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

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on auto insurance, but are First Chicago or Safe Auto right for you? Which carrier offers the lowest premiums, or the most discounts? Read on to see how First Chicago and Safe Auto compare, and to find out which company is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for insurance, First Chicago offers significantly cheaper rates than Safe Auto
  • First Chicago offers more affordable prices for single people who will be the only person on the auto insurance policy
  • Safe Auto may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than First Chicago Insurance

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

Are you considering a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering hefty savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed it down to First Chicago or Safe Auto for your next policy, but which carrier will offer you more affordable rates?

First Chicago Safe Auto

As you can see, Safe Auto is quite a bit more expensive than First Chicago, with prices averaging $223 a month compared to just $156 with First Chicago when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

That being said, that doesn't mean First Chicago will necessarily be less expensive than Safe Auto for each driver. Insurance carriers vary their premiums depending on things like how good your credit score is, how old you are, how clean your driving record is, where you live, and all sorts of other factors, so prices could change drastically from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average premiums from both First Chicago and Safe Auto by multiple different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

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

State First Chicago Safe Auto

First Chicago and Safe Auto only compete against each other in Illinois, where First Chicago offers the cheaper average rates. Undefined drivers tend to pay about undefined per month less on average compared to drivers who use undefined for their auto insurance.

But there's more to car insurance than just the state you live in. As we mentioned above, there's a lot of things that go into how insurance companies determine your prices. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

First Chicago Safe Auto
18-year-old drivers$349$443
25-year-old drivers$141$211

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance rates of any group on the road. It's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an auto insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

Even so, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their car insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of almost 20% less a month by choosing First Chicago over Safe Auto.

But both carriers will drop premiums by the time you turn 25. For example, average rates for First Chicago policyholders decrease nearly 60% and Safe Auto's premiums lower over 50% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

First Chicago Safe Auto
65+-year-old drivers$114$179

Drivers around retirement age normally enjoy some of the cheapest insurance prices you'll ever see. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which generally decreases their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise premiums.

But who has the best rates for retired drivers between First Chicago and Safe Auto? First Chicago gets the edge here, with average prices coming in at around $114 monthly compared to Safe Auto's $179.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

First Chicago Safe Auto

You may not be aware, but auto insurance premiums tend to be more expensive for those who are single than they are for married drivers. This usually boils down to married policyholders having several vehicles on their policy -- something lots of insurance companies will reward with discounts.

For single drivers, the difference in average rates between these two carriers is significant, with First Chicago prices coming in at about 30% less than Safe Auto's. For married couples, the advantage is clear again - First Chicago has the edge when it comes to average premiums.

First Chicago or Safe Auto: Average Rates by Gender

First Chicago Safe Auto

Because women are less likely to get into collisions and get speeding tickets, they are less likely to file a claim with insurance. So, insurance companies will tend to charge women less than men.

Men usually pay around 7% more per month than women with First Chicago, and about 7% more with Safe Auto.

Looking at overall affordability, First Chicago offers the most affordable average rates for both men and women, with average prices $69 less for men and $64 cheaper for women.

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

First Chicago Safe Auto
State Minimum*$73$126
Full Coverage**$240$320

*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.

It's no secret that car insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. Everyone needs auto insurance, but there are so many different terms and coverages that it can be hard to find the right policy for you.

However, the most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which typically refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages alongside what you get with a liability policy).

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 around $240 a month to Safe Auto's $320.

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

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from car insurance carriers offering great prices for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

You'll probably end up paying more with accidents and speeding tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest rates to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

First Chicago Safe Auto
Clean Record$109$180
1 Speeding Ticket$144$220

Policyholders who use First Chicago for their insurance can normally expect their monthly bill to go up about 24% after getting a speeding ticket. Safe Auto policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of around 18%.

Even so, First Chicago has more affordable premiums for drivers in both categories, offering rates that are 39% and 35% cheaper, respectively, compared to Safe Auto.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

First Chicago Safe Auto
Clean Record$109$180
1 At-Fault Accident$146$246

Both carriers will increase prices pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault collision with Safe Auto raising by about 27%. First Chicago has a less extreme rise, but you can still expect to pay more than 25% more than you were prior to your first accident.

At the end of the day, First Chicago offers the most affordable rates for drivers with an at-fault collision on their records, with average prices coming in at $146 compared to Safe Auto's $246.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

First Chicago Safe Auto
Clean Record$109$180
1 DUI$225$245

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single accident or ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. For example, First Chicago increases average premiums by more than $100 per month -- that's over a 50% increase.

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How does Credit Score Impact First Chicago and Safe Auto Rates?

In many cases, your credit score can be used as one of the variables to calculate your monthly insurance prices. This isn't true for everyone (for example, California and Massachusetts are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect quite a few drivers out there.

The reasoning auto insurance companies use is that policyholders with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper premiums, while those with poor credit will typically be forced to pay more.

Looking at First Chicago and Safe Auto specifically, which company has the best rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

First Chicago Safe Auto
Excellent Credit Score$132$187
Good Credit Score$139$222

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

First Chicago Safe Auto
Fair Credit Score$155$230
Poor Credit Score$199$252

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

First Chicago Safe Auto
6,000 Annual Miles$156$223
12,000 Annual Miles$156$223

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much insurance carriers will charge for coverage. Usually, those who drive fewer miles will end up with less expensive prices since there's less of a chance of causing an accident and filing an insurance claim.

In this case, neither First Chicago or Safe Auto report increasing rates for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. Still, First Chicago comes out as the cheapest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their car annually, with average premiums of $156 a month for both.

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

We've already mentioned how your home state can play a role in how much you pay for auto insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a big impact as well. Generally, if you live in a rural area with fewer cars on the road, you'll pay a little less for car insurance, while the opposite is true for people in urban areas.

First Chicago Safe Auto
Urban Areas$196$271
Suburban Areas$128$200
Rural Areas$145$197

First Chicago tends to offer the cheapest premiums for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, First Chicago Insurance's average prices are around $75 less than Safe Auto. People who live in suburban areas pay about $72 less with First Chicago compared to Safe Auto. Those in rural areas can expect to save around $52 with First Chicago compared to Safe Auto.

First Chicago vs. Safe Auto Discounts

No matter why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as you can. That's where car insurance discounts comes into play.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem hard to find all the of the ones you can take advantage of.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both First Chicago and Safe Auto so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

First Chicago Safe Auto
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Claim Free Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Driver Training Discount
Good Student Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 
Non-Owner Discount 
Occupation Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount
Renewal Discount
Vin Etching Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Safe Auto has the advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. First Chicago offers a grand total of nine discounts, while Safe Auto has 14.

Both companies offer several of the same discounts -- like anti-theft discounts, discounts for getting driver training, and renewal discounts -- but Safe Auto also offers discounts for agency transfer, claim free, homeowner, and more.

On the other hand, First Chicago has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like ABS discounts, advance quote discounts, good student discounts, and more.

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

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your auto insurance premiums. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. But, at the end of the day, is First Chicago or Safe Auto the right one for you and your specific profile and needs?

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

  • You have a speeding ticket on your driving record.
  • Your neighborhood is in the suburbs.
  • You're of retirement age and want to take advantage of lower rates.

Safe Auto might be best for you if...

  • You value the experience that comes with a large national car insurance company.
  • You want to save extra money with discounts.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between First Chicago and Safe Auto and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just First Chicago and Safe Auto. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best auto insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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First Chicago vs. Safe Auto FAQs

Is First Chicago or Safe Auto cheaper?

First Chicago is the more affordable of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $156 per month with First Chicago and $223 for Safe Auto. But that doesn't mean First Chicago will be the most affordable carrier for every policyholder, since there are many different variables (things like age, driving record, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, First Chicago or Safe Auto?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". No single company is "better" for each policyholder -- it all depends on what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do First Chicago and Safe Auto offer me different rates?

Insurance companies use several different factors when determining the premiums they charge. Things like where you live, gender, where you park your vehicle, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both First Chicago and Safe Auto calculate rates using different formulas, so it's likely they'll offer different prices. The best way to determine which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if First Chicago or Safe Auto 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, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best premium. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't First Chicago or Safe Auto 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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