person signing insurance contract

How Much Should You Spend on Vehicle Insurance?

An analysis showed that the best car insurance in Chicago for a minimum-coverage policy costs as low as $720 per year. On average, car owners in the city pay $1,765 per year for vehicle insurance.

The study based the numbers from different insurers’ quotes for a 30-year-old single male driver. If you’re a first-time car owner, you should expect to spend an above-average rate for your policy. The place where you live in Chicago also affects the actual cost. For instance, the average annual premium in the Naperville suburb costs $1,012 for the sample driver.

The Cheapest Cities

Car insurance rates for the sample driver in Chicago are 52% more expensive than the state average of almost $1,160. Even if you don’t live in the city, some insurance companies have increased their premiums by up to 29% over the last two years. Chicago residents pay the highest premiums partly because the city has the biggest population in the state, with around 3 million residents. Hence, the frequency of car accidents is more likely to occur than elsewhere in Illinois.

By contrast, residents of Arlington Heights pay the cheapest car insurance rates every year from as low as $552. Low-cost insurance quotes can only apply to minimum coverage as mandated by the state, but you should consider spending on a policy that has extensive coverage.

person taking a photo of a road accident

How Should You Choose Your Coverage?

Illinois requires drivers to have insurance coverage worth at least $25,000 for personal injuries or death of a person in an accident. It should also provide $50,000 for all injuries and fatalities, and at least $20,000 for property damages. If your primary liability coverage isn’t enough to cover medical expenses and property repairs, the other party will likely press charges against you to recover the remaining amount or even more.

The state observes a “fault” system, which puts financial responsibility on the person who caused the accident. Even so, this doesn’t mean that you should risk driving without insurance in Chicago. Be mindful of who uses your care as well, since you can be liable for accidents if the vehicle registration is under your name.

Penalties for Uninsured Drivers

Uninsured drivers will have to pay between $500 and $1,000 in penalties for not having liability insurance coverage for the first and second offense. You can also lose your license and vehicle registration for three months and reinstating them will cost another $100.

If you still get caught for the third time, you might have to pay up to $4,500 in penalties. Aside from a longer suspension of your license and registration, a court order will require you to have an SR-22 financial responsibility certificate once every three years. This document will certify that you meet the minimum requirements for auto insurance in Illinois.

Ask for insurance quotes from at least three different providers in Chicago before purchasing a policy. Take note that your age, driving record, and place of residence will determine the actual cost of premiums. In some cases, the type of vehicle will also affect rates, especially if you drive an expensive model.