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Chicago is a grand city that over 2.71 million people call home. It’s arguably the crown jewel of Illinois and one of the largest cities in the United States. But with a place that populated comes a lot of traffic. Being a driver in Chicago can get crazy at times. That’s why it is so important to have auto insurance. Auto insurance protects you and your assets in the event of an accident. The coverage good auto insurance provides in serious situations can be invaluable. Don’t wait until you’re in an accident, though, to begin your insurance shopping. Understand what is expected of you when it comes to Chicago car insurance so you can drive confidently.

Illinois Car Insurance Requirements

As is the case with many other states, there is a minimum amount of car insurance outlined in Illinois law you must at least carry to be a legal Chicago driver. Every driver in Chicago must have car insurance no matter what. Failure to carry the appropriate amount of insurance coverage in Illinois can result in serious legal penalties. The Illinois minimum car insurance requirements are:

$25,000 for bodily injury liability per person
$50,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
$20,000 for property damage

In Illinois, driving without at least this amount of coverage can result in you having to pay a $1,000 fine, losing your license for four months, and having to pay a $100 reinstatement fee. SR22 insurance can also be required for you for up to three years. It is vital that you are properly insured before hitting the Chicago roads.

Price of Chicago Car Insurance

Car insurance premiums depend on several personal factors, including where you live. Being in a populous city, Chicago drivers will see higher premiums than someone living out in the suburbs. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much you can expect to pay for car insurance in Chicago since premiums are incredibly personalized, but there are some rough estimates you can consult. In Chicago, the average driver pays around $1,700 per year for car insurance coverage. That is higher than the Illinois state average ($1,300 per year) and the national average ($1,550 per year). However, what you pay for insurance in Chicago may easily be lower than the citywide average. More factors than just location go into insurance premiums, so it’s best to shop around and get quotes.

Driving in Chicago

Driving in Chicago, like many other cities, can be hectic and stressful. This is especially the case during rush hour. Chicago has various major highways that all lead into the downtown area from every direction. When traveling on these highways downtown during rush hour, it is best to allow yourself plenty of time as traffic will be excessive. You should also practice safe and smart driving habits as accidents are a frequent thing in the city and the surrounding areas. That being said, driving in Chicago can also be a lovely opportunity for sightseeing. Scenic routes like Lake Shore Drive give you a lovely view of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. Just try not to get distracted while driving in the city. It takes one look away to cause an accident.

Chicago Roads in The Winter

Chicago driving gets turned on its head during the wintertime. Winters in Chicago can be overwhelming and intense. Slush and ice accumulate fairly easily in Chicago, along with snow and sleet, making for incredibly dangerous driving conditions. While you should always be cautious when driving in Chicago, you will want to be extra cautious in the wintertime. As you are driving, make sure to be mindful of snowplows and give them plenty of room to do their job. This last piece of advice may sound crazy but consider keeping a winter emergency kit in your car. From time to time, snow in Chicago has been known to get crazy enough to the point where cars get stuck. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Getting Cheap Insurance in Chicago

As noted by the average insurance cost in Chicago, getting coverage is not always cheap. This is especially the case if you have a less-than-favorable driving record. However, despite your driving history and associated prices, you still need to carry insurance while behind the wheel in Chicago. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks you can use to lower your auto insurance premiums. Outlined below are some ways to get cheap auto insurance in Chicago.

Get Auto Insurance Quotes

One of the best things you can do is shop around and get quotes from various auto insurance providers. Look both locally in Illinois and nationally to get a good idea for policies on the market and costs associated with them. Pretty much every insurance provider offers quotes for free online or over the phone, making it easy to get coverage from pretty much anywhere at any time.

Analyze Your Insurance Options

In Illinois, all you need insurance-wise as a driver is basic liability insurance. Every other type of coverage is optional. As you are shopping for insurance, consider what kind of coverage you need. If you have an older car, chances are collision, and comprehensive coverage won’t be worth it. Insurance policy add-ons like roadside assistance may also be unnecessary if you are knowledgeable in cars or do not drive often. It’s best to assess your driving situation and decide on coverage. You should also review your auto insurance policy every year to make sure you still need the coverage you are paying for.

Safety First

Being a safe and smart driver in Chicago is crucial for keeping your auto insurance rates low. Getting into accidents and filing insurance claims can make your insurance premiums increase greatly. Being convicted of driving violations, especially major ones like a DUI, will severely impact your insurance rates. The better your driving record is, the better your insurance premiums will be.

Auto Insurance Discounts

Insurance discounts are some of the easiest ways to save money on your policy premiums. Insurance providers offer a wide variety of discounts, like good student and multi-policy discounts. Even if you have a driving record with a few blemishes on it, there still may be some very valuable insurance discounts available for you. As you are shopping for a policy, ask your insurance agent about what kinds of discounts you may be eligible for.