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The Best Chicago Car Insurance Companies 2021

Bankrate logo Bankrate 1/22/2021 Carly Severino
Chicago River over a body of water with a city in the background: downtown chicago along chicago river © Mlenny/Getty Images downtown chicago along chicago river

Auto insurance policies can be expensive if drivers are not careful to seek out the best cheap car insurance options in their area. Especially in Chicago, where the average rates for full auto coverage are $2,099 annually and minimum coverage is $653 annually, finding a cheap car insurance provider is a top priority. With more than 8.7 million licensed drivers in Illinois alone, it is imperative that drivers not only find coverage that is affordable but that is capable of providing the protection they need when they need it most.

We have researched the best cheap car insurance providers in Chicago to help simplify the selection process. Our team takes into account customer satisfaction, financial strength, coverage options and available discounts to determine the best carriers in the area.

Best car insurance companies in Chicago

Based on third-party ratings from JD Power and AM Best, as well as available discounts, coverage options and affordable rates, we determined the best car insurance companies for Chicago drivers are as follows:

Insurance CompanyJ.D. Power ScoreAverage Annual Premium for Minimum CoverageAverage Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Geico851 / 1000$303$1,038
Erie846 / 1000$439$1,456
Auto-Owners845 / 1000$527$1,516
COUNTRY Financial840 / 1000$583$1,923
Grange Mutual832 / 1000$469$1,459

Quadrant Information Services, 2020

Geico

You may already be familiar with the precocious little gecko that acts as this insurer's mascot, but what you may not realize is that there is a lot of truth to Geico's claim to fame. Featuring the lowest rates for both minimum and full auto coverage, we think it is well worth the 15 minutes of time it takes to reap the savings associated with Geico's auto insurance policies. Not only does it offer affordable policies, but Geico also touts the strongest customer satisfaction in the north central United States according to J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

In addition to the auto insurance coverages required in most states, Geico also offers additional coverage options, including collision, comprehensive, medical, emergency roadside assistance and rental reimbursement coverages. The company has unique discounts to help drivers save even more, including discounts for vehicle equipment, driving history, driver's education, driver affiliation and customer loyalty.

Erie

Another affordable option for Chicago drivers, Erie's cheap auto insurance policies offer an excellent solution for your needs. Featuring inexpensive rates and a strong financial rating from AM Best, Erie is also one of the most highly rated insurance providers in terms of customer satisfaction. Not only does the company offer superior satisfaction, but Erie also provides a broad range of coverage options in addition to standard coverages. Additional coverages include pet injuries, coverage for personal items, auto glass repair, roadside assistance and car rentals, locksmith services and much more.

Auto-Owners

With an A++ AM Best rating and superior customer satisfaction, the only thing keeping Auto-Owners from second place is its slightly higher premiums compared to other providers on the list. However, that increased premium may be worth it when you consider the number of benefits policyholders receive: With the additional expense coverage offered through Auto-Owners, policyholders can elect to receive assistance to help pay for rental cars, food, lodging and other incidental expenses that may arise as a result of your car accident.

If the slightly higher price is holding you back from getting a quote, you may be pleased to learn that Auto-Owners offers a wide range of available discounts to help policyholders save. Drivers can receive discounts for obtaining multiple policies, choosing paperless billing, installing auto safety features and having a favorable loss history. You can review the full list of ways to save on the Auto-Owners website.

COUNTRY Financial

If you're interested in great financial strength, customer satisfaction and low premiums, COUNTRY Financial is a great option for Chicago drivers. Despite the slightly higher premium compared to other cheap auto insurance providers in Chicago, COUNTRY Financial makes up for its higher rates by providing similar perks to Auto-Owners. Namely, policyholders can take advantage of a range of coverage options, including vehicle rental, personal effects, new car, safety glass and trip interruption coverages. And with a broad range of available discounts, you can tailor your protection to your needs.

Grange Mutual

Rounding out the list of the top five cheapest car insurance providers in Chicago is Grange Mutual. While its customer satisfaction and financial strength may not be the same caliber as others on the list, Grange Mutual does offer competitive rates that make this company hard to ignore. Similar to Erie, the company touts a long list of coverage options, including pet injury, mobile device replacement, identity theft protection, roadside assistance, full glass repair and much more. With many available discounts for Chicago drivers, Grange Mutual is one of the best auto insurance providers in the region.

Cheapest car insurance in Chicago

While not all companies feature the same breadth of coverage, customer satisfaction or financial strength as the ones listed above, there are many more companies that are more than capable of handling your auto insurance needs. Again, Chicago insurance rates are much higher than the state average ($2,099 annually vs. $1,425 annually), so it is important to consider several options when shopping for insurance.

The following table analyzes the cheapest car insurance rates available in Chicago based top providers (by market share):

Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Premium for Minimum CoverageAverage Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Geico$303$1,038
Mercury$319$1,379
State Farm$425$1,220
Erie Insurance$439$1,456
USAA$460$1,547

You'll notice that a few of our top contenders have made this list as well. Mercury, State Farm and USAA are also solid options for cheap auto insurance in Chicago. For instance, if you're active military, a veteran or the spouse of military personnel, USAA's auto insurance could be a good option. Not only does USAA feature some of the lowest available rates, but it also consistently receives the highest customer satisfaction ratings at 897/1,000 in the north central United States.

Mercury is another great, cheap auto insurance provider in Chicago, especially if you drive for Uber or Lyft and need ride-sharing coverage. State Farm also features rideshare insurance and is rated by JD Power with an overall customer satisfaction of 829/1,000.

Chicago Insurance Requirements

According to Illinois state law, Chicago drivers must meet the following minimum insurance requirements:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $20,000
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

While these minimum coverages are required in order to legally drive in Illinois, they will not provide protection for other situations, such as roadside assistance, medical expenses or rental car reimbursement. This is why it is always an excellent idea to choose a full coverage policy rather than minimum coverage, if you are able to. By selecting an affordable full coverage policy, you will be able to customize your coverage needs and tailor them to offer the level of protection you personally require.

Car insurance discounts in Chicago

Depending on which insurance carrier you select, you may be eligible for several discounts. The following are just some of the most common discounts available through insurance providers in Chicago:

  • Multi-policy Discount
  • Safe Driver Discount
  • Defensive Driving Course Discount
  • Student Driver Discount

Among these available discounts, the safe driver and defensive driving course discounts offer some of the strongest returns in terms of reduced premium obligation. In fact, State Farm boasts that through its Drive Safe & Save discount, drivers can reduce their monthly premium by up to 30%. Be sure to discuss available discounts with your agent to take advantage of savings.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company really depends on your specific needs. For example, if you are more concerned about premium, Geico, Mercury and State Farm may be good options. If you are wanting a wide range of coverage options, Erie, Auto-Owners and Grange may be better for your needs.

How much does car insurance in Chicago cost?

According to our research, the average annual rate for car insurance in Chicago is $2,099 - roughly $600 higher than the Illinois state average. However, there are plenty of available cheap auto insurance providers in the region that can provide competitive rates to Windy City residents.

How much car insurance do I need in Chicago?

In the state of Illinois, drivers are required to carry minimum liability limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, as well as $20,000 in property damage coverage. State minimum coverage may not provide enough to protect you in the event of an accident, so be sure to talk to your agent about your specific insurance needs.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state's requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

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