17$2,843.41$5,674.12$5,469.88$3,914.01$3,657.65$3,385.42
60617$4,820.71$7,673.42$5,551.38$6,790.94$4,655.22$2,983.70$5,154.39$4,909.82$3,548.03$3,675.92$3,264.26
60619$5,058.15$7,673.07$5,490.47$6,898.45$4,655.22$3,004.26$6,161.09$5,781.24$3,681.27$3,716.67$3,519.74
60620$5,156.08$8,225.38$5,490.47$7,378.50$4,655.22$3,139.46$6,161.09$5,734.85$3,561.15$3,694.98$3,519.74
60621$5,323.19$8,230.54$5,563.16$7,548.54$5,119.06$3,245.74$6,161.09$5,911.99$3,884.45$3,652.09$3,915.22
60623$5,385.12$8,819.04$5,490.47$7,501.83$5,174.40$3,354.15$5,734.05$6,652.26$3,926.23$3,813.32$3,385.42
60624$5,378.19$8,818.77$5,527.58$7,548.54$5,174.40$3,245.86$5,734.05$6,489.93$4,180.43$3,676.91$3,385.42
60628$5,027.07$8,156.64$5,563.16$6,923.74$4,655.22$3,327.37$5,154.39$5,664.15$3,667.93$3,710.59$3,447.54
60629$4,973.03$7,501.04$5,415.09$6,790.94$4,337.86$2,988.43$6,161.09$5,210.68$3,804.76$3,605.20$3,915.22
60632$4,865.06$6,824.25$5,224.80$6,624.53$4,337.86$2,988.43$6,161.09$5,315.30$3,598.14$3,660.95$3,915.22
60636$5,437.22$8,440.54$5,551.38$7,665.01$5,119.06$3,346.63$6,161.09$6,186.84$4,134.64$3,851.75$3,915.22
60637$5,047.00$7,672.96$5,309.93$6,886.55$4,927.67$2,999.46$6,161.09$5,490.11$3,730.87$3,641.59$3,649.72
60639$5,082.84$8,115.39$5,415.09$6,851.93$5,174.40$3,099.53$5,734.05$5,783.65$3,636.16$3,632.80$3,385.42
60644$5,359.76$8,564.60$5,551.38$7,524.75$5,174.40$3,125.16$5,734.05$6,664.18$4,061.53$3,812.15$3,385.42
60649$5,173.45$8,636.60$5,551.38$7,365.07$4,655.22$2,917.37$6,161.09$5,292.00$3,799.59$3,706.43$3,649.72
60651$5,361.85$8,563.35$5,527.58$7,548.54$5,174.40$3,354.15$5,734.05$6,760.02$4,024.78$3,802.33$3,129.28
60652$4,722.40$7,468.85$5,224.80$6,566.27$4,337.86$2,875.54$6,161.09$4,686.07$3,345.56$3,418.12$3,139.82
60653$4,969.81$6,604.65$5,527.58$6,745.47$4,788.34$3,052.94$6,161.09$5,482.68$3,723.33$3,696.77$3,915.22
60827$4,740.34$7,488.91$5,512.97$7,081.87$3,591.27$3,002.60$5,154.39$5,430.99$3,316.77$3,376.05$3,447.54

The state’s biggest city, Chicago, tops the list. Here are the bottom 25 ZIP codes:

ZipcodeAverageAllstate F&CAmerican Family MutualIllinois Farmers Ins CoGeico CasSafeco Ins Co of ILNationwide Mutual FireProgressive NorthernState Farm Mutual AutoTravelers Standard Fire Ins CoUSAA
61233$2,839.82$4,494.65$3,527.16$4,026.91$2,568.13$2,157.43$1,989.04$2,940.01$2,063.89$2,112.52$2,518.45
61234$2,819.58$4,494.65$3,559.06$4,012.12$2,568.13$2,097.11$1,989.04$2,949.96$1,999.86$2,007.40$2,518.45
61235$2,810.61$4,494.65$3,559.06$3,912.78$2,568.13$2,087.46$1,989.04$2,916.99$2,031.12$2,028.42$2,518.45
61238$2,820.35$4,494.65$3,527.16$3,826.59$2,568.13$2,157.43$1,989.04$3,103.81$1,946.69$2,071.60$2,518.45
61243$2,827.01$4,679.99$3,527.16$3,927.56$2,381.53$2,013.86$2,234.70$2,801.95$2,121.71$2,065.23$2,516.41
61250$2,830.99$4,679.99$3,559.06$4,018.99$2,381.53$2,069.71$1,989.04$2,791.43$2,133.51$2,170.23$2,516.41
61251$2,821.17$4,679.99$3,527.16$3,948.18$2,381.53$2,065.44$1,989.04$2,762.37$2,121.71$2,219.91$2,516.41
61254$2,826.44$4,494.65$3,559.06$3,826.59$2,568.13$2,094.74$1,989.04$2,990.80$2,001.71$2,221.22$2,518.45
61258$2,806.57$4,494.65$3,527.16$4,012.84$2,381.53$2,113.07$1,989.04$2,880.58$2,063.89$2,084.49$2,518.45
61261$2,798.77$4,679.99$3,604.25$3,927.56$2,381.53$2,018.48$1,989.04$2,743.24$1,988.65$2,138.57$2,516.41
61270$2,804.51$4,679.99$3,527.16$3,948.18$2,381.53$2,018.48$1,989.04$2,743.74$1,994.05$2,246.49$2,516.41
61274$2,807.10$4,494.65$3,559.06$3,826.59$2,568.13$2,092.22$1,989.04$2,869.66$1,933.28$2,219.91$2,518.45
61277$2,822.68$4,664.23$3,527.16$3,948.18$2,381.53$2,113.07$1,989.04$2,872.67$2,033.48$2,181.03$2,516.41
61283$2,839.47$4,679.99$3,527.16$4,076.15$2,381.53$2,100.77$2,234.70$2,760.78$2,041.00$2,076.22$2,516.41
61314$2,846.26$4,494.65$3,559.06$4,096.75$2,568.13$1,994.59$2,234.70$2,954.71$2,077.89$2,120.65$2,361.50
61322$2,846.43$4,494.65$3,527.16$4,047.50$2,568.13$2,001.75$2,234.70$2,987.33$2,011.52$2,230.08$2,361.50
61361$2,851.38$4,494.65$3,559.06$4,096.75$2,568.13$2,100.77$2,234.70$2,918.70$2,105.39$2,074.20$2,361.50
61379$2,838.40$4,494.65$3,559.06$4,061.34$2,568.13$1,994.59$2,234.70$2,951.83$2,028.67$2,129.49$2,361.50
61401$2,829.06$4,295.16$3,394.49$3,991.53$2,395.17$2,064.42$2,609.02$2,866.30$1,997.61$2,037.75$2,639.19
61443$2,792.51$4,449.57$3,394.49$3,912.78$2,568.13$2,040.38$1,989.04$2,886.84$1,977.90$2,187.55$2,518.45
61704$2,847.73$4,540.19$3,445.14$4,127.12$2,395.17$2,110.17$2,021.61$3,246.32$2,143.44$2,129.64$2,318.48
61726$2,849.60$4,540.19$3,379.36$4,036.28$2,568.13$2,094.74$2,442.60$3,094.36$1,906.42$1,992.92$2,441.02
61761$2,793.40$4,542.05$3,379.36$4,070.74$2,395.17$2,127.69$2,021.61$2,865.04$2,085.69$2,128.21$2,318.48
61920$2,798.85$4,605.31$3,222.83$4,040.75$2,306.59$2,048.79$2,209.63$2,807.39$2,056.28$1,945.27$2,745.67
61938$2,826.12$4,605.31$3,222.83$4,156.63$2,306.59$2,048.79$2,209.63$2,797.41$2,149.72$2,018.65$2,745.67

Rounding out the list are smaller Illinois towns such as Kewanee (61443) and Normal (61761), where residents pay an average of $2,000 or more less than their “Windy City” counterparts.

What are the cheapest rates by city in Illinois?

Now, we’ve organized the data by city name. First up, in reverse order, are the top 25 areas that pay the lowest premiums.

CityAverage Grand Total
ANDOVER$2,839.82
ANNAWAN$2,819.58
ATKINSON$2,810.61
BUDA$2,846.26
CAMBRIDGE$2,820.35
CHARLESTON$2,798.85
CHENOA$2,849.60
DEER GROVE$2,827.01
DEPUE$2,846.43
ERIE$2,830.99
FENTON$2,821.17
FISHER$2,851.95
GALESBURG$2,829.06
GENESEO$2,826.44
HOOPPOLE$2,806.57
KEWANEE$2,792.51
LYNDON$2,798.77
MATTOON$2,826.12
MORRISON$2,804.51
OSCO$2,807.10
PROPHETSTOWN$2,822.68
SHEFFIELD$2,851.38
TAMPICO$2,839.47
TISKILWA$2,851.82
WYANET$2,838.40

Overall, rates among the top 25 varied by only about $100. Now here’s the bottom 25 — the cities where premium costs are the highest.

CityAverage Grand Total
BEDFORD PARK$4,580.45
BELLWOOD$4,533.25
BLUE ISLAND$4,583.03
BROADVIEW$4,458.24
CALUMET CITY$4,869.58
CHICAGO$4,511.85
CHICAGO$4,548.35
CICERO$4,606.10
DOLTON$4,916.48
EAST SAINT LOUIS$4,537.91
ELMWOOD PARK$4,609.74
FOREST PARK$4,338.78
HARVEY$5,086.94
HAZEL CREST$4,594.20
LINCOLNWOOD$4,326.97
LOVEJOY$4,382.97
MADISON$4,370.47
MARKHAM$4,909.88
MAYWOOD$4,548.72
NATIONAL STOCK YARDS$4,577.82
POSEN$4,648.95
RIVERDALE$4,740.34
ROBBINS$4,713.49
SKOKIE$4,422.17
STONE PARK$4,434.54
VENICE$4,353.67

Chicago and its suburbs, including Lincolnwood, Harvey, and Dolton, dominate this list. Among these cities, there’s a greater price difference — of over $700 — from the highest to the lowest rates.

Best State Car Insurance Companies

We live in an age of options. Sometimes, that’s a good thing because we have a greater variety to choose from. On another level, however, it may make purchases that require research, such as car insurance coverage, harder. You may struggle to decide what’s most important to consider, whether it’s price, coverage choices, or even the provider itself.

Some companies provide better coverage options and service than others. That’s reflected in reviews, financial ratings, and other benchmarks. In this section, we’ll look at some of the biggest aspects to evaluate when you consider a car insurance company to help you narrow down your choices.

Read on to find out which car insurance companies in Illinois are the best.

What are the financial ratings of the largest car insurance companies in Illinois?

A.M. Best measures the financial stability and credit-worthiness of car insurance companies. As we stated before, a loss ratio is a big part of that.

Below are the grades A.M. Best has given the top insurers in the Prairie State.

CompanyA.M. Best Rating
Allstate InsuranceA+
American Family InsuranceA
Country Insurance & Financial ServiceA+
FarmersA
GeicoA++
Liberty MutualA
ProgressiveA+
State FarmA++
TravelersA++
USAAA++

None of the companies listed earned less than an “A.” Geico, State Farm, USAA, and Travelers received the highest marks, of “A++” for superior financial strength. They’re more likely to continue their long-term growth and be able to afford to pay lots of claims.

Which car insurance companies have the best ratings in Illinois?

In J.D. Power’s Auto Insurance Study, the company surveyed thousands of car insurance customers. The results below reveal their satisfaction levels for insurers in the North Central region of the U.S., which includes Illinois.

InsurerPointsPower Circles
Allstate822Three
American Family820Three
Auto-Owners Insurance836Three
Automobile Club Group801Two
Cincinnati Insurance832Three
Country Financial846Four
Erie Insurance852Five
Esurance818Three
Farmers818Three
Geico836Three
Grange Insurance828Three
IN Farm Bureau854Five
Liberty Mutual802Two
Metlife794Two
MI Farm Bureau839Four
Nationwide829Three
North Central Average830Three
Progressive828Three
Safeco788Two
State Farm841Four
The Hanover807Two
The Hartford839Four
Travelers803Two
USAA*898Five
Westfield855Five

Three smaller insurers — Westfield, IN Farm Bureau, and Erie Insurance — received five “power circles,” which means that they’re “among the best.” Though USAA also earned five, it’s not included because it provides insurance only to members of the military.

Which car insurance companies have the most complaints in Illinois?

Not every dissatisfied customer complains. But those who do take the matter seriously. The NAIC data below reveals the complaint ratios for the top insurers in Illinois.

ProviderCompany Complaint
Ratio 2017
Total Complaints
2017
Allstate Insurance Group0.5163
American Family Insurance Group0.7973
Country Insurance & Financial Service Group0.4415
Farmers Insurance Group00
Geico0.68333
Liberty Mutual Group5.95222
Progressive Group0.75120
State Farm Group0.441482
Travelers Group0.092
USAA Group0.74296

A complaint ratio measures the number of complaints a company receives while it conducts business. If an insurer has a larger market share than others, though it may get a lot of complaints (like State Farm), it may still have a low ratio. A number higher than “one,” as shown for Liberty Mutual (at 5.95), exceeds the average. With a lower market share, this is  a “red flag.”

What are the cheapest car insurance companies in Illinois?

Now, we’ll look at the average prices the biggest companies in Illinois charge their customers.

CompanyAverageCompared to State AveragePercent +/- State Average
Allstate F&C$5,182.27$1,911.3236.88%
American Family Mutual$3,805.49$534.5414.05%
Geico Cas$2,764.21-$506.75-18.33%
Illinois Farmers Ins Co$4,576.37$1,305.4228.53%
Nationwide Mutual Fire$3,020.22-$250.74-8.30%
Progressive Northern$3,517.99$247.047.02%
Safeco Ins Co of IL$2,269.25-$1,001.71-44.14%
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,328.78-$942.17-40.46%
Travelers Standard Fire Ins Co$2,478.21-$792.75-31.99%
USAA$2,766.75-$504.20-18.22%

At 44 percent less than the state average, Safeco comes out on top with the lowest prices. On the opposite side of the scale, Allstate’s rates were 37 percent higher than the average.

Does my commute affect my car insurance rate in Illinois?

For those who drive long distances regularly, car insurers who based prices on mileage are a concern. Here’s how much the top insurers in Illinois charge for 10-mile and 25-mile commutes.

Company10 Miles Commute or 6,000 Annual Mileage25 Miles Commute or 12,000 Annual Mileage
Allstate$5,182.27$5,182.27
American Family$3,756.53$3,854.46
Farmers$4,576.37$4,576.37
Geico$2,712.74$2,815.67
Liberty Mutual$2,269.25$2,269.25
Nationwide$3,020.22$3,020.22
Progressive$3,517.99$3,517.99
State Farm$2,270.17$2,387.40
Travelers$2,380.94$2,575.47
USAA$2,689.07$2,844.44

Several insurers don’t base their prices on mileage: Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Allstate, and Farmers. Among those who do, State Farm, American Family, and Geico had the lowest price difference between ten- and 25-mile commutes, of roughly $100.

Can coverage level change my car insurance rate with companies in Illinois?

Your coverage level — whether it’s low, medium, or high — also affects how much you pay for insurance. Here’s how prices vary among insurers for different coverage levels.

CompanyLow CoverageMedium CoverageHigh Coverage
Allstate$5,020.65$5,177.14$5,349.03
American Family$3,673.16$3,944.42$3,798.90
Farmers$4,353.36$4,468.30$4,907.46
Geico$2,529.05$2,756.71$3,006.86
Liberty Mutual$2,140.41$2,264.25$2,403.08
Nationwide$3,000.83$3,045.06$3,014.77
Progressive$3,232.62$3,504.03$3,817.33
State Farm$2,200.64$2,332.30$2,453.41
Travelers$2,323.26$2,475.20$2,636.16
USAA$2,582.81$2,764.19$2,953.26

With full, or high, coverage, you’ll get more of a claim payout. Best of all, with American Family and Nationwide, the difference between low and high coverage amounts to $100 or less, which makes full coverage affordable for some.

How does my credit history affect my car insurance rate with companies in Illinois?

Your credit score also factors into your car insurance rates. Often, with poor credit, you’ll pay more than if you have good credit. Here’s how much insurers in the Prairie State charge for different credit scores.

CompanyPoor Credit RateFair Credit RateGood Credit Rate
Allstate$6,613.50$4,765.11$4,168.20
American Family$5,064.08$3,442.45$2,909.95
Farmers$5,201.91$4,369.76$4,157.45
Geico$4,439.22$2,166.11$1,687.28
Liberty Mutual$3,209.71$2,002.97$1,595.06
Nationwide$3,606.83$2,908.56$2,545.26
Progressive$4,013.61$3,400.36$3,140.02
State Farm$3,384.91$2,027.96$1,573.47
Travelers$3,024.35$2,433.13$1,977.14
USAA$3,684.79$2,530.45$2,085.02

Illinois residents generally have good credit.

Experian’s 2017 State of Credit Report reveals that Illinois residents have an average Vantage credit score of 683, which is higher than the national average of 675.

As shown, with some carriers, the price differences from poor credit to good credit can vary by as little as about $1,000 to as much as $3,000.

How does my driving record change my rates with car insurance companies in Illinois?

A speeding ticket or an accident can increase your car insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars. Below are rates among Illinois insurers for common driving infractions.

CompanyClean RecordOne Speeding ViolationOne AccidentOne DUI
Allstate$3,712.50$4,869.92$6,295.82$5,850.85
American Family$2,797.36$3,173.51$3,971.42$5,279.69
Farmers$3,865.35$4,601.59$4,981.19$4,857.36
Geico$1,980.04$2,438.42$2,787.85$3,850.51
Liberty Mutual$1,891.37$2,146.09$2,681.59$2,357.92
Nationwide$2,432.56$2,794.56$3,149.89$3,703.87
Progressive$2,900.83$3,665.72$4,293.62$3,211.80
State Farm$2,128.05$2,328.78$2,529.52$2,328.78
Travelers$1,971.92$2,473.62$2,583.81$2,883.48
USAA$1,971.53$2,378.06$2,834.82$3,882.60

Not every insurer charges different rates for different offenses. For instance, State Farm increases the rates for a speeding ticket and a DUI — despite the severity of the penalties — by $200 from a clean record.

Which car insurance companies are the largest in Illinois?

Some insurers write more premiums and have a larger market share than others in the Prairie State. Let’s see which ones came out on top.

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
Allstate Insurance Group$854,959,00011.52%
American Family Insurance Group$324,588,0004.37%
Country Insurance & Financial Service Group$494,300,0006.66%
Farmers Insurance Group$326,150,0004.39%
Geico$468,402,0006.31%
Liberty Mutual Group$216,617,0002.92%
Progressive Group$428,172,0005.77%
State Farm Group$2,365,801,00031.87%
Travelers Group$119,798,0001.61%
USAA Group$175,859,0002.37%

With nearly a third of the market share and more than $2 million worth of premiums written, State Farm leads by a wide margin. At nearly 12 percent, Allstate placed a distant second.

How many car insurance companies are available in Illinois?

Out of 1,031 property and casualty insurance companies that operate in the Land of Lincoln, 191 are “domestic,” or headquartered, in the state. The rest are “foreign,” or licensed in other states to do business in Illinois.

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Illinois Laws

Laws control several aspects of daily life. If you’re not up on the latest regulations, especially when it comes to driving, you may get in trouble. And, as they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

If you want to take the high road — like honest Abe — you’ll want to keep reading to learn about the laws that regulate car insurance in the Prairie State, along with licensing ordinances.

So, for the full scoop, let’s get started.

Car Insurance Laws

First, we’ll go over how the car insurance you need to buy in Illinois is formed. It helps to know how it can affect you and the coverage you buy.

How State Laws for Insurance are Determined

As part of Illinois state code, the legislature creates car insurance laws. The Prairie State follows a “use and file” system for rate filings, which, according to the NAIC, means that they don’t require prior approval for use.

Windshield Coverage

State laws also control windshield replacement. According to CarWindshields.Info, Illinois repair shops may use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, and if you refuse to accept them, you may have to pay the difference. The vendor may also use aftermarket parts, and if they do, they must appear on the estimate.

Illinois law doesn’t specify requirements for insurance coverage regarding windshield replacement. Sometimes comprehensive car insurance policies offer full glass replacement benefits. Generally, a comprehensive insurance policy includes benefits for repair work or even a full vehicle replacement if someone steals your car or if collisions, fire, weather, and other incidents damage your vehicle.

High-Risk Insurance

Drivers who have a record of major traffic violations, such as accidents and DUIs, can face problems getting car insurance. Some of these “high-risk” drivers may have to file an SR-22 financial responsibility form with their nearest Secretary of State office.

Illinois drivers who have tried and failed to get car insurance in the open marketplace within the past 60 days and who have or can acquire a valid driver’s license may qualify for the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan (ILAIP). The ILAIP assigns drivers to a company as part of a pool that spreads the risk among the participating insurers. It’s usually more expensive than standard coverage.

The amount you’ll pay through the ILAIP will vary based on your coverage limits, your location, your age, and other factors.

Under ILAIP, the assigned insurer must cover you for three years, but the program is a short-term solution while you improve your driving record to qualify for coverage under regular insurers.

Low-Cost Insurance

Though Illinois has a program to help high-risk drivers, it doesn’t have one for low-income drivers.

California, Hawaii, and New Jersey are the only states with government-funded programs to help low-income drivers pay for their car insurance.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Illinois

Insurance applicants, claimants, policyholders, and agents can commit insurance fraud, which includes the following activities:

  • Planning to file a false claim
  • Exaggerating damage in a claim
  • Faking an accident

As you’ll see below, Illinois has strict and severe insurance fraud penalties.

Dollar Amount of FraudCrime ClassificationPenalties
$300 or lessClass A MisdemeanorUp to one year in jail
Up to $2,500 in fines
More than $300 but less than $1,000Class 3 FelonyTwo to five years in prison
More than $10,000, but less than $100,000Class 2 FelonyThree to seven years in prison
More than $100,000Class 1 FelonyFour to 15 years in prison

To report insurance fraud, email the Illinois Department of Insurance or call the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) at 800-835-6422.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time you have left to file and resolve an insurance claim or bring a lawsuit. In Illinois, accident victims generally have two years to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. There are exceptions to the rule. The timeframe can change depending on whether the accident involved a local government vehicle or if the injured was a minor at the time of the accident.

For property damage, the statute of limitations is five years.

State-Specific Laws

In July 2020, drivers who fail to yield the right of way in crosswalks and school zones that cause death or bodily injury will have their licenses suspended for one year. Known as “Mason’s Law,” it commemorates a young man who was killed when a tractor-trailer driver ignored a stop sign.

What are the vehicle licensing laws in Illinois?

We’ve gone over several laws already, but this time we’ll cover those that control vehicle licensing, the renewal process, and penalties for driving without insurance.

REAL ID

The federal REAL ID Act was passed in 2005 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as part of the government’s homeland security initiative.

As a result, starting on October 1, 2020, to travel on domestic airline flights or enter federal buildings (including military installations), you’ll need a REAL ID. If you have a valid passport or a military ID, you don’t need a REAL ID.

To apply for a REAL ID at your nearest Secretary of State driving facility, you’ll need to provide the following documents (originals or certified copies only):

  • Proof of identity, such as birth certificate, passport, or permanent resident card
  • Proof of your Social Security Number (Social Security card, W-2 form, or pay stub)
  • Proof of any name changes (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.)
  • Two proofs of Illinois residency (utility bill, rental agreements, bank statement, etc.)
  • Proof of signature (current driver’s license, debit/credit card, etc.)

After the documents have been reviewed and verified, applicants should receive their new permanent REAL ID cards in the mail within 15 business days.

The news report below reveals more about REAL ID in Illinois:

The Illinois Secretary of State office estimates that REAL ID wait times average 15 to 20 minutes. Drivers will receive temporary documents after they apply and later get their new IDs in the mail.

Now, we’ll look at what could happen if you hit the road without insurance.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

As we outlined above, you must carry proof of insurance with you whenever you drive — otherwise, you risk fines and the loss of your driving privileges. Below are the penalties.

OffenseFineLicense/Registration SuspensionOther Penalties
First and SecondMinimum of $500Plates suspended until the driver provides proof of insurance
License suspended for three months
$100 reinstatement fee
ThirdMinimum of $1,000Both suspended four months$100 reinstatement fee
SR-22 filing

State officials not only enforce this law during traffic stops and at accident scenes, but they also mail questionnaires to random drivers to confirm if they carry car insurance.

Teen Driver Laws

Like other states, Illinois uses a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program. It lets teens stay safe while they gain driving experience. These are the stages of the program and their requirements:

License TypeMinimum AgeRequirementsRestrictions
Learner's Permit15 yearsEnroll in driver education (not required after age 15 and six months);
pass written and vision tests.
May drive only with a parent, guardian, or instructor over 21;
may not drive between 10 p.m.-6 a.m. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday);
may not use a cell phone, even hands-free
Provisional License16 yearsMust have permit for nine months;
must complete 50 hours of driving instruction, 10 of which are at night;
complete driver's ed; pass road test.
May not drive between 10 p.m.-6 a.m. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday);
may not use a cell phone, even hands-free;
Only one passenger under age 20 (except family) for 12 months or until age 18
Full License18 yearsIf driver did not complete driver's ed in high school, a six-hour adult training course is requiredNo cell phone use, including hands-free, until age 19.

Through participating in the program, teens can start with a learner’s permit at age 15 and qualify for a full driver’s license by age 18.

Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

Driver’s license renewal procedures for seasoned drivers differ from those for the general population and are stricter than those of other states.

Renewal ProceduresOlder Population Rules
License renewal cycleTwo years for people 81-86; one year for people 87 and older
Mail or online renewal permittedNot allowed for ages 75 and older
Vision test requiredAge 75 and older; every renewal

In the process, the requirements help keep older drivers safe.

New Residents

New residents must apply for an Illinois driver’s license at a local Secretary of State office within 90 days and pay appropriate fees. They should bring original or certified copies of proper identification to verify their full names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, Illinois residency, and written signature.

Drivers who have a license valid in another state or country must take a vision test and a written knowledge test. They’ll need to surrender the out-of-state license for an Illinois one.

If the driver doesn’t have a valid license or is licensed in another country Illinois doesn’t partner with, they will also need to take a road test.

License Renewal Procedures

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that Illinois drivers must renew their licenses every four years. Every eight years, drivers who have accrued driving convictions must take a written test at the time of renewal.

Your renewal letter will state whether you can renew online. At every second renewal, you must renew online. Being designated a Safe Driver for keeping a clean driving record in the past four years lets you qualify to renew online. You can renew online with a valid checking account or debit or credit card in the following steps:

  1. Enter the renewal authorization number on your renewal form
  2. Follow the directions on the screen and verify your information; if you’ve moved, enter your new address
  3. Type in your checking account number or valid Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit card
  4. Print your confirmation

It’s as simple as that. You should receive your new license in the mail within 15 business days.

Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

Illinois’s points system for traffic violations tallies who’s been naughty on the road. Offenders will accrue points on their records, which add up. Those who earn three or more points in three months will have their licenses suspended. Below are the points for common violations:

  • Failure to stay in the proper lane: 20 points
  • Speeding: five to 50 points, depending on the speed
  • Failure to obey a traffic sign: 20 points
  • Possessing an open alcohol container: 25 points
  • Reckless driving: 55 points

The more severe the offense, the higher the points. Based on the number of points collected, these are the driver’s license suspension timeframes:

  • 15-44 points: two months
  • 45-74 points: three months
  • 75-89 points: six months
  • 90-99 points: nine months
  • 100 or more points: twelve months

Offenders who have had their licenses suspended or revoked in the previous seven years will face longer suspension terms. These penalties literally “point up” the fact that it’s better to drive safely rather than risk losing your driving privileges.

What are the rules of the road in Illinois?

Now that we’ve gone over the licensing laws, we’ll inform you about some of the basic driving safety laws and other “road rules.”

But, first, several new laws go into effect in 2020, which the news report details below. It covers everything from distracted driving to “move over” laws and new roadside sobriety tests for marijuana:

Staying up-to-date on new laws can help you avoid penalties and accidents. If you happen to become involved in a crash, knowledge of the state “fault” laws we outline below may ease the compensation process.

Fault vs. No-Fault

As we covered earlier, Illinois requires the person who is “at fault,” or responsible for causing an accident to pay for any damages. They do this through their insurance coverage. According to state law, the other party involved can sue you for damages, especially if the costs exceed your policy limits.

When it comes to determining negligence or responsibility for a crash, Illinois follows a law of modified comparative fault. Under this system, an injured victim may collect compensation if they were found to be less than 51 percent at fault.

The amount of the damages they can collect is reduced by their portion of fault. For example, if you are found to be 40 percent at fault for an accident that caused injuries and other damages valued at $100,000, you could collect $40,000.

This law firm video further explains the rules:

We’ve covered some of the basics of compensation. Now, we’ll turn our attention to Illinois safety laws, including the proper restraints for adults and children.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

In Illinois, all drivers and passengers older than age eight who sit in the front and back seats must wear safety belts.

Children under age eight must be properly seated in an appropriate child safety restraint system. According to the IIHS, until they’re age two or unless they’re 40 inches tall or weigh at least 40 pounds, they must stay in a rear-facing child safety seat. Children ages eight through 15 or who weigh more than 40 pounds may sit in the rear where only a lap belt is available.

If a passenger with a disability or medical condition can’t fasten their own safety belt, the driver is responsible for securing and adjusting it for them.

The maximum base fine for adults who aren’t wearing a seat belt is $25 (first offense). For children who aren’t properly restrained, it triples to $75.

Regarding cargo areas of pick up trucks, Illinois doesn’t have any laws that restrict passengers from riding there.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

Illinois law states that drivers must stay in the right lane if they’re traveling slower than the traffic around them.

The Prairie State’s “move over” law is known as Scott’s Law. It was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was killed by a drunk driver while he was at a crash scene. Under the law, drivers must slow down, change lanes, and proceed with caution when they approach disabled vehicles or emergency vehicles with flashing lights.

As noted in this news segment, law enforcement officers gave out 6,300 tickets for violations of Scott’s Law in 2019:

Ten accidents involved Ilinois state troopers in 2019 — an unfortunate reminder to all drivers to obey Scott’s Law.

Another dangerous cause of crashes is speeding. Next, we’ll go over the speed limits throughout the Prairie State.

Speed Limits

In Illinois, the speed limit on interstates and tollways is 70 miles per hour (mph). On four-lane highways, it’s 65 mph and on other roadways and in rural areas, it’s 55 mph.

According to the IIHS, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will Counties have adopted a law that decreases the maximum speed limit. They have a maximum large truck speed limit of 60 mph in rural areas and 55 mph on urban roads.

Generally, in cities and towns, the speed limit is 30 mph. In alleyways, it’s 15 mph, and in school zones, it’s 20 mph on school days between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. when children are present and signs are posted.

Cities and towns have the discretion to post speed limits different from those listed, so pay attention to signage wherever you drive and follow the limits.

Ridesharing

Drivers for ridesharing services or transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft must buy liability coverage in required minimum amounts. When they drive, their coverage must have limits of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per incident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.

TNCs offer drivers a $1 million liability policy which will cover them when they are sharing a ride. They also offer insurance that will cover passengers.

When drivers are waiting for a fare or logged off of their company apps, they must carry their own personal car insurance. The following companies provide coverage to fill this gap:

  • Allstate
  • Erie
  • Farmers
  • Geico
  • Mercury
  • Metlife
  • Metromile
  • Safeco
  • USAA

Illinois law also requires rideshare drivers to undergo background checks when they apply at TNCs.

Automation on the Road

In Illinois, self-driving cars are only allowed on the road for testing purposes. An operator must be in the vehicle at all times, carry a license, and the state-required minimum car insurance coverage.

The news report below offers more insights into the Prairie State’s pilot program:

Autonomous Illinois is a partnership between state and private companies.

Read on to find out more about state laws designed to keep everyone safe.

What are the safety laws in Illinois?

We’ve covered a lot of laws. Now, we’ll cover some more that focus on controlling drivers’ behavior while they’re on the road and protecting them and everyone else in their paths.

DUI Laws

Illinois state law considers driving while under the influence (DUI) a serious offense and classifies it as a violent crime. The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08. If your BAC exceeds that amount, an officer could arrest you for a DUI. Below are the state’s penalties for driving while under the influence.

Type of PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond OffenseThird OffenseFourth OffenseFifth Offense
License RevocationOne yearFive-year minimum for second offense within 20 years10 years
Vehicle registration suspended
Life
Vehicle registration suspended
Already revoked at 4th Offense
Fine$500-$2,500$1,200-$2,500$2,500-$25,000Up to $25,000Up to $25,000
ImprisonmentUp to one yearFive days-one year or 240 hours community service90 days minimum up to seven yearsFour to 15 yearsSix to 30 years
OtherMust complete substance treatment evaluation program.
High-risk insurance for three years.
N/AN/AN/AN/A

A person convicted of a DUI with a BAC of .16 percent or more while transporting a child under age 16 may face more penalties.

If an Illinois resident is convicted of DUI or refuses to submit to alcohol/drug testing in another state, the conviction or refusal will be reported to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office and appear on the person’s driving record. The offender will face the same administrative action against their driving privileges as if they were convicted of a DUI or refused chemical testing in Illinois.

Think before you drink and drive. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other organizations have been especially vocal in helping victims and fighting to prevent people from getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Through being aware of the consequences of drinking and driving, you prevent facing severe penalties and keep yourself and others safe.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

Medical and recreational marijuana use is legal in Illinois, yet driving while impaired or over the legal limit for the substance is illegal. No driver or passenger may use cannabis in a motor vehicle.

Responsibility.org reports the legal limit for THC, the substance that causes a “high,” in a driver’s system is five nanograms. Drivers who test positive for this amount in their bloodstreams may be charged with a DUI and suffer the same penalties.

If a police officer stops a vehicle and the officer has reason to believe the driver is under the influence of cannabis, they must submit to field sobriety testing and/or validated roadside chemical tests.

Refusal to undergo testing will result in a driver’s license suspension. Driving while under the influence of marijuana or illegal transportation of cannabis in a motor vehicle may also lead to a loss of driving privileges, and for a medical cannabis registry cardholder, revocation of their medical card.

Distracted Driving Laws

Illinois law prohibits the use of handheld cellphones, texting, and other electronic communications while driving. It does, however, let drivers age 19 and older use hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology. Drivers under age 18 can’t use any technology while they drive.

Per the state’s “Rules of the Road,” holding a cellphone while on speakerphone isn’t “hands-free” use of the device and is illegal. Under Illinois distracted driving laws, drivers may only use cellphones hands-free in the following situations:

• To report an emergency
• While they’re parked on the shoulder of a roadway
• While they’re stopped due to a traffic blockage and the vehicle is in neutral or park

State laws also go further, setting rules on other uses of electronic devices and aids. For instance, watching or streaming a live video violates the law. Drivers also can’t use headsets while they’re on the road, but the law permits one-sided earpieces and hearing aids. Motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, and moped operators may use intercom helmets to speak to a driver or passengers.

Despite allowing hands-free use of cell phones, the state warns that using hands-free technology such as a headset or voice-activated controls is considered a distraction while driving and can be dangerous.

“If a driver must make a phone call, even with hands-free technology, it is recommended the driver pull off to the side of the road before making the call.”

Like with DUI offenses, drivers who violate distracted driving laws face criminal penalties and jail time. In fact, starting on July 1, 2020, the state will increase the penalties for drivers who break the law and cause accidents that lead to serious bodily harm to someone else. Law enforcement officers can suspend offenders’ licenses for one year and fine them $1,000. Until then, officers will assess the fines on a case-by-case basis.

The CBS Chicago report focuses on police efforts to curb distracted driving in Kane County, which has had the highest number of accidents in Illinois:

For those who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even smartphones, treatment options are available.

Now, we’ll go into more detail about precautions you should take to stay safe wherever you travel.

Driving Safely in Illinois

As we covered above, among the dangers on the road are drivers who are under the influence and are distracted while they use electronic devices. But, depending on where you drive, from the suburbs to the farmlands, there are always potential hazards. Some parts of Illinois have higher incidences of crime, while others have increased crash rates.

If you drive long distances throughout the Prairie State, it can be hard to keep track of everything you should be aware of on the road. We’ve found some kernels of truth about car theft, fatal crashes, average commutes and traffic throughout the state.

We thought you might like to know about the state of driving in Illinois, so keep reading.

How many vehicle thefts occur in Illinois?

If your vehicle’s make and model is on the “top 10” list below, you’ll want to take extra precautions to make sure someone doesn’t steal it.

Make/ModelMost Commonly Stolen Model YearNumber of Thefts
Dodge Caravan20001,054
Chevrolet Impala2008579
Honda Civic2000566
Honda Accord1997481
Chevrolet Malibu2011442
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)1999418
Ford Pickup (Full Size)2006392
Toyota Camry2014383
Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee2000374
Nissan Altima2014326

Most of the vehicles listed aren’t particularly fancy or pricey, such as the 2000 Dodge Caravan, but, thieves can find them attractive for their parts and resale values.

Below are the FBI’s 2017 vehicle theft statistics by city in the Prairie State. Did yours make the list?

CityThefts (2017)
Addison27
Albany0
Aledo1
Alexis0
Algonquin9
Alsip49
Altamont1
Alton66
Amboy0
Anna3
Annawan0
Antioch3
Arlington Heights27
Aroma Park0
Arthur0
Ashland3
Ashton0
Assumption0
Athens0
Auburn1
Aurora176
Aviston0
Bannockburn0
Barrington6
Barrington Hills2
Barry0
Bartlett7
Bartonville12
Batavia7
Beardstown1
Bedford Park13
Beecher2
Belgium0
Belleville74
Belvidere15
Bensenville24
Berkeley9
Berwyn120
Bethalto6
Blandinsville0
Bloomingdale5
Bloomington77
Blue Island74
Bluffs0
Bolingbrook70
Bourbonnais6
Bradley8
Braidwood0
Bridgeview21
Brighton3
Broadview23
Brookfield6
Brookport0
Buffalo Grove4
Bunker Hill1
Burbank18
Burr Ridge9
Byron2
Cahokia43
Calumet City172
Cambridge1
Campton Hills0
Canton8
Carbondale27
Carlinville4
Carlyle1
Carol Stream17
Carpentersville24
Carrollton1
Carterville5
Carthage1
Cary0
Catlin0
Centralia34
Centreville42
Chadwick0
Champaign123
Channahon9
Charleston6
Chatham1
Chenoa0
Cherry Valley4
Chester3
Chicago11,578
Chicago Heights121
Chicago Ridge23
Chillicothe3
Christopher0
Cicero161
Clarendon Hills8
Coal City2
Coal Valley1
Cobden1
Colfax1
Collinsville18
Columbia2
Cortland0
Country Club Hills38
Countryside12
Cowden0
Crest Hill21
Crete7
Creve Coeur2
Crystal Lake7
Danvers0
Danville71
Darien15
De Kalb37
De Pue0
De Soto0
Decatur92
Deer Creek0
Deerfield8
Delavan4
Des Plaines32
Diamond0
Divernon0
Dixon9
Downers Grove22
Du Quoin0
Dupo7
Earlville1
East Alton10
East Dubuque3
East Dundee3
East Hazel Crest6
East Moline36
East Peoria16
East St. Louis144
Edwardsville15
Effingham14
El Paso3
Elburn1
Elgin74
Elizabeth1
Elk Grove Village38
Elmhurst24
Elmwood0
Elmwood Park19
Elwood6
Energy1
Erie0
Essex0
Eureka5
Evanston63
Evergreen Park8
Fairbury2
Fairfield2
Fairmont City4
Fairmount0
Fairview Heights27
Farmersville0
Farmington0
Findlay0
Fisher0
Fithian0
Flora1
Flossmoor5
Forest Park72
Forest View16
Fox Lake14
Fox River Grove3
Frankfort11
Franklin Grove0
Freeburg2
Freeport12
Fulton0
Galena0
Galesburg16
Geneseo1
Geneva2
Genoa2
Georgetown4
Germantown1
Gibson City0
Gifford0
Gilberts3
Gilman1
Girard0
Glasford0
Glen Carbon4
Glen Ellyn13
Glencoe7
Glendale Heights26
Glenview19
Glenwood5
Godley1
Golf0
Goodfield0
Grafton0
Grand Ridge0
Grandview1
Granite City94
Grantfork1
Grayslake6
Grayville3
Greenfield1
Greenup0
Greenville6
Gurnee26
Hainesville0
Hampshire1
Hampton2
Hanover Park14
Harrisburg6
Hartford0
Harvard1
Harwood Heights10
Havana3
Hawthorn Woods2
Hazel Crest66
Henning0
Henry2
Herrin39
Herscher0
Hickory Hills17
Highland2
Highland Park26
Highwood2
Hillsboro2
Hillsdale0
Hillside20
Hinckley0
Hinsdale12
Hodgkins4
Hoffman Estates30
Homer0
Homer Glen3
Hometown0
Homewood24
Hoopeston10
Hudson0
Huntley6
Ina0
Indian Head Park3
Indianola0
Island Lake0
Itasca4
Jacksonville19
Jerseyville8
Johnsburg5
Joliet165
Jonesboro0
Kankakee51
Kansas0
Kenilworth1
Kewanee5
Kildeer1
Kincaid4
Kingston1
Kirkland0
La Grange5
La Grange Park4
La Harpe1
La Salle3
Lacon1
Lake Bluff6
Lake in the Hills3
Lake Villa5
Lake Zurich4
Lakemoor0
Lakewood0
Lansing95
Le Roy1
Lebanon3
Lemont5
Lenzburg0
Libertyville9
Lincoln10
Lincolnshire0
Lincolnwood23
Lindenhurst3
Lisle10
Litchfield10
Loami0
Lockport6
Lombard19
Loves Park16
Lovington1
Lyons12
Machesney Park17
Macomb10
Mahomet4
Malta0
Manhattan0
Maple Park0
Marengo1
Marine3
Marissa2
Maroa0
Marquette Heights0
Marseilles5
Marshall1
Martinsville0
Maryville4
Mascoutah0
Matteson37
Mattoon0
Maywood93
McCook2
McCullom Lake0
McHenry8
McLean0
Melrose Park43
Mendota5
Merrionette Park2
Metropolis16
Midlothian29
Milan1
Milledgeville0
Millstadt0
Minier0
Minonk2
Mokena12
Moline46
Momence5
Monee4
Monmouth13
Montgomery14
Monticello0
Morris4
Morrison5
Morton8
Morton Grove14
Mount Carmel2
Mount Carroll1
Mount Morris0
Mount Olive2
Mount Prospect17
Mount Pulaski0
Mount Vernon17
Mount Zion0
Moweaqua0
Mundelein9
Murphysboro4
Naperville47
Neoga0
New Athens1
New Baden0
New Berlin0
New Lenox11
Newton4
Nokomis5
Normal22
Norridge11
Norris City0
North Aurora6
North Chicago7
North Riverside3
North Utica1
Northbrook8
Northfield7
Northlake15
O'Fallon13
Oak Brook9
Oak Forest26
Oak Lawn14
Oak Park108
Oakbrook Terrace7
Oakwood0
Oblong0
Oglesby0
Okawville1
Olney12
Onarga0
Oregon4
Orion1
Orland Park15
Oswego11
Ottawa7
Palatine29
Palestine0
Palos Heights4
Palos Hills12
Palos Park1
Pana5
Paris11
Park City20
Park Forest41
Park Ridge9
Pawnee0
Paxton1
Pekin20
Peoria334
Peoria Heights23
Peotone2
Peru3
Phoenix6
Pierron0
Pinckneyville2
Pingree Grove1
Pittsfield0
Plainfield21
Plano5
Pleasant Hill0
Pleasant Plains0
Polo0
Pontiac5
Pontoon Beach8
Posen21
Potomac0
Princeton2
Prophetstown0
Prospect Heights10
Quincy42
Raleigh0
Rankin0
Rantoul16
Red Bud3
Richmond1
Richton Park40
Ridge Farm0
River Forest6
River Grove8
Riverdale49
Riverside3
Riverton4
Riverwoods1
Robbins20
Rochester3
Rock Falls2
Rock Island108
Rockdale3
Rockford450
Rockton0
Rolling Meadows13
Romeoville25
Roscoe2
Roselle10
Rosemont8
Round Lake7
Round Lake Beach14
Round Lake Heights1
Round Lake Park1
Roxana3
Royalton0
Ruma0
Rushville1
Salem7
San Jose0
Sandoval7
Sandwich1
Sauget9
Sauk Village39
Schaumburg49
Schiller Park20
Seneca0
Sesser1
Shannon0
Shawneetown3
Sherman0
Shiloh4
Shorewood9
Sidell0
Silvis9
Skokie55
Sleepy Hollow0
Smithton0
Somonauk0
South Barrington2
South Beloit4
South Chicago Heights9
South Elgin2
South Holland87
South Pekin2
South Roxana3
Spring Grove2
Spring Valley2
Springfield313
St. Anne0
St. Charles14
St. Elmo3
Stanford0
Steger13
Sterling31
Stickney7
Stockton1
Streator20
Sullivan2
Summit39
Sumner1
Swansea17
Sycamore3
Taylorville15
Thayer0
Thomasboro2
Thornton3
Tilton2
Tinley Park41
Tolono1
Toluca0
Tonica1
Tower Lakes0
Trenton0
Troy5
Tuscola5
Urbana27
Valmeyer0
Vernon Hills11
Vienna2
Villa Park21
Viola0
Virden1
Walnut0
Warren0
Warrensburg0
Warrenville7
Washington2
Washington Park18
Watseka11
Waukegan59
Waverly0
Wayne0
Wenona0
West Chicago15
West City0
West Dundee3
West Frankfort12
Westchester9
Western Springs5
Westmont11
Westville2
Wheaton12
Wheeling12
White Hall0
Willow Springs1
Willowbrook9
Wilmette14
Wilmington3
Winfield3
Winnebago1
Winnetka15
Winthrop Harbor3
Witt0
Wood Dale9
Wood River17
Woodridge26
Woodstock4
Worth17
Yates City0
Yorkville5
Zion41

Not surprisingly, Chicago topped the list with more than 11,000 thefts, while Rockford placed a distant second at 450.

How many road fatalities occur in Illinois?

Many fatal car crashes have occurred on Illinois roadways; the causes vary, but the results, sadly, are the same. Much of the data below comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Through looking at statistics, we can get a better understanding of when, where, and why they happen and work to minimize the risks.

Most Fatal Highway in Illinois

According to Geotab, over the past decade, U.S. Route 45, which starts in Wisconsin and ends in Kentucky, has had the most fatal crashes in Illinois. An average of 12 people die on the highway each year.

To determine the most dangerous highway in each state, Geotab calculates a fatal crash rate based on the annual number of NHTSA road fatality and fatal crash statistics. They adjust them for the average daily traffic counts the Federal Highway Administration provides.

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Many of us know that weather conditions can contribute to accidents, but in certain cases, the light levels in an area can also have an impact. Let’s see how many of these situations led to fatal crashes in Illinois.

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
Normal450170231305886
Rain3116305082
Snow/Sleet4071012
Other8452019
Unknown013116

Most of the accidents happened in normal daylight conditions, and a lot of them occurred when it was raining. These results remind us of the need to adjust our driving habits to current weather patterns and light levels.

Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

Which Illinois counties had the most or the least deadly accidents in 2017? Scroll through or search the table below to find out.

County# of Total Fatal Crashes
Adams County6
Alexander County1
Bond County4
Boone County7
Brown County0
Bureau County7
Calhoun County0
Carroll County7
Cass County3
Champaign County14
Christian County6
Clark County3
Clay County3
Clinton County6
Coles County12
Cook County287
Crawford County4
Cumberland County4
De Witt County6
Dekalb County11
Douglas County5
Dupage County40
Edgar County3
Edwards County0
Effingham County2
Fayette County3
Ford County2
Franklin County4
Fulton County11
Gallatin County0
Greene County5
Grundy County4
Hamilton County0
Hancock County1
Hardin County2
Henderson County1
Henry County8
Iroquois County6
Jackson County12
Jasper County1
Jefferson County10
Jersey County3
Jo Daviess County3
Johnson County2
Kane County31
Kankakee County18
Kendall County10
Knox County7
La Salle County18
Lake County47
Lawrence County4
Lee County5
Livingston County10
Logan County5
Macon County12
Macoupin County6
Madison County45
Marion County6
Marshall County5
Mason County2
Massac County3
Mcdonough County3
Mchenry County33
Mclean County12
Menard County2
Mercer County1
Monroe County1
Montgomery County2
Morgan County6
Moultrie County3
Ogle County5
Peoria County13
Perry County5
Piatt County1
Pike County3
Pope County1
Pulaski County2
Putnam County1
Randolph County7
Richland County4
Rock Island County7
Saline County4
Sangamon County18
Schuyler County2
Scott County0
Shelby County3
St. Clair County35
Stark County4
Stephenson County5
Tazewell County10
Union County10
Vermilion County16
Wabash County3
Warren County3
Washington County7
Wayne County2
White County3
Whiteside County7
Will County59
Williamson County12
Winnebago County23
Woodford County6

Cook County, the second-highest populated county in the U.S. and the biggest county in Illinois, had the highest fatal crashes. Brown and Calhoun, with fewer people, were among the counties with none.

Traffic Fatalities

Below are the traffic fatality rates in Illinois from the NHTSA for rural and urban areas.

Road Type20132014201520162017
Rural411417419437402
Urban580506579639689

Urban areas, where more people live, had an average of 150 more deadly accidents than rural ones.

Fatalities by Person Type

Which types of vehicles or people are involved in deadly crashes? Look below for some insights.

Person Type20132014201520162017
Passenger Car404367382406434
Light Truck - Pickup8786929583
Light Truck - Utility113122127150146
Light Truck - Van4643384556
Light Truck - Other13461
Large Truck1718122317
Other/Unknown Occupants1411162518
Bus00201
Motorcyclists152118147154162
Pedestrian124123150147145
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist3027262026
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants36278

Passengers of cars and light-duty trucks made up most of the fatalities in Illinois, however, many of the accidents also involved motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Fatalities by Crash Type

Now, we’ll see which types of fatal crashes occurred in Illinois.

Crash Type20132014201520162017
Total Fatalities
(All Crashes)
99192499810781097
Single Vehicle561530582582579
Involving a Large Truck142111104148149
Involving Speeding421349377419462
Involving a Rollover233209203245235
Involving a Roadway Departure522493511515535
Involving an Intersection/
Intersection Related
245259287358340

The most common deadly accidents involved single-vehicles, while the biggest factors in them were roadway departures and speeding.

Five-Year Trend For the Top 10 Counties

The most populated counties tend to have a larger share of fatal accidents than others. Here’s how they trended from 2013 to 2017.

County2013 Fatalities2014 Fatalities2015 Fatalities2016 Fatalities2017 Fatalities
Cook County250235239268287
Dupage County3024363640
Kane County2921293931
Kankakee County141492318
Lake County3431365047
Madison County2833332145
Mchenry County1719182633
St. Clair County4531394035
Will County4861514559
Winnebago County3522293923
Total: Top Ten Counties538501530596618
Total: All Other Counties453423468482479

In many of the counties, the figures remained steady. More recently, Cook and McHenry counties saw sharp increases.

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Speeding is often a major factor in deadly crashes, and that’s true in Illinois. Here’s how many speed-related fatal accidents occurred there in 2017.

County2017 Speed Fatalities
Adams County4
Alexander County1
Bond County2
Boone County3
Brown County0
Bureau County3
Calhoun County0
Carroll County2
Cass County2
Champaign County5
Christian County1
Clark County3
Clay County0
Clinton County3
Coles County5
Cook County143
Crawford County4
Cumberland County3
De Witt County1
Dekalb County4
Douglas County1
Dupage County17
Edgar County1
Edwards County0
Effingham County0
Fayette County1
Ford County0
Franklin County0
Fulton County1
Gallatin County0
Greene County3
Grundy County1
Hamilton County0
Hancock County1
Hardin County1
Henderson County0
Henry County4
Iroquois County1
Jackson County1
Jasper County0
Jefferson County5
Jersey County1
Jo Daviess County1
Johnson County0
Kane County18
Kankakee County11
Kendall County5
Knox County1
La Salle County7
Lake County20
Lawrence County1
Lee County3
Livingston County3
Logan County4
Macon County3
Macoupin County1
Madison County18
Marion County1
Marshall County4
Mason County0
Massac County3
Mcdonough County0
Mchenry County9
Mclean County5
Menard County1
Mercer County0
Monroe County0
Montgomery County2
Morgan County4
Moultrie County2
Ogle County1
Peoria County3
Perry County1
Piatt County0
Pike County2
Pope County0
Pulaski County0
Putnam County0
Randolph County2
Richland County0
Rock Island County1
Saline County0
Sangamon County4
Schuyler County0
Scott County0
Shelby County2
St. Clair County13
Stark County1
Stephenson County2
Tazewell County2
Union County5
Vermilion County11
Wabash County1
Warren County1
Washington County4
Wayne County2
White County1
Whiteside County3
Will County34
Williamson County4
Winnebago County7
Woodford County0

Cook County had the most deaths from speeding, while lower populated counties, such as Edwards and Ford, had none.

Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County

Next are the numbers for another major cause of deadly accidents, DUIs, by Illinois county in 2017.

County2017 DUI Fatalities
Adams County1
Alexander County0
Bond County2
Boone County3
Brown County0
Bureau County2
Calhoun County0
Carroll County3
Cass County0
Champaign County3
Christian County1
Clark County0
Clay County1
Clinton County2
Coles County3
Cook County109
Crawford County2
Cumberland County0
De Witt County0
Dekalb County2
Douglas County0
Dupage County7
Edgar County0
Edwards County0
Effingham County0
Fayette County1
Ford County1
Franklin County0
Fulton County4
Gallatin County0
Greene County1
Grundy County3
Hamilton County0
Hancock County1
Hardin County0
Henderson County0
Henry County3
Iroquois County0
Jackson County2
Jasper County1
Jefferson County3
Jersey County1
Jo Daviess County2
Johnson County0
Kane County7
Kankakee County8
Kendall County3
Knox County0
La Salle County6
Lake County18
Lawrence County0
Lee County2
Livingston County2
Logan County3
Macon County1
Macoupin County2
Madison County14
Marion County1
Marshall County2
Mason County0
Massac County3
Mcdonough County0
Mchenry County12
Mclean County4
Menard County2
Mercer County0
Monroe County0
Montgomery County0
Morgan County4
Moultrie County0
Ogle County2
Peoria County4
Perry County1
Piatt County0
Pike County1
Pope County0
Pulaski County0
Putnam County0
Randolph County3
Richland County0
Rock Island County2
Saline County1
Sangamon County3
Schuyler County1
Scott County0
Shelby County0
St. Clair County15
Stark County1
Stephenson County1
Tazewell County1
Union County5
Vermilion County6
Wabash County1
Warren County0
Washington County2
Wayne County1
White County1
Whiteside County3
Will County21
Williamson County5
Winnebago County5
Woodford County0

Again, most of the accidents occurred in Cook County, followed by Lake County.

Teen Drinking andDriving

As you’ll see below, according to Responsibility.org, the Prairie State has a lower than average rate of teen drunk driving fatalities. The arrest rates for underage DUIs are also well below the national average.

Teens and Drunk DrivingIllinoiseNationwide
Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities Per 100K Population0.71.2
DUI Arrest (Under Age 18)7102.82
DUI Arrests (Under Age 18) Total Per Million People2.3994.84

Illinois ranked 49th in the U.S. for DUI arrests under age 18, with seven in 2016. The state attributes the declining numbers to many factors, including tougher DUI and fraudulent ID laws and youth prevention and training programs.

It’s illegal for anyone under age 21 in the Prairie State to consume, possess, or buy alcohol. If someone under the legal age limit is caught for a DUI faces revocation of their driver’s license for a minimum of two years for a first conviction.

Offenders younger than age 21 who have any trace of alcohol in their bloodstreams while they drive will have their driving privileges suspended for a minimum of three months.

Those are among the lesser penalties for DUI. More information is available in the Secretary of State’s “DUI Fact Book.”

EMS Response Time

How long does it take emergency medical services (EMS) to arrive at accident scenes in rural and urban areas of Illinois? Let’s explore the figures below.

Road TypeTime of Crash
to EMS Notification
EMS Notification
to EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at Scene
to Hospital
Time of Crash to
Hospital Arrival
Total Crashes
Rural1.3312.52537361
Urban1.334.5NA39638

Unlike many parts of the U.S., overall, response times were nearly the same for both areas. Arrival times, however, were slightly longer in rural parts, possibly because of difficulties getting to those locations and their remoteness from EMS stations.

What is transportation like in Illinois?

In and around Chicago, more transportation options are available, especially given the amount of traffic congestion there. Many Illinoisans who live outside of those areas need a vehicle to get around. Below, we’ll explore car ownership rates and commute numbers courtesy of Data USA and the state of traffic congestion in the Land of Lincoln from Inrix’s Global Traffic Score Card.

Car Ownership

Most Illinois households, as it turns out, own two cars, which closely matches the national average of about 40 percent. Following that figure, most Prairie State residences owned one car, and then three cars. Nationally, more families own three cars than one car.

Commute Time

Illinois drivers have an average commute time of 27.7 minutes, which is longer than the national average of 25.5 minutes. Chicago, with its congested traffic, may have contributed to the time increase. Some Prairie State commuters have a worse time — 3 percent face “super commutes” of 90 minutes or more daily.

Commuter Transportation

Most Illinois commuters — 73 percent — prefer to drive alone. But it’s not always a solo effort. Nearly ten percent take public transportation, and 8 percent choose to carpool.

Traffic Congestion

Chicago has the worst traffic congestion in Illinois, and it’s among a select few cities known for its traffic snarls globally. Inrix ranks Chicago as the third most congested U.S, city and 23rd worldwide. Below are some stats on how much the traffic there affects commuters:

2018 Impact Rank
(2017 Rank)
Hours Lost in Congestion
(2017 Hours)
Change from 2017
to 2018
Cost of Congestion
per Driver
23 (24)138 (64)0.04$1,920

During peak rush hours, the average speed in Chicago is 23 mph. At off-peak times, it rises to 42 mph, and in free-flowing traffic, the average speed reaches 51 mph. In the morning, Chicago drivers can expect to add 13 minutes to each 30-minute trip. At night, they add an extra 17 minutes to a 30-minute trip.

According to TomTom, the most congested day in Chicago is February 5th and the best day is December 25th.

This Associated Press video shows what a typical drive on the Chicago Expressway is like:

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