Chicago drivers pay the highest Illinois car insurance rates in the state. Live in the Garfield Park area and you'll pay nearly $400 more for an average policy than a Stickney driver. No matter where in the Chicago area you live, car insurance rates vary -- even within the same ZIP code. The cheapest insurer often will offer you a rate that is half or less of the most expensive. That’s why you can save a lot of money if you compare rates before you buy. To see how other Chicago car insurance rates compare, use our average rates tool below. Enter a ZIP code and it will show the average rate, as well as the highest and lowest, for your location.
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CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).
Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
Chicago ZIP code 60636 is the most expensive ZIP code for car insurance in the Illinois, $1,699 a year, according to a survey of rates from six major carriers. That’s nearly $700 more than the state average. But you can still save money by shopping around. The difference between the highest rate ($2,989) for that ZIP and the lowest ($1,167) is $1,882.
Here's how Chicago’s highest average rate ($1,699) compares to others:
$872 more than the least expensive average rate ($827) in Illinois, Normal ZIP code 61761
$698 more than the state average ($1,001)
$468 more than the national average rate ($1,231)
You’ll see in the chart below the top 12 most expensive ZIP codes in the state are all in Chicago.
Chicago car insurance rates
Chicago ZIP code
*Methodology for rates by ZIP code:
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for more than 30,000 ZIP codes in the United States using six large carriers -- Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where an insurer’s rate wasn’t available, another major carrier's rate was substituted.) Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
Chicago car insurance requirements
Illinois state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability
Minimum property damage liability
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
Cheapest car insurance in Chicago
The lowest liability car insurance limits your insurer offers is the cheapest policy you can buy. This will be the state minimum required to drive legally. In Illinois (written as 20/40/15), that means your liability car insurance would pay up to:
$20,000 for injuries you cause to others
$40,000 per accident
$15,000 for damage you cause to other’s cars and property
In Illinois, you must also have uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. This pays for medical bills, lost wages and funeral expenses if you are hit by a driver without insurance, or with bare-bones coverage. You need to carry the same amounts as bodily injury liability, so that means $20,000 for injuries in an accident, up to $40,000 per accident.
The state average rate for a year of minimum coverage is $543, according to our rate analysis. If you increased your coverage to 50/100/50, you would pay just $59 more.
Best car insurance in Chicago
The best car insurance coverage usually isn’t the cheapest. You may be sued if you’re in an accident and your insurance doesn’t cover all of the damages. That means your home or savings could be in jeopardy. To protect your assets, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:
$100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
$300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
$100,000 to pay for damage to others’ property
You should also consider buying these optional coverages:
Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.
Comprehensive insurance and collision coverage don’t cost that much and are a good idea if you have a newer model car. In Illinois, comprehensive costs $116 and collision costs $278, on average per year, for drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Unlike liability insurance, these optional coverages come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance company pays. Typical deductibles amounts are $1,000, $500 and $250 – you choose which one you want. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.
Driving in Chicago
Traffic in Chicago: The city and nearby areas came in first (tied with Washington, D.C.) for the worst traffic in the country in a recent report by USA Today, which noted that drivers spend more than 80 hours a year stuck in traffic.
Car crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of about 130 deaths a year in recent years (2012-2014).
Commuting: The average commute in Chicago lasts 27.9 minutes.
Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in Chicago who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 43 percent), Hispanic (about 21 percent) and black (about 28 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people use mass transit.
Smog rules: Chicago residents much have vehicles that are four years old and older tested for emissions at a licensed smog testing center every two years to renew registration. New Chicago residents must have an initial smog inspection shortly after registering a vehicle.
Bad intersection: The Chicago Sun-Times says the intersection at Stony Island Avenue and South Chicago Avenue may be the city's most dangerous, with about 60 accidents a year.
The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.