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The average consumer in Illinois pays $731.22 per year for liability car insurance in the state. This average expenditure is significantly higher than the nationwide average of $815.
Considering the fact that premiums for standard liability coverage in “The Prairie State” are so high, it is imperative that anyone who plans to buy coverage takes the time to shop around.
Unfortunately, a majority of people did not learn how to shop for insurance when they were completing their high school curriculum.
Shopping around can be a daunting process when you are not sure what to look for and even where to start looking.
This is why it is critical for anyone in Illinois who is overwhelmed by the prospect of buying insurance to use all of the resources available to them.
If you do not want to sift through all of the sites looking for information that you are not even sure is accurate, read this guide to finding cheap car insurance in Illinois and you will know just where to start looking.
Use the FREE quote tool above by entering your ZIP code now!
Is searching for a cheap policy always the right focus?
Consumer-minded individuals are always looking to find the best deals on everything they need. Unfortunately, many people equate insurance to a consumer good.
While insurance is something that you buy, it is not like all of the products that you buy because they are essentials or they make life easier. Auto insurance is a financial product that you are required to buy in most states, unlike other products that you choose to buy.
The requirements can be minimal, but people who are looking for auto insurance on the cheap will elect to take the state minimum limits to keep their payments as low as possible.
For example, in Illinois state officials have mandated that all registered vehicles must be insured with a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in Bodily Injury and $20,000 in Property Damage.
Carrying these limits may keep premiums low and keep you in compliance, but buying the cheapest combination of coverage limits could put you at-risk.
Why Cheap Insurance Can Leave you Vulnerable
If you are tempted to buy the first basic insurance policy quote you are handed, you should contemplate just how buying a cheap policy like this can leave you vulnerable.
Mandatory auto insurance requirements are in place to protect people who are in minor accidents, but there is no telling when you might be in a catastrophic accident where someone is severely injured or where a passenger dies.
If this were to happen, being found at-fault for the accident could be financially damaging because the law states that you must pay for the damages that you cause.
When your insurance runs out, you are left paying for these damages in the form of a court settlement that turns into a wage garnishment or worse.
Injuries do not even have to be life-threatening for the medical bills and treatment to be exorbitant.
With the average cost for a bodily injury claim coming in at $15,443 in 2013, you can see just how risky it can be if you are in a multi-car accident or if you cause injuries to several passengers in a larger vehicle.
Not to mention the fact that a basic policy provides you with absolutely no protection at all.
If you want the protection and the peace of mind, it is best to buy a more comprehensive policy.
Why is price shopping so important?
Now that you know why cheap is not always a positive connotation when you are buying insurance, the next step is to learn why price shopping in Illinois is so important. As you are shopping for coverage, you want to build an insurance policy that will really protect you and your family while you are behind the wheel.
This means that you must not just consider higher limits of liability, you must also consider adding coverage options that pay for your medical and repair bills.
When you are looking for the best price, you need to remember that price is not everything. Once you do the homework and you settle on a liability limit, a physical damage deductible, an uninsured motorist limit, or a medical payments limit, you can move on to price shopping.
Price shopping is crucial because of how car insurance premiums are calculated and how the prices can vary so much from one Illinois provider to the next. The key is to find the insurer that is targeting your segment of the market instead of trying to price themselves out of it.
Why do premiums differ from one insurer to the next?
Marketing in the insurance industry can be a very complex and involved business task. Not only do companies throughout Illinois need to sit down and decide which segment of the population that they feel will make them the most profitable, they also need to decide how much to charge drivers in this segment and how much to charge other drivers that they may not be targeting.
The insurance company must collect enough money from all groups to put into the pool that pays for claims and they must make smart investments of the premium dollars in hopes of making a profit.
All insurance companies that do business in Illinois are required by law to get a license with the Illinois Department of Insurance. The licensed providers that sell auto insurance products must file their rates with the department to ensure they are fair and justified.
As long as the insurer can show why they are choosing the charge high premiums for one group and lower premiums for another risk group, the different in premiums is legal and allowed. This is the main reason why all consumers who want to find a bargain priced insurance plan need to know where to look to compare the rates through a long list of insurers.
Luckily, there are tools available that make a daunting task must less overwhelming.
How to Start Comparing Premiums for Illinois Auto Insurance
There are a handful of ways that you can comparison shop when you what quality coverage from a reliable insurer that offers competitive pricing.
You must decide if the traditional way is best suited for you or if the tech savvy way will save you money and time. Here are some of the options to consider:
Going to a Local Brokerage or Agency
Traditionally, when drivers in Illinois needed insurance they would drive to a local brokerage or agency where they would talk about their needs and then give them different quotes with different limits.
If you went to an agency, you would only receive quotes from a single company.
If you went to a brokerage, you would be able to get quotes from several companies, but would pay a brokerage fee once you selected which plan was best.
One of the biggest drawbacks is that you must go during business hours and drive to an office, possibly uninsured, to buy coverage.
Calling 1-800 Numbers
Insurance companies are trying to cater to the busy lives of Illinois drivers by offering them the option to call a 24-hour 1-800 number to request quotes by phone. When you call the insurance company directly, you will speak with a representative who is licensed and can recommend coverage options and limits.
The drawback is that you are not face-to-face and you will not speak to the same party if you call back. You also have to call several call centers direct to do a real price comparison so that you can find the cheapest plan.
Online Quotes Direct
Yet another option would be to visit the company’s official website where you can fill out a quote request form and check pricing right from your home computer.
This is great for the tech savvy consumer who wants to price shop without talking to anyone, but just like the other options, you would have to go to multiple sites to do a price comparison when you are quoting direct.
Rate Comparison Tools
Technology has changed the way that insurers can promote their products. There are now rate comparison tools that will direct you to premiums with several different companies when you enter your personal information once. These brokerage-style tool offer all of the benefits that brokerages do without the fee or the inconvenience.
Finding cheap car insurance is a goal for many drivers in Illinois. While the focus is on price, it is best to focus on coverage first and price second. When you have decided how much auto insurance you need, you will be better equipped to do a thorough price comparison.
Use all of the calculators and reputable guides that are available to you, and then you will be the educated and informed consumer who is ready to find quality insurance at a cheap price. Use the FREE quote tool above by entering your ZIP code now!