The Best Illinois Auto Insurance Companies

Illinois enjoys fairly affordable car insurance rates compared to the rest of the country. The state’s average yearly premium comes in at $885 — more than $100 less than the national average of $1,009. And with some homework on your part, it could go even lower.

We’ll walk you through the coverage, discounts, and extras offered by the top auto insurance providers in Illinois. With that information in your back pocket, it’s a simple matter of comparing quotes to find the best price. Use our quote tool to get started.

How We Found the Best Illinois Auto Insurance Companies

We started by finding the four biggest car insurers in Illinois by market share. These are the companies with their feet on the ground, who understand what’s important to drivers in the state. Then we evaluated all four companies following the same process we used in our review of the best national auto insurance.

That meant looking at the number of discounts available from each company and the levels and types of coverage they offer. We also looked at what actual customers have to say about these providers, checking scores from watchdog organizations like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports as well as financial strength rating organizations like A.M. Best.

In order to compare prices, we requested quotes using a 2015 Honda CR-V (the most popular car in Illinois), and expert-recommended coverage amounts (50/100/50 for liability, and a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive). This gave us an idea of how top Illinois insurers stack up for rates, but remember: Prices depend on you, your car, and your location, so you’ll have to get individual quotes to find the cheapest company for you.

The 4 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Illinois

  • State Farm
  • Progressive
  • Allstate
  • Country Financial

State Farm

State Farm is Illinois’ most popular provider by far, with almost a third of the state’s car insurance policies. There are plenty of good reasons for that. First, the company’s outstanding financial strength ratings: State Farm holds top scores from all three major raters (A.M. Best, S&P Global, and Moody’s), which means it can be counted on to pay claims of any size — even in the event of a large-scale disaster (like a hail storm) that could cause many people to file car insurance claims at once.

State Farm also rises to the top for its generous list of discounts. Some are standard in the industry, like a multi-policy and accident-free discount. Some, however, are harder to find, like State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program. You can earn a five percent discount just for signing up — then, using either OnStar or a device that the company sends you, your driving is monitored in real time. If you stick to speed limits, brake when turning, and generally handle your car like a star, you stand to save up to an unheard-of 50 percent off your premium, according to the company.

In terms of price, we like that State Farm’s quote tool is intuitive and easy to use. It even showed us three price tiers so that we could see how better coverage levels would affect cost. For our sample quote, the mid-tier option came in at $421 for six months (including $78 in discounts). Interestingly, “premium” coverage wasn’t that much more: it doubled our coverage limits and cost $462 for six months. That’s only $82 more per year for a much more robust policy.

Depending on your own circumstances, you might find that you can afford more insurance with State Farm than you thought. We’d recommend getting a quote and checking out each price tier to see how much bang State Farm gets you for your buck.

Progressive

Progressive does well in a number of areas. Most importantly, it gave us the lowest sample quote of any company on this list: just $228 for six months of coverage. Progressive also offers a safe driving program similar to State Farm’s. Its Snapshot device can use real-time monitoring to generate savings based on your driving ability. It’ll even beep if you execute a hard brake, so you know the triggers that are likely to improve your score. According to the company, this program saves drivers $130 per year on average.

As far as other discounts and coverage options go, Progressive is middle of the pack. The one standout option we’ll mention is Progressive’s gap insurance, which helps make up the difference if a newer car is totaled but still under loan or lease. Not all companies offer strong gap insurance (or any at all). By comparison, State Farm only lets you buy this coverage if your car loan was purchased through State Farm Bank.

Progressive’s ratings are middling. It’s “A+” financial score from A.M. Best is respectable, but not quite on par with State Farm. And it falls in the “average” category for claims service and customer support according to J.D. Power and Consumer Reports’ surveys.

Despite an unimpressive customer record, it’s worth getting a quote from Progressive — if only because this company offers consistently affordable car insurance in our tests. It may be your best bet simply for the savings you’d score on your annual premium.

Allstate

Allstate is on par with State Farm in terms of customer ratings. It differs by only one point in Consumer Report’s overall readers' score (with Allstate at 88 to State Farm’s 89), and both companies were named “very good” for the simplicity of their claims process and “excellent” for timely payments. It also scored an “A+” for financials from A.M. Best.

Allstate is a top performer for discounts and supplemental coverage options, too. Like State Farm and Progressive, it has a safe driver program called Drivewise — though instead of earning a discount on your premium, safe driving gets you points that can be redeemed for savings on merchandise from name brands like The North Face and Lacoste.

We were also impressed by Allstate’s online resources. The site has an extensive and helpful blog, along with useful tools like a car payment calculator. It has handy links for filing a claim online, getting in touch with an agent, and paying your bill, too — although these three are fairly standard when it comes to big-name insurance companies.

That said, Allstate’s quote tool is a little lackluster. We found it glitchy at times, and it takes longer to complete than other companies’. Our ultimate sample quote came in at $493 for six months of coverage. This was higher than both State Farm and Progressive, despite the fact that our quote supposedly included more than $300 in savings. Of course, your numbers are unique to you, which is why it’s important to compare multiple companies before buying.

Country Financial

Country Financial is a regional provider that’s available in 19 states including Illinois. As a smaller company, it isn’t rated by Consumer Reports. That said, it was included in J.D. Power’s regional report and earned an impressive four out of five points for claims and service. Plus, A.M. Best gives Country Financial an “A+” stability rating, meaning that the company will be there for you when you need it.

Country Financial also offers a robust list of optional coverages. We were impressed by the inclusion of gap insurance, available for cars up to four years old. This add-on will pay for a brand new vehicle of the same make and model if your car needs to be replaced, rather than covering its current market value (which will have depreciated since you bought it).

Though Country Financial couldn’t match the quantity of discounts offered by other contenders, it does have a few unique options that we like. These include savings for engaged couples and occupational discounts: teachers may be eligible for up to 10 percent off, and firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and paramedics can save five percent.

Country Financial’s website doesn’t feature all the bells and whistles that you find on, say, State Farm’s site. However, it does have a simple calculator to help you determine how much car insurance you can afford, as well as clear coverage explanations and decent FAQ. In addition, the quote tool was easy to use and gave us our third best rate, at a reasonable $288 for six months.

Guide to Illinois Auto Insurance

Understand Illinois’ minimum liability requirements

Illinois has fairly standard minimum liability amounts, which you may see expressed in the shorthand 25/50/20. These are the minimum coverage levels that drivers must meet with their insurance policy in order to drive legally:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage total per accident
  • $20,000 property damage coverage per accident
  • $20,000 coverage per person for uninsured and underinsured motorist

In addition to the standard 25/50/20 liability insurance, Illinois requires drivers to have $20,000 of uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. This protects you if you’re injured or incur property damage caused by someone who has zero (or not enough) insurance. Not every state requires UM/ UIM coverage, but it’s automatically included in Illinois.

Remember that these levels are only minimums. It’s best to consider opting for better coverage if you can afford it. Imagine how quickly medical bills could surpass $25,000 after a serious accident, or how far $20,000 in property damage would actually stretch if you were to hit a luxury car. There are countless such situations where a minimum liability policy would fall short and leave you paying hefty costs out of pocket.

Unless you’re driving a beater car that’s not worth much, you’ll also want to explore two additional types of coverage: collision and comprehensive.

  • Collision pays for damage to your car if it’s in an accident or overturns
  • Comprehensive pays for repairs after non-accident-related events, like theft, vandalism, flood, fire, or other perils

If your car still has significant value, you’d be wise to consider these additional coverages to avoid being caught short if the worst happens.

Note Illinois’ comparative negligence policy

If you’re an Illinois driver, it’s important to understand comparative negligence. Here’s what that means:

In Illinois, more than one person can be considered at fault in an accident. For example, say one driver is speeding toward an intersection, while someone coming from the opposite direction is making a left turn. A collision ensues. The driver making the left turn would normally be at fault, but they can argue that it was impossible to judge the distance of the other car because it was speeding, so the fault could be divided between both.

The standard for recovering damages in a comparative negligence case is called modified comparative negligence. Under this system, if it’s determined that you are less than 50 percent at fault in an accident, you’re entitled to damages.

How fault and claims payouts shake down can be complex. That’s why it’s crucial to seek good legal counsel if you’re involved in an accident in Illinois. An attorney with insurance experience will be able to guide you through the nuances of comparative negligence and make sure your claim is handled fairly.

Check alternatives for “high-risk” drivers

Insurance is required to drive legally in Illinois. But what do you do if, say, you’ve had some dings to your record and are considered a high-risk driver? You may not be able to find insurance on the voluntary market.

Like many states, Illinois and the insurance industry have teamed up to offer plans that can help you get on the road immediately. The Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan requires you to meet four requirements to apply for a policy:

  • You must be turned down for auto insurance from private insurance companies
  • You must have a valid driver's license or be eligible to apply for one
  • You must not owe an outstanding premium for prior insurance coverage during the past 36 months
  • Your vehicle must be safe to drive

Of course, there’s a caveat: You may pay more for the policy than you would for an average policy on the open market. But if you’ve been hindered by a lack of insurance, this is a great resource that will have you driving legally again.

If you maintain a good driving record while you’re on the plan, you may find it easier to get a normal policy with one of the top insurance companies in Illinois within a year or so.

Stay informed with InsureU

If car insurance had a Facebook page, its relationship status would be “it’s complicated.” Understanding the many factors that go into each individual policy and govern the industry as a whole can be tough. That’s why we really appreciate the website that the Illinois Department of Insurance directed us to, called InsureU.

The site, which was created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, features educational materials for first-timers and experts alike. There’s a driving self- assessment test, lots of entries on things like “Teen Driving 101” and “Ten Things You Should Know About Auto Insurance,” and a whole info kit on buying a new car. No matter where you are in your insurance quest, we recommend that you take a few minutes to check it out.

Illinois Auto Insurance FAQ

Is it against the law to drive without insurance in Illinois?

Yes. You are required to have auto insurance for all registered vehicles in Illinois. Driving without auto insurance can lead to fees up to $1,000. Your vehicle registration and driver’s license could also be suspended for several months, with a $100 fee to reinstate both.

How much is auto insurance in Illinois?

Auto insurance costs depend on many personal factors, like your car specifications, accident history, financial profile, credit score, and so on. The average premium in Illinois is $885, cheaper than the national average of $1,009. We recommend shopping around and gathering several quotes to compare your personal premium options.

The Best Illinois Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up

State Farm
Progressive
Allstate
Country Financial
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A++
A+
A+
A+
JD Power overall claims satisfactions score
864/1000
849/1000
857/1000
849/1000
Consumer Reports reader score
89/100
87/100
88/100
N/A