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Best Illinois Homeowners Insurance

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Smack-dab in the middle of the Midwest, thinking of Illinois tends to conjure images of tornadoes. But the Prairie State’s weather highlights also feature blizzards and really hot summers, plus flooding.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Illinois

Since the state is a mixture of small towns, larger cities and a few large metropolitan areas, it wholly depends on where in Illinois you live to price homeowners insurance.

Average Annual Premium in Illinois

Despite all its aforementioned inclement weather, the average homeowners insurance premium for Illinois is about 12 percent below the national average of $1,132. Home insurance shoppers in Illinois can expect to pay about $987 per month, on average. That’s not too bad if you consider that home prices in Illinois are slightly higher than the national average.

Finding the Best Premium for Your Home

Average annual premiums are useful tools for budgeting but home insurance rates are individualized. The premium you pay for your policy will be based on your unique insurance profile and insurance needs.

How are Homeowners Insurance Rates Determined?

Insurance, any kind of insurance, is the transfer of risk from an individual to a pool of individuals. If you think about it, if your house is destroyed in a fire, the payout for the claim could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s unlikely, even in an entire lifetime, that your premiums would add up to the amount the insurer paid out in this fictional claim.

The biggest factors in an insurance rate, however, are individualized—based on individual risk. Here are some of the larger factors in your insurance premium: 

Credit. Most insurance companies look at credit as a factor in determining premiums based on risk. If your credit is less-than-perfect, expect that rates may be higher with some insurers and consider waiting until your credit is in better shape if you’re thinking about changing companies.

Changes in credit can even affect renewal rates—so the price you started with can increase or decrease at renewal based on your credit score. Most companies that use credit scores for rating purposes re-run credit scores every 2 to 3 years. 

Length of coverage. The length of time you’ve had coverage or the length of time you’ve been with a previous carrier can affect the rate with a new carrier. It isn’t uncommon for consumers who frequently jump from one insurer to the next to pay a higher premium.

Insurers want to know you’ll be with them for a while and often reward more “stable” customers with better rates to start. Depending on your unique situation, staying with your current insurer until you’ve built a solid history may cost less in the long run than changing insurers frequently. 

Claims history. If you’ve had a previous homeowners or renters insurance claim, expect that rates may be higher with a new insurer. Insurance companies often look back five years for claims and utilize shared consumer data to find claims placed by a prospective customer.

A correlation has been made that indicates that someone who places a claim is more likely to place another claim. Prior claims history affects nearly every type of insurance and, in some cases, even your driving record can affect your home insurance premiums. 

Coverage types and amounts. With all this talk about risk, the real risk at the root of it all is that the insurer will have to pay a claim. Your claim payout for a covered claim will be subject to your chosen coverage amounts and coverage types including any optional coverages you’ve chosen.

A higher potential payout will create a higher premium if all other factors are equal. Lowering coverage amounts to reduce premiums may not be a viable option, nor a wise one, because then your home may not be fully covered. Lenders also usually require that the home be insured for at least the loan balance. You usually have the option of adjusting your deductible to help manage premiums.

The deductible is the portion of the claim that you would pay and is set as either a fixed dollar amount or as a percentage of the total dwelling coverage.

Location. The location of the insured property will affect the premium for your home. This can affect rates in either direction with some areas having more or less risk than others. Geographic risks that can affect your rates include proximity to coastlines or bodies of water, distance from a fire department (this is a big one), crime statistics for that area, or weather events.

Location can also be a factor in how much it costs to rebuild your home in the event of a claim. Most suburban areas won’t be affected by this, but more remote homes can cost more to rebuild or repair. 

Discounts. The cost of your home insurance can change dramatically based on available discounts. Many insurers offer bundling discounts for customers who buy multiple types of insurance from the company, most commonly home and auto. Depending on the insurer, the multi-policy discount can be up to 30 percent of the premium, and sometimes even higher.

If considering a multi-policy discount, you’ll want to compare the features and coverages of each policy to be sure the new policies would really meet your needs and that the combined premiums make the proposal a good choice for you or your family. You’ll also commonly find discounts for safety features such as alarms or fire sprinkler systems and new home buyer discounts are fairly common as well.

How Does Weather Play a Role?

The Prairie State averages between 60 and 70 tornadoes each year and if tornadoes aren’t wreaking havoc, the state is well-known for its high winds. Wind and hail damage are usually grouped together on a home insurance policy, but not all policies cover damage from wind and hail in the same way. While most policies will provide coverage, you may find differences in deductibles compared to your standard deductible. 

Of particular importance when discussing inclement weather is roof coverage. Tornadoes, wind, and hail can beat a roof relentlessly, causing severe damage and possibly requiring a complete roof replacement. Many insurers treat a roof as a “wear item” and won’t pay for full replacement cost for an older roof.

With the cost of professional roof installation approaching $10,000 for many homes, roof damage can create a windstorm in your savings account. It’s important for insurance shoppers in Illinois to understand their coverage for wind and hail so they can choose a company that provides the best coverage and value. 

Snow and ice can also be a threat to homes in Illinois. Winter months can bring several inches at at time of the slippery stuff to parts of the state and sometimes more storms follow in rapid succession. Risks to homes from ice and snow can cause damage to roofs or even to a home’s interior as melting ice and snow interfere with gutters and sneak into the home around gaps near windows and doors.

Flood Insurance

FEMA reports paid flood insurance claims of about $5,000,000 in the past year in Illinois. This pales in contrast to some coastal states like Louisiana, Florida, and Texas where the agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) paid claims approaching nearly a billion dollars per state.

However, statistics don’t matter much when your home is filling with floodwater, damaging both your home and its contents—and it’s not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Coverage for damage from flooding is provided by a separate policy, usually provided through the NFIP, and at an additional cost to the homeowner. 

Most household water mishaps, such as a burst pipe or an accidental bathtub overflow, will be covered claims under a homeowners insurance policy. Where coverage stops is based on the source of the water. Rising floodwaters or damage from flash floods won’t be covered by a homeowners policy.

Backup from sewers or sump pump overflow may be covered, but usually only if you’ve purchased a rider for your homeowners insurance policy. Most insurance agents will be able to write a flood insurance policy for you. As NFIP rates are determined by FEMA based on your flood zone and home details, rates should be the same from all agents, assuming they use the same information to build the quote.

Most Affordable Cities

Geographic location can lead to home insurance rates higher or lower than the average for Illinois. Variables such as crime statistics, exposure to weather risks, average age of homes, and rebuilding costs can all cause one area to be more expensive or less expensive than other areas. Some of the most affordable cities in Illinois for home insurance include:

  • Dekalb
  • Rockford
  • Bloomington
  • Lisle
  • Hodgkins

Most Expensive Cities

Among some of the more expensive cities in Illinois for home insurance are:

  • McLeansboro
  • Vienna
  • West Salem
  • Glencoe
  • Hardin

Top Picks for Illinois

1. Nationwide

Personal property coverage on a homeowners insurance policy can be tricky business. Usually, the coverage amount is stated sounds like more than enough to replace anything that might be damaged or destroyed.

However, many policies provide personal property coverage at “actual cash value,” which means any claim payout for personal belongings will be paid based on a depreciated value.

Nationwide provides a solution to this costly gap in coverage with an option they call “Brand New Belongings.” At the time of a covered claim, Nationwide will still pay actual cash value, but with Brand New Belongings, you won’t be left to scramble for the difference. Simply provide a receipt, and the company will reimburse you for the difference between actual cash value and your true replacement cost.

Pros
  • Website provides helpful information
  • A nationwide network of over 18,000 agents
  • Sizable discount on auto policies for customers who also purchase life insurance
Cons
  • Premiums may be higher than some competitors
  • Less flexibility in term lengths

2. State Farm

As one of the largest insurers for both home and auto insurance (think multi-policy discount), State Farm provides a full range of home insurance products from renters policies to landlord policies.

Customers who prefer to do business in-person will find that most areas in Illinois have a State Farm agent office within local driving distance. In fact, the company is headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, with much of its key infrastructure located in the state.

Multi-policy discounts with State Farm can be particularly attractive for some consumers, so be sure to put them on your list for a quote.

Pros
  • Discount for bundling
  • Access to vetted companies
Cons
  • Doesn’t directly offer home insurance
  • Mobile app doesn’t support home insurance

3. Progressive

If you already have auto insurance with Progressive, it’s definitely worth getting a home insurance quote as well. Multi-policy discounts will apply to both policies in most cases.

For its home insurance policies, Progressive works with affiliated companies to bind coverage. This means your policy might be bound through a third party company, but most policy management can be handled through Progressive and the policy can even be purchased online—with the company boasting same-day coverage.

Pros
  • Prepackaged options that make buying easy
  • Other lines of insurance available
  • Above-average claims service
Cons
  • Below-average customer service ratings
  • Must buy coverage through an agent

4. Farmers

We’re all familiar with the humorous Farmers advertisements that highlight all the strange things that can happen to a house or car—and are still covered. While the ads poke a little fun at life’s surprises, Farmers is all business when it comes to insuring homes in Illinois.

The company offers discounts for bundling, for certain renovations, and even for a new roof. Proving its focus on customers, Farmers offers thoughtful policy options and features, such as replacement cost coverage and even coverage for trees and shrubs damaged in a covered claim. More populated areas are likely to find a local agent and policies can also be purchased online or by phone.

5. American Family

Home insurance customers with Progressive or GEICO may be familiar with Homesite Insurance Company, which also underwrites for American Family Home Insurance in Illinois. Like Progressive, American Family is usually sold through independent agents.

An independent agent has access to insurance products from a number of companies, so you’ll be able to compare policy features and quotes to find a policy that best meets your needs. If you have a newer home or have purchased your home within the last three years, you may qualify for a discount with American Family.

There’s also a loyalty discount available for customers who have been with American Family for a long time.

Take Action

Shopping for home insurance in Illinois with modern tools have made it easier for consumers to compare rates, learn about coverages, and even manage policies through mobile apps. What’s becoming evident is that shopping for the best insurance rates in Illinois is only part of the challenge. 

Looking for more affordable insurance coverage? Check out Benzinga’s guides to finding cheap car insurance in Chicago, the best cheap life insurance companies and the best affordable health insurance companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?

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1) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?
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Most home insurance policies provide liability coverage that can help protect you and your family against several types of lawsuits or liability claims. Coverage limit options usually begin at $100,000 and can go as high as $1 million. Your liability coverage provides coverage for common mishaps, like slip and fall accidents or animal bites and can protect you even when you are away from home. However, home insurance liability coverage does not provide coverage for automobile-related liability or liability related to business activity. Get the best home coverage and policy through our top providers today.

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2) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?

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2) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
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Wind and hail claims top the list with nearly 40% of all home insurance claims due to these two acts of nature. Fire and lightning are the second most common, but claims due to fire tend to much bigger than claims dues to other types of risk. The possibility of a total loss is why it’s so important to insure your home for the full cost of rebuilding. Get a custom quote today.

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3) Q: If I drop my computer, will home insurance cover the cost of replacement?

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3) Q: If I drop my computer, will home insurance cover the cost of replacement?
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Home insurance policies usually cover personal property for a specific list of risks, called named perils. These perils might include fire, theft, burst pipes, and more, but dropping your laptop or TV or spilling soda on your new game console isn’t covered. See the best home insurance providers for a custom quote.

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