Writing this article would sure be easy if we could tell you the one car insurance company that has the cheapest coverage in Illinois. It's not quite that easy, unfortunately, as there are many unknown factors such as your annual mileage driven, if you want the added protection of full coverage, how well you maintain your credit, and if you own a home, that all impact the cost of your policy. If you keep reading, we will teach you about the things that influence insurance rates and hopefully give you enough understanding to have a good beginning to your quest for cheaper car insurance.
For veterans, one of the largest considerations that aid in calculating the amount you pay each year for auto insurance is where you normally keep your vehicle in Chicago. Larger areas likely pay more, whereas areas with lower crime rates and fewer weather claims can boast about having cheaper rates.
The next table sorts the most expensive areas in Illinois for veterans to buy car insurance in. Chicago shows up at #2 with an annual premium of $1,484 for coverage, which is approximately $124 each month.
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Rates are estimated as the specific Chicago residence address can decrease or increase price quotes noticeably.
Finding decent, affordable car insurance is not the easiest thing to do, and figuring out which insurers offer the most affordable car insurance rates for veterans involves additional perseverance.
Each insurer uses their own formula to set their prices, so let's begin by examining the most budget-friendly car insurance companies in Chicago, IL. Keep in mind that Illinois car insurance rates are impacted by many things which can substantially decrease or increase the price you have to pay for coverage. Improving your credit score, getting married, or having an at-fault accident can cause premium changes that can now make some companies more expensive than others.
Cheapest Insurance Rates for Vets
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The Hartford normally has some of the best car insurance rates in Chicago at around $753 a year. This is $596 less than the average rate paid by Illinois drivers of $1,349. Rockford Mutual, Erie, Titan, and Cincinnati Insurance also make the cut as some of the most economical Chicago, IL auto insurance companies.
As depicted above, if you currently buy coverage from Erie and switched to The Hartford, you could see yearly savings of roughly $125. Illinois drivers with Titan might save as much as $133 a year, and Cincinnati Insurance policyholders might lower prices by up to $171 a year.
Understand that those prices are averages across all drivers and vehicles and are not factoring in a vehicle location for veterans. So the auto insurance company that is best suited for you may not even be in the top 36 companies shown above. That points out the importance of why you need to get auto insurance quotes using your own driver and vehicle profiles.
How to get discounts on Chicago insurance rates
Insurers that offer quotes for veterans may also give you premium discounts that may potentially lower prices by 35% or more if you qualify. Large car insurance companies and some of the premium reductions they offer include:
- State Farm offers discounts including accident-free, anti-theft, student away at school, Steer Clear safe driver discount, good driver, and defensive driving training.
- American Family may have discounts that include Steer into Savings, air bags, mySafetyValet, bundled insurance, TimeAway discount, multi-vehicle, and good driver.
- AAA offers premium reductions for good driver, multi-car, anti-theft, good student, and multi-policy.
- GEICO offers discounts for anti-lock brakes, emergency military deployment, daytime running lights, multi-vehicle, defensive driver, and air bags.
- Mercury Insurance discounts include multi-policy, good student, annual mileage, low natural disaster claims, and professional/association.
- Farmers Insurance has discounts for mature driver, distant student, youthful driver, business and professional, electronic funds transfer, and bundle discounts.
- Progressive includes discounts for continuous coverage, multi-policy, online signing, good student, homeowner, online quote discount, and multi-vehicle.
The diagram below compares insurance premiums with and without discounts applied to the premium. The price estimates are based on a female driver, no claims, a clean driving record, Illinois state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $100 deductibles. The first bar for each age group shows premium with no discounts. The lower bar shows the rates with marriage, claim-free, multiple policy, defensive driving course, multiple vehicle, and homeowner discounts applied. In this example, the average amount saved each year on car insurance for veterans is 27% or $434.
Liability only or full coverage
Saving money when shopping for car insurance is probably important to most drivers, and one great way to buy cheap insurance for veterans is to not insure for full coverage. The illustration below shows the comparison of auto insurance costs with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying liability only. The premium estimates are based on no violations or accidents, $500 deductibles, drivers are not married, and no additional discounts are factored in.
If all age groups are averaged, physical damage coverage on your policy costs $1,238 per year more than buying just liability insurance. That touches on the question if buying full coverage is a waste of money. There is no definitive guideline to exclude physical damage insurance, but there is a broad guideline. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is about 10% or more of the settlement you would receive from your company, the it may be a good time to stop paying for full coverage.
For example, let's say your vehicle's settlement value is $11,000 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most you would receive is $10,000 after the deductible is paid. If premiums are more than $1,000 annually for your policy with full coverage, then you might consider buying liability only.
There are some scenarios where buying only liability insurance is not financially feasible. If you have an outstanding loan on your vehicle, you have to maintain full coverage as part of the loan requirements. Also, if you can't afford to buy a different vehicle if your current one is totaled, you should maintain full coverage.
Reckless driving habits raise car insurance rates
The easiest way to obtain the best car insurance premiums in Illinois for veterans is to pay attention while driving and avoid traffic citations and accidents. The diagram below demonstrates how citations and at-fault collisions influence car insurance costs for different ages of insureds. The premiums are based on a single male driver, full physical damage coverage, $100 deductibles, and no discounts are taken into consideration.
The data above shows the average cost of an auto insurance policy in Chicago per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $1,502. Get one speeding ticket and the average cost surges to $1,690, an increase of $187 each year. Now include one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the yearly cost of car insurance for veterans jumps again to an average of $2,222. That's an increase of $719, or $60 per month, just for not being more responsible behind the wheel!
Compare rates to save
Chicago car insurance rates are impacted by many factors that will increase or decrease the cost of a policy. Improving your credit rating, buying a different home, or getting into an accident may cause policy rate changes resulting in some companies being more affordable than competitors.
Not only that, but companies file new Illinois car insurance rates at least once a year to adjust for unexpected claims or profits. An unexpected high level of claims may result in higher priced premiums, while profitable underwriting can result in cheaper Chicago car insurance rates.
To help illustrate this point, the data below demonstrates which company has the cheapest car insurance in Chicago, IL for a 35-year-old female driver with no prior claims, no tickets, and great credit. Based on her current risk factors, The Hartford may offer the most affordable car insurance rates in Chicago at $1,186 per year. This is $163 less than the average policy premium paid by Illinois drivers of $1,349. Rockford Mutual, Titan, Cincinnati Insurance, and Erie are also on the list of the cheapest Chicago, IL auto insurance companies.
Now let's give the driver from above a couple of claims, bad credit, and an imperfect driving record. Due to the fact that each insurance company has their own guidelines to set premium rates, analyzing rates will most likely result in a different ranking of the cheapest car insurance companies in Chicago as shown below.
Utica National now has the best car insurance rate in Chicago, IL with SECURA, USAA, State Farm, and Auto-Owners now being in the top five. This example proves why it is critical to compare many different companies to find the most economical car insurance rates for veterans.
Car insurance prices are made up of many different factors and can increase or decrease at any time, so the cheapest company the last time you shopped your coverage around may now be an over-priced policy.