Last updated: November 2023

Illinois Car Insurance Guide

Whether you’re taking your children to see the Lincoln Home National Historic Site or enjoying a Saturday afternoon by exploring downtown Chicago, affordable auto insurance coverage can help protect you, your family, and your vehicle on every adventure.

Direct Auto Insurance1 is proud to offer car insurance in Illinois, the “Prairie State,” and in this guide, we’re teaching you which coverages are mandatory, which ones are optional, and how Direct Auto can help you find cheap Illinois car insurance. Get a free quote to see how much money you can save with Direct.

Illinois Car Insurance Laws

Do you have to have car insurance in Illinois?

Illinois law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance for any vehicle they have registered in the state. Illinois auto insurance policies must at least meet the minimum liability coverage limits, typically expressed as three numbers representing thousands of dollars. For example, the liability limits in Illinois are 25/50/20, as shown below under Illinois Minimum Car Insurance Requirements.

In addition to liability coverage, Illinois residents must carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) bodily injury coverage.

Illinois Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Wondering what your insurance policy needs satisfy legal requirements in Illinois? Here’s a quick breakdown by coverage type.


Is It Required by Law?

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage provides financial protection if you cause an accident that injures another person. It helps pay for their medical expenses and your legal services (if necessary).

Yes. $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 bodily injury per accident.

Property Damage Liability Coverage helps pay to repair or replace other people’s property that is damaged in an accident you cause. It typically involves damage to another vehicle, but it could help pay to repair a house, fence, mailbox, and more.

Yes. $20,000 property damage per accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) helps pay for your medical bills and related expenses if the other driver has no coverage (UM), insufficient coverage (UIM), or can’t be identified due to hit and run. In some states, UM can also help pay for property damage.

Yes. $25,000 UM/UIM bodily injury per person/$50,000 UM/UIM bodily injury per accident.

Collision Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if you collide with another car, tree, guardrail, or another object, regardless of fault.

Not required.1

Comprehensive Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged by something other than a collision, like fire, floodwaters, falling branches, vandalism, or contact with an animal.

Not required.1

IMPORTANT NOTE: While purchasing minimum liability coverage and UM/UIM bodily injury coverage ensures you follow Illinois’ insurance laws, it doesn’t necessarily protect you and your vehicle in every circumstance. You would need to add additional coverage, like comprehensive and collision, or, if you don’t have collision coverage, uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) to protect yourself and your vehicle from damages.

1Your lender may require these coverages if you lease or finance your vehicle.

Are there additional coverage options?

For added peace of mind, Direct Auto offers add-on services and other insurance products for Illinois drivers:

Illinois Proof of Financial Responsibility and Penalties

What if I don't meet Illinois’ minimum car insurance requirements?

Illinois takes a tough stance on uninsured drivers, and penalties depend on the nature of the violation. Additionally, Illinois uses an electronic insurance verification system, meaning you don’t necessarily have to be pulled over to get caught without coverage.

The penalty for failure to comply with Illinois' financial responsibility requirements regarding insurance could lead to the following punishments

  • Minimum $500 fine for driving uninsured
  • Minimum $1,000 fine for driving a vehicle while the license plates are suspended for a previous insurance violation
  • First Offense: $100 reinstatement fee when current evidence of insurance is provided
  • Repeat Offenders: Required to serve a four (4) month suspension period, pay the $100 reinstatement fee, and provide current evidence of insurance before being eligible for reinstatement

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Illinois

It’s against the law to operate a vehicle without a valid driver’s license in Illinois. The exact penalty for driving without a license or driving with a suspended or revoked license in Illinois depends on a few factors, although it generally involves fines, jail time, or both.

Driving with a suspended license is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor on first offense, and the severity of the charge and punishment increases for subsequent offense

SR-22 Insurance in Illinois

In many states, high-risk drivers are also required to keep an SR-22 insurance (also known as a certificate of financial responsibility) on file with the state verifying they have purchased auto insurance coverage that satisfies the state’s minimum coverage requirements. Drivers might be required to fulfill SR-22 requirements if:

If you need an SR22 filed to demonstrate financial responsibility compliance in Illinois or have questions about the penalties for non-compliance, we’d be happy to help. Direct Auto specializes in helping drivers find affordable car insurance coverage, regardless of their driving or insurance history. Give us a call today for a free quote.

High-Risk Auto Insurance in Illinois

Most individuals don’t have a spotless driving record, and after a certain number of violations or a serious enough violation, drivers can be considered a major risk to insure. While some companies try to steer clear of these individuals, other insurance companies offer non-standard insurance (another name for high-risk auto insurance) to provide financial protection for these drivers.

At Direct Auto, we're proud to offer non-standard insurance coverage to drivers across the Land of Lincoln. We believe your driving history shouldn't define you forever, and we work hard to help you get quality, affordable coverage, regardless of your past.

Where can I find the cheapest car insurance rates in Illinois?

Car insurance costs vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The amount & type of coverage you choose
  • The year, make, and model of the vehicle you drive
  • How much you drive, where you drive, and where you live
  • Your demographics
  • Your driving record
  • Your credit history

The good news is that Direct Auto Insurance can help drivers, even those with a less-than-perfect driving record, find car insurance coverage.

Get a free car insurance quote online, or work with a Direct Auto agent to create a coverage plan that not only meets your state's requirements but fits your needs as well. We’ll work hard to make sure you get any discounts you’re entitled to receive so your premium is the lowest price possible.

Illinois Regional Auto Insurance

Depending on where you live, you might have specific wishes or “must-haves” for your car insurance policy. After all, someone who lives and drives in the Chicago area might feel like they need more coverage than someone who lives in a small town with little traffic. But no matter what city you call home in Illinois, we’re here to help you get covered.

Aurora Auto Insurance

Chicago Auto Insurance

Joliet Auto Insurance

Naperville Auto Insurance

Rockford Auto Insurance

Other Illinois Auto Insurance Resources

Find Cheap Car Insurance in Illinois with Direct Auto!

Visit us online or give us a call for a free Illinois car insurance quote from Direct Auto! We always offer affordable coverage options, and we work hard to get you affordable car insurance in Illinois so you can keep driving to new adventures.

1 The National General Group, Winston-Salem, NC which includes Direct General Insurance Agency, Inc. d/b/a Direct Auto Insurance, Direct General Insurance Company (NAIC# 42781), Direct National Insurance Company (NAIC$ 23736), and its “Direct Auto Insurance” brand is not related to or affiliated with Direct Auto Insurance Company (NAIC# 12721), headquartered in Chicago, IL

*Emergency Protection Plans (EPP) and Roadside Assistance are not insurance and are administered through Nation Safe Drivers, Boca Raton, FL. Not all benefits available in all states.

For additional details and disclaimers, please see our Terms of Use.

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