The Biggest and Best Illinois Auto Insurance Advice Checklist

Auto insurance protects the policyholder from any losses incurred as the result of a road traffic accident. Financial responsibilities can vary greatly after an accident but the most common liabilities are damage to property and physical injury to third party drivers. Liability auto insurance in Illinois is set at $20,000 worth of bodily injury liability per person, $40,000 worth of bodily injury liability per accident and $15,000 worth of property damage liability.

Shopping for Auto Insurance

  • It is always advisable to purchase an auto insurance policy from a reputable company. Check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to make sure the auto insurance company you are considering is licensed to operate within the state of Illinois
  • Always use a reliable price comparison website that specializes in auto insurance quotes instead of an equivalent resource that enhances their profits with multiple products. It’s much more likely that you’ll find reliable, affordable coverage through a specialist website that fully understands the auto insurance marketplace
  • Compare your auto insurance quotes thoroughly. Always compare multiple policies instead of opting for the first one you come across, or settling for the cheapest. Make sure your auto insurance quotes are being supplied free of charge, and never fall victim to the high pressure sales tactics that some auto insurance companies use
  • Always understand exactly what you are buying, and make sure you ask a company representative to clearly explain any exclusions contained within the terms and conditions of an auto insurance policy. Never accept estimates as a full and final price and remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, the chances are that it probably is
  • Always be accurate with any information you provide regarding an auto insurance purchase. Your auto insurance policy may be declared null and void if you provide false or misleading information when an application for coverage is being made

Additional Coverage to Consider

  • Collision coverage should be considered on cars with a medium to high market value, or if an outstanding finance agreement is in place. Collision coverage is a form of auto insurance that can be used to pay for the cost of repairs to the vehicle of the policyholder in an at-fault accident
  • Consider purchasing comprehensive auto insurance to cover the cost of all non-accident damage to your vehicle. This can include damage caused by theft, fire, hailstones, flooding and other natural occurrences
  • Protect yourself from the perils of uninsured and underinsured motorists by purchasing UM/UIM coverage. This form of auto insurance covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle, and your own personal medical expenses, if you are involved in an accident where the at-fault driver has insufficient auto insurance coverage in place. UM/UIM coverage is now a mandatory requirement in the state of Illinois
  • Personal injury protection is an auto insurance add-on that pays towards your own medical costs, and those of any passengers in your vehicle, if you are deemed to be at fault in a road traffic accident

Optional Coverage Choices

  • Accidental death benefit can be applied to an auto insurance policy voluntarily, and this provides a lump cash sum to the bereaved family if a policyholder dies in a road traffic accident
  • Custom and non-factory items can be covered as an optional extra on most auto insurance policies. This can include CD players, cell phones and satellite navigation systems
  • Gap coverage is an excellent auto insurance add-on that pays for the difference in the cash value of a vehicle, and what you actually owe on the lease
  • Physical damage and replacement coverage pays for the cost of a completely new vehicle if your existing model is declared a total loss due to excessive damage. This optional extra is only available on vehicles that are less than three years old
  • Rental reimbursement pays for the cost of rental fees while your own vehicle is being repaired
  • Towing coverage pays for the cost of removing your vehicle from the roadside in the event of a road traffic  accident or a breakdown

Factors that Affect your Auto Insurance Rates

  • Your age, gender and marital status are all factors that cannot be directly influenced, but all of them will have an effect on your auto insurance rates. Young drivers, in particular, are penalized with expensive auto insurance quotes because of the abnormally high accident rates associated with their age group
  • Although the state of Illinois has a series of mandatory auto insurance requirements, coverage limits will be applied to any policy purchase. The greater the amount of coverage you choose to buy, the more expensive your auto insurance is likely to be
  • A safe and solid driving record with no history of at-fault accidents is likely to attract cheaper auto insurance rates than an equivalent record where the driver has made multiple claims on an existing policy
  • Road users living in urban areas with large amounts of traffic and high crime rates will attract higher auto insurance rates than drivers who live in quiet, rural locations where antisocial behavior is less of a problem
  • Some vehicles cost more to insure because they are stolen more frequently, or often become the targets of vandalism. Expensive vehicles that cost more to repair are also likely to attract higher auto insurance rates
  • Vehicle use also influences auto insurance rates, and those who cover more miles inevitably incur expensive auto insurance quotes
  • Credit scoring is used as a means of establishing auto insurance rates in Illinois, and road users with a poor record of payment will end up paying more for coverage

Qualifying for Discounts

  • Auto insurance discounts can be enjoyed if your vehicle is fitted with additional security devices such as locking wheel nuts, immobilizers and GPS satellite tracking systems
  • Qualify for a larger discount by bundling your auto insurance and home insurance requirements together with the same company
  • Become part of a car pool with work colleagues. As well as minimizing your own annual mileage, your responsible attitude to vehicle use will make you eligible for further auto insurance discounts
  • Defensive driving discounts are available for road users who enroll on a state-approved advanced driving course
  • Maintaining a safe driving history, and building an improved driver profile, will automatically qualify you for cheaper auto insurance quotes
  • Young drivers can slash the cost of their auto insurance by maintaining ‘B’ average grades or above at school
  • Minimize your vehicle usage to 6,000 miles per year or less for a vehicle mileage discount
  • Mature drivers, who tend to use their vehicles more conservatively, often find that discounts will be applied to their auto insurance quotes once they reach 50 years of age
  • Use the same auto insurance company for all of the vehicles within your household, and cheaper rates will apply
  • Remember to mention all additional safety features on your vehicle when applying for online auto insurance quotes. Airbags, anti-lock braking systems and automatic seatbelts will all qualify the driver for an auto insurance reduction

How to Influence your Auto Insurance Rates

  • Always talk to a potential auto insurance company directly, and ask if all of your qualifying discounts have been applied. In many cases, a company will try to maximize their profits by withholding reduced terms and will only apply them upon request. It costs nothing to ask, and you may be pleasantly surprised if additional discounts suddenly become available
  • Increase your deductible figure to the highest affordable level. This allows you to take on part of the risk that your auto insurance company would usually have to deal with, and subsequently reduces the size of your auto insurance quotes
  • Consider changing the type of vehicle you drive if your existing model attracts abnormally high auto insurance rates. An older vehicle with a smaller engine size is always going to attract cheaper auto insurance quotes than a brand new high-powered performance model
  • Carry out regular checks on your credit history to ensure that all of your payment obligations are up to date. If your auto insurance company sees that you are financially dependable, they are much more likely to reward you with cheap auto insurance quotes

Illinois Auto Insurance Plan

The Illinois Auto Insurance Plan is in place for road users who cannot purchase a policy from an independent carrier, but consumers should be advised that using the plan to purchase coverage will inevitably be more expensive than obtaining a policy through traditional routes. There are four qualifying requirements for the Illinois Auto Insurance Plan:

  • Applicants must have been refused auto insurance from independent companies. Proof of refusal will usually be required
  • Applicants must either hold a current driving license, or be fully eligible to make an application for a driving license
  • Applicants must not have any outstanding payments due on an auto insurance policy within the previous 36 months
  • The vehicle of the applicant must be in good working order and safe to drive