How to buy home insurance in Illinois (July 2024)

The best way to buy home insurance in Illinois is to work with a licensed insurance expert — like those at Policygenius — to compare quotes from multiple insurers.

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Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor at Policygenius, where she oversees all of our insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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3 tips for shopping for home insurance in Illinois

When looking at how much each insurance company charges for different coverage levels and risks, you should also be aware of what your policy does and doesn’t cover.

Before you buy homeowners insurance in Illinois, you should be sure you're protected against the state's severe weather and flooding.

Consider windstorm insurance

You should be sure that your home is fully protected from the strong winds and occasional hail that can accompany spring and summer storms in Illinois.

While most home insurance policies do cover wind damage (including tornado damage) and hail damage, you should make sure that you'll be able to fully rebuild your home by adding replacement cost coverage to your policy.

Look into flood insurance

If you live in a low-lying area of Illinois or a part of the state that's near one of the Great Lakes, your property might be at risk of experiencing flood damage. Despite the risk of flood damage, homeowners insurance policies don't cover floods.

You should consider getting flood insurance if there's a chance your home could be damaged by rising water. A few companies offer flood insurance endorsements or even separate flood insurance policies, but most companies offer coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Consider specialty home insurance

Illinois residents who need specialty home insurance should make sure they have the right type of coverage for their needs. If you own a high-value home, a mobile or manufactured home, a vacation home, or rental home, you’ll need a home insurance policy that is specifically designed for your situation.

Compare home insurance rates in Illinois

How to buy homeowners insurance in Illinois

1. Reach out to a licensed Policygenius insurance agent.

Our team of licensed insurance experts can help you figure out how much coverage you need and what company offers it at the best price — all for free with no impact to your credit score.

2. Ask about the specific concerns you have.

Every situation is different, so if you need to have an insurance policy that specifically addresses your unique needs. For example, if you have certain concerns, like a swimming pool or certain dog breeds deemed “dangerous”, make sure to mention those things to your agent to your licensed insurance expert so they can help you find the right coverage for your needs.

3. If you’re unable to find homeowners insurance on the private market, ask about E&S insurers.

Excess and surplus insurance is designed for homes that are property that is considered too high risk to insure on the standard market. This coverage tends to be more expensive than standard homeowners insurance and isn’t backed by the state, which means the company isn’t obligated to comply with insurance regulations in your state. This can be risky, but there are some situations where E&S insurance coverage may be your best option.

4. If you’re still struggling to find coverage, ask about your state’s FAIR Plan.

If you live in an area at high risk for storms and tornadoes and you’re struggling to find coverage through a traditional company, ask your Policygenius agent if a policy through the Illinois FAIR Plan Association makes sense for you. These policies are designed to be a last-resort coverage option for homeowners who are not able to secure insurance on the private market.

5. Figure out how high of a deductible you can afford.

Since homeowners in Illinois have different deductible amounts (your homeowners insurance deductible could be anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more) that you can choose from, you’ll want to consider how often you might need to file a claim and how much you’d be able to afford to pay out of pocket in the event of a loss. Remember that choosing a higher deductible will lower your insurance rate, but you’ll be expected to pay for your deductible out of pocket when you file a claim.

6. Compare quotes from a Policygenius agent.

Once you’ve nailed down your coverage needs, limits, and deductibles, a Policygenius agent will walk you through quotes from a few different companies to help you find the best policy for your needs.

7. Choose your policy, sign it, and pay your first premium.

After you’ve chosen the policy you want, your Policygenius agent will complete all of the paperwork for you. The only thing left to do is sign the policy and pay your first premium. They’ll even cancel your old policy for you if it’s not up for renewal yet.

Why is it so hard to get affordable homeowners insurance in Illinois?

One of the biggest factors in rising insurance costs is climate change. While other states are seeing changes in the homeowners insurance market due to floods and wildfires, Illinois has seen an increase in the severity of tornadoes and other natural disasters over the years, which is causing insurance costs to go up.

Inflation is also causing an increase in home insurance costs. The cost of labor and supplies to repair or replace a damaged home has gone up significantly over the last few years, which means insurers are more cautious about taking on new customers and charging higher rates.

Compare home insurance rates in Illinois

Author

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor at Policygenius, where she oversees all of our insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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