Depending on where people live, consumers can get charged different rates by auto insurance companies. How much is that difference? We looked at premiums for our two sample drivers across 63 cities and towns in the state of Illinois to figure this out. We discovered that car insurance costs can differ by 89% by location alone, between the place with the highest average annual rates (Chicago, IL) and the most affordable (Normal, IL).
Most of the five least expensive places we identified are home to higher education institutions. Their developments as cities and towns, at some point, depended on the railroad. A year of car insurance in these places cost about 15 - 18% lower than the state's average annual for our single 30 and 65 year old male drivers. The table below lists the five areas on the lowest end of the spectrum, and compares their average annual rates for our profiled drivers to the state average.
Normal is home to the Illinois State University and about 55,000 residents. Compared to other cities and towns in our study, our sample drivers found Normal to have the least expensive costs - 18% less than the state average costs. In other words, for our drivers, living in Normal meant paying $200 less, annually, compared to how much he would otherwise pay living in other Illinois cities.
Our sample drivers in Galesburg found their car insurance to cost 17% lower - which equaled to a $189 difference in annual premiums - than the average rates in Illinois. The inventor of the Ferris Wheel, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., was born here and the town was founded by his namesake, George Washington Gale. The founder was a Presbyterian minister who wanted to build a college where students could pay through manual labor, thus establishing Knox College.
Illinois’s “Gem City”, is located along the Mississippi River. This makes Quincy a river city with diverse architecture featuring German, Victorian, Mediterranean, and other influences. Insuring our two sample male drivers here cost 16% lower than the state average (a $181 difference).
In Bloomington, the top employers included State Farm, Illinois State University, and Country Financial. Residents can enjoy different activities of recreation, entertainment, and nature such as the Miller Park Zoo and Grady’s Family Fun Park. Costs here were 16% lower compared to the typical city in the state, which translates into a difference of $180 versus the average Illinois insurance cost.
Champaign rounds out our least expensive places in Illinois for our drivers. Insurance costs found here were generally 15% or $166 less than the average. Champaign is home to 84,000 residents, Parkland College, part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and some Fortune 500 companies – making it the center of the Silicon Prairie.
All the cities on the expensive end are located in Cook County and are either part of or relatively close to Chicago. Our sample drivers found that living in one of these places could mean shelling out 55% more in insurance costs than the average in the state for our benchmark - for the same exact amount of insurance coverage. Among the five most expensive places we identified, our sample drivers found their costs to be $230 to $611 more, per year, than living elsewhere in Illinois.
The third largest city in America and the most populated city in Illinois, Chicago is the hub for finance, commerce, and higher education within the Chicago Metropolitan area. Apart from being densely populated, the Windy City has the largest number of U.S. highways. Premiums for our study's drivers in Chicago were 55% higher than the state average - the highest in the state. It was not too surprising when we found that in Chicago, our sample motorists would need to pay $611 more than he otherwise would living in other IL cities for the same coverage.
Home to over 84,000 people, Cicero is a suburb of Chicago. One of Cicero's famous sons is the voice behind the Pillsbury’s mascot Doughboy: JoBe Cerny. Our example drivers discovered that they paid the second highest rates here – 37% more than what they would otherwise pay if they lived elsewhere in Illinois. According to our analysis, that translates into $414 difference a year, on average.
Berwyn is the third most expensive city for our drivers looking for coverage. Here, they discovered rates were 28% higher than the state benchmark, which was a $310 difference for them. Residents here can enjoy annual celebrations such as the annual Vintage Car Show that celebrates Route 66, which Berwyn’s Ogden Avenue is a part of.
A village as well as a suburb of Chicago to over 65,000, Skokie ranked fourth on our list of most expensive places for auto insurance in Illinois – 27% more than the state's average annual cost. We found that to be equivalent to a $303 higher cost for our sample motorists. Skokie comes from the Potawatomi Native American word “marsh”, since most of the town is built on a marshland.
Oak Park, IL
Although Oak Park is a suburban village home to only 52,000, Oak Park has had many famous residents such as McDonald’s Ray Kroc, Betty White, Iman Shumpert, and Ernest Hemingway. Our drivers here found annual coverage to be 21% higher - approximately $231 more - than Illinois’s average cost.
We examined 63 places in Illinois in our study and found the state's average cost of car insurance to be $1,120 each year. All else equal, our sample drivers' quotes could be anywhere from 18% lower to 55% higher than the state average based on the city they lived in. Below is a list of all the areas in our study ranked from most affordable to most expensive:
|Rank||City||Average Annual Rate||Rate % Difference from IL State Average|
For our 63 places, we collected quotes from 27 car insurance companies in Illinois for our two profiled drivers: a single 30 year old man and a single 65 year old man. We kept all variables constant and only changed where they lived and parked their vehicles. Individual drivers' quotes will differ drastically based on their own circumstances and driving history. Another variable that can vary costs is the amount of insurance. The coverage chosen for our sample drivers is compared to Illinois’s minimum limit requirements:
|Coverage Type||State Required Limits||Study Assumption|
|Bodily Injury||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident|
|Uninsured Motorist Property Damage||Optional||$50,000|
|Collision / Comprehensive Deductible||Optional||$500|