Auto insurance law in Illinois requires vehicles to be insured before they can be driven on the roads. Liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage are both mandatory in Illinois. Proof of insurance must be carried at all times that the vehicle is being driven, and must be produced upon request by a law enforcement officer.
Auto insurance rates vary across the state of Illinois but average at $1322, as of December 2013. If you’re in Chicago you can expect to pay $1675 on an average. In Champaign you’ll pay $869 which is well below the statewide average. There are many factors that affect insurance premium rates such as age, gender, the type of vehicle you drive and so on. Your previous driving record is one of the main factors in determining your premium payments.
It’s well known that accidents drive up insurance costs. However, getting caught driving while under the influence (DWI) can drive up your insurance premium even more than accidents. To illustrate this point, let’s take the example of Chicago. If you live in Chicago and are involved in a car accident, your premium will rise from $1675 to $2063 on an average, as of December 2013. A second accident will drive your premium up to $3077.
On the other hand, if you are convicted of DUI your premium will shoot up to $3116. That’s $39 more than your premium after two accidents. And it doesn’t end there. Your premiums will remain at the higher rate for three years after conviction and will only revert to the original levels after seven years.
Completing a defensive driving course is one way to bring your premium payment down a little. Sticking to the example of Chicago, your premium will go down from $3116 to $2649 if you complete a defensive driving course. That means you are is still paying $586 more than you would if you’d had one accident. Drinking and driving can be a very expensive mistake. If you know you’ll be drinking on a particular night, it will be wiser to use a taxi service.