Illinois car insurance prices are spiking; 2 bills in General Assembly hope to bring prices down

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone and Maggie Green WLS logo
Saturday, March 9, 2024
2 bills hope to address skyrocketing car insurance rates in Illinois
The cost of auto insurance spiking, an ongoing issue for consumers since the pandemic. New proposed Illinois legislation could provide drivers with some relief.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The cost of auto insurance spiking, an ongoing issue for consumers since the pandemic.

New proposed Illinois legislation could provide drivers with some relief.

There are two state bills that aim to control increases. The Illinois Secretary of State testified at a hearing recently, saying more needs to be done to fairly calculate consumers' auto insurance rates. But the industry said prices are fair because of the skyrocketing costs of claims, and that consumers can shop around.

The average cost of full-coverage car insurance in Illinois jumped from $1,806 to $2,310 in the last year, according to

One potential solution is a state insurance rate review process that would approve or deny rate increases. The idea is supported by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias.

"It's disgraceful that we don't protect motorists here, especially when we mandate that everyone have car insurance," Giannoulias said. "We are one of only two states that does not do a review for these rate hikes. People are sick and tired of opening up their mail and seeing car insurance bills they never could have fathomed."

Two new bills were recently discussed in front of Illinois' House Insurance Committee. One could add that review process, and both could change rules in the auto insurance industry.

Critics like the Secretary of State and Illinois PIRG say insurers currently using criteria like zip codes and credit scores, which can be discriminatory.

"We think insurance rates should be based on how you drive not who you are," said Director of Illinois PIRG Abe Scarr.

"All we're asking for is fairness when it comes to what people have to pay to have car insurance," Giannoulias said. "And the truth of matter is, the results, if you are poor and live in Illinois, you are paying higher insurance premiums for your vehicle. That is unacceptable. We are here to fight for those people."

But insurance expert Lynne McChristian with the Office of Risk Management & Insurance Research at Gies College of Business testified on behalf of the industry, saying all factors about individual drivers should be considered to make rates fair for everyone,

"You are buying the policy as to what's going to happen in the next six months to a year," she said. "The more factors that they use, the more accurate that pricing could be, based on one's risk profile and that seems fair."

Insurance committee member and State Representative Jeff Keicher, who is also a State Farm Insurance agent, agreed, and said Illinois has the 18th lowest rates in the country.

"We have an open and competitive marketplace so if an insurer is charging too much, insurers are free and able to very easily to secure another carrier, oftentimes at a lower price," he said.

Insurance industry experts also say the cost of auto parts have gone up.

To save money, you can always shop around for insurance. You do not have to wait until your policy is up for renewal.

Here is a state guide to help you compare rates: IDOI Auto Insurance Shopping Guide