Auto-owners vs. First Chicago: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

If you're in the market for a new insurance policy, you might be wondering how First Chicago and Auto-owners compare when it comes to the lowest rates and biggest discounts. To find out which of these companies is the best fit for you and your wallet, check out our newest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, First Chicago offers cheaper prices than Auto-owners
  • Auto-owners may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than First Chicago Insurance
  • First Chicago tends to be a much more affordable option for drivers who have a speeding ticket on their driving record

Auto-owners or First Chicago: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering large savings, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to Auto-owners or First Chicago as potential options, but between the two, which carrier has less expensive premiums for car insurance?

Auto-owners First Chicago

Looking at nationwide averages, Auto-owners is around $23 more a month than First Chicago.

But that doesn't necessarily mean First Chicago will be the more affordable option for each driver. After all, auto insurance carriers can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like your driving record, where you call home, your age, or even your credit score (among other things). So, at the end of the day, prices from each carrier will differ quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Auto-owners or First Chicago is really the best for you, keep reading to see average rates for each company broken down by several different rate factors.

Auto-owners vs. First Chicago: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Auto-owners First Chicago

Auto-owners and First Chicago only compete against each other in Illinois, where Auto-owners offers the cheaper average premiums. Auto-owners drivers tend to pay about $16 per month less on average compared to drivers who use First Chicago for their car insurance.

There's a lot more that goes into your insurance payment than just where you call home. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Auto-owners First Chicago
18-year-old drivers$393$349
25-year-old drivers$164$141

You might already know that teen drivers normally pay a lot more for car insurance than any other group of drivers. The reason is that teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high prices, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have First Chicago for their auto insurance pay almost 10% less than those who use Auto-owners. It's worth noting that Auto-owners offers insurance in 23 different states compared to First Chicago's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both companies will reduce premiums once you turn 25. For example, average rates for Auto-owners policyholders decrease about $250 and First Chicago's premiums lower around $200 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Auto-owners First Chicago
65+-year-old drivers$133$114

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the cheapest prices you can find.

So, which carrier offers the best premiums to retired drivers? First Chicago gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older $19 cheaper than the national average for Auto-owners.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Auto-owners First Chicago

You may not be aware, but auto insurance rates tend to be more expensive for single policyholders than they are for married couples. That's typically because married drivers tend to own and insure more than one vehicle, which can often earn you a discount.

For single drivers, the difference in average premiums between these two carriers is significant, with First Chicago rates coming in at about 15% less than Auto-owners's. The advantage is also clear for married policyholders - First Chicago offers the most affordable average prices.

Auto-owners or First Chicago: Average Rates by Gender

Auto-owners First Chicago

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into a collision or get pulled over for speeding, which means they'll usually end up paying more for insurance than women.

Normally, men see rates around 6% a month higher with Auto-owners, and about 7% with First Chicago.

Looking at overall affordability, First Chicago comes out on top for both men and women. On average, women save about $24 per month and men save around $23 with First Chicago compared to the average Auto-owners policyholder.

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Auto-owners vs. First Chicago: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Auto-owners First Chicago
State Minimum*$99$73
Full Coverage**$260$240

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

For most people, auto insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different coverages and limits that it can be hard to find the right policy for you.

The two most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (that covers property damage and bodily injury for other drivers and passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, alongside liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, First Chicago has the significant edge, with average monthly premiums coming in at $73. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, First Chicago again has the edge, with policies averaging about $240 a month to Auto-owners's $260.

Is Auto-owners or First Chicago Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

It's no secret secret that speeding tickets and at-fault collisions lead to higher prices, but which company -- Auto-owners or First Chicago -- has the cheapest rates for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Auto-owners First Chicago
Clean Record$121$109
1 Speeding Ticket$165$144

Policyholders who use Auto-owners for their auto insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up around 27% after getting a speeding ticket. First Chicago policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of about 24%.

Even so, First Chicago tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent ticket, offering premiums that are 10% and 13% less expensive, respectively, compared to Auto-Owners Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Auto-owners First Chicago
Clean Record$121$109
1 At-Fault Accident$168$146

Auto-owners drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their prices climb by over $45, while those who have insurance through First Chicago will see around a $35 increase.

At the end of the day, drivers who use First Chicago end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average premiums coming in at $146 compared to Auto-Owners Insurance's $168.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Auto-owners First Chicago
Clean Record$121$109
1 DUI$264$225

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- usually a lot more than an accident or speeding ticket. For example, Auto-owners increases average rates by nearly $150 per month -- that's nearly a 55% increase.

First Chicago has the overall most affordable prices for drivers with a DUI on their records at $225 a month, but it's worth noting that Auto-owners's average rates come from 23 states compared to just one for First Chicago, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Auto-owners and First Chicago Rates?

Did you know many insurance companies take your credit score into account when determining premiums? Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as an auto insurance factor, but it might come into play for several policyholders.

Car insurance companies argue that those with good credit scores are more likely to pay their bills on time every month, which decreases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with bad credit.

So, which carrier offers the best rates for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Auto-owners First Chicago
Excellent Credit Score$95$132
Good Credit Score$129$139

If you have solid credit, Auto-owners will generally reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, Auto-owners comes in just under 28.03 more affordable. Drivers with "good" credit scores typically save about 7% with Auto-owners compared to average prices from First Chicago.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Auto-owners First Chicago
Fair Credit Score$176$155
Poor Credit Score$317$199

First Chicago typically offers lower rates than Auto-owners when it comes to drivers with less-than-stellar credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 12% a month less with First Chicago compared to Auto-owners, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of about 37% per month.

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Is Auto-owners or First Chicago Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Auto-owners First Chicago
6,000 Annual Miles$179$156
12,000 Annual Miles$180$156

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a substantial impact on your monthly insurance bill? Usually, those who drive fewer miles will end up with cheaper prices since there's less of a chance of causing a collision and filing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much First Chicago charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Auto-owners, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicle annually paying around $1 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles every year. Still, for drivers in both categories, First Chicago is the less expensive company.

Auto-owners or First Chicago: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you live can have a considerable impact on your monthly auto insurance cost. Normally, if you live in an urban area with more cars on the road, you'll pay a little more for insurance, while the opposite is true for people in rural areas.

Auto-owners First Chicago
Urban Areas$205$196
Suburban Areas$169$128
Rural Areas$164$145

First Chicago boasts the lowest average prices for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to save about 12% with First Chicago compared to Auto-owners. People who live in suburban areas pay around 24% less with First Chicago compared to Auto-owners. For drivers in urban ZIP codes, First Chicago Insurance's average rates are about 4% less than Auto-Owners Insurance.

Auto-owners vs. First Chicago Discounts

No matter why you might be in the market for a new car insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as you can, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many auto insurance discounts as possible.

The hard part is finding all of the discounts you qualify for, since it can feel sometimes like every carrier has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and compared all of the different discounts offered by Auto-owners and First Chicago so that you can find the company that has the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Auto-owners First Chicago
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Company Car Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
Education Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Inside Storage Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Low Mileage Discount 
Minor Child Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Paid In Full Discount 

Auto-owners knocks First Chicago out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 15 more discounts than First Chicago.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Auto-owners also offers discounts for company car, COVID-19 relief, distant student, and more.

On the other hand, First Chicago has a proprietary discount of their own -- a renewal discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Auto-owners or First Chicago Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the variables insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each company offers. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, is Auto-owners or First Chicago the right one for you and your specific driver profile?

First Chicago might be best for you if....

  • Your driving record includes a DUI charge.
  • You're looking for the best prices on liability only coverage.
  • You're of retirement age and want to take advantage of lower rates.

Auto-owners might be best for you if...

  • You already have plans to move to another state -- First Chicago Insurance is only available in Illinois.
  • Your credit score is high.
  • You want to save extra money with discounts.

Hopefully, this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Auto-owners and First Chicago. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your car insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your auto insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just Auto-owners and First Chicago. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top car insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Auto-owners vs. First Chicago FAQs

Is Auto-owners or First Chicago cheaper?

First Chicago is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average premiums, with policies averaging $156 per month with First Chicago and $179 for Auto-owners. That being said, that doesn't mean First Chicago will be the most affordable carrier for everyone, since there are lots of different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Auto-owners or First Chicago?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". One company is not "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique auto insurance profile looks like. For example, Auto-owners is less expensive for drivers with excellent credit, while First Chicago offers more affordable rates for drivers with a recent DUI.

Why do Auto-owners and First Chicago offer me different rates?

Insurance companies use a lot of different variables when calculating the premiums they charge. Factors like where you call home, age, gender, where you park your car, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Auto-owners and First Chicago calculate prices using different variables, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different carriers.

How do I know if Auto-owners or First Chicago is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Auto-owners or First Chicago at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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