Homeowners Insurance in Illinois

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Though not required at the state level, homeowners insurance in Illinois is a smart investment to protect homeowners against theft, vandalism, fire, and natural disasters. It’s always a good idea to compare rates with several companies to help you find the best deals. 
Your house is likely one of the largest investments you will make in your life, but it’s more than just an asset. Your house is where you create memories with friends and family and where you develop your dreams. 
Protecting your home is an important way to protect your family, and getting that peace of mind doesn’t have to break the bank. You can shop for the best deals on home and car insurance using the top-rated broker and app, Jerry.
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What is homeowners insurance? 

Homeowners insurance is like car insurance; it protects you, your property, and your belongings by providing different levels of coverage. The average homeowner in the U.S. pays $1,387 per year or $115 per month to receive financial protection from personal liability, property damage, or the loss of your residence.

Basic components of homeowners insurance

Most home insurance policies include the following coverage:
  • Coverage A (Structure): Covers repairs or replacement of the house itself. 
  • Coverage B (Additional structures): Covers repairs or replacement of other structures on the property (e.g., fences, detached garages, sheds, etc.). 
  • Coverage C (Personal property): Offers financial support in replacing personal property (e.g., electronics, furniture, jewelry, etc.). 
  • Coverage D (Additional expenses): Also known as loss of use. Offers temporary financial support to cover living expenses (e.g. a hotel, rent, etc.) if your residence is deemed uninhabitable. 
  • Coverage E (Personal liability): Provides financial support in the case of litigation if someone is injured on your property or by your pet or family member. 
You have the option to purchase a policy that covers either the actual cash value (ACV) of your property at the time of loss or one that covers the replacement cost. 
Replacement cost covers the amount it would cost to replace the property, regardless of actual value. Actual cash value, on the other hand, accounts for the depreciation of your personal property.
Most companies require homeowners to purchase a policy that covers at least 80% of the replacement cost.  

Named perils

Each provider covers different types of losses, meaning there is no standard, one-size-fits-all policy. Your homeowners insurance will only cover named perils, or the specific circumstances outlined in the policy unless you have a special policy. Covered named perils generally include: 
  • Fire
  • Lightning 
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Hurricanes
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Riots
  • Falling objects
  • Explosions
Be sure to read your policy carefully. Only the listed perils will be covered by your policy. If you want additional coverage for things like flooding, theft, wind, or hail damage, you will need to get additional coverage.

Is homeowners insurance required in Illinois?

While the state of Illinois does not require home insurance, some individual lenders might require owners to carry insurance throughout the life of their home loan. 
With that said, it’s always a good idea to have extra protection. You can protect yourself, your property, and your finances from potential crises, like fire, theft, or natural disasters, by having homeowners insurance. Recovering from a devastating loss, like a burned-down house, can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s better to pay for that protection now. 

How to get homeowners insurance

You can easily shop for home insurance online. It’s a good idea to compare rates from multiple companies, rather than take the first recommendation given to you. Jerry makes comparing home insurance easy, so give them a try!
It’s also worth calling your current car insurance company, as they can often give you a discount for bundling your home and auto policies together. Homeowners who bundle can save anywhere between 5% to 15% or more, so it’s worth checking out!
Homeowners in Illinois need to pay particular attention to policies that provide coverage for wind and hail damage, flooding, burglary, and theft. 
While most insurance companies will cover provide policyholders with protection against theft, vandalism, and natural disasters, flood insurance typically requires a separate policy.,
You protect your home against possible flood damage with the following three options: 
  • An HO-5 or open perils policy covers any peril unless it’s specifically listed as an exclusion in your policy
  • Water backup coverage can pay for water removal and repairs following a burst or backed-up pipe.
  • Flood insurance protects your home from flooding from a source outside of your home. You can get it through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (FLIP) or a referral. 

Why is homeowners insurance in Illinois so expensive? 

Illinois is ranked as the 29th most expensive state for home insurance, putting it below the national average
You can expect to pay, on average, about $1,320 a year (or about $110 a month) for home insurance in Illinois. 
Home insurance rates are calculated based on several factors, such as the value of your home, your marital status, and your credit score. That said, there are some losses common to Illinois that affect the price of your home insurance premiums. 

Burglary and theft

Big cities like Chicago raise the overall average of home-based crimes in Illinois. Though the overall property-crime rates are lower in Illinois than average, it’s still a good idea to protect your home with a security system. 

Hail

Because Illinois is located in the middle of the U.S., it is prone to strong summer storms, which can include hail. Though hail varies in size, ranging from the size of a quarter up to a softball, it can cause significant damage to your home and property. 
Illinois has the second-highest rates of property damage due to hail in the country, increasing housing premiums to offset the cost to insurance companies. 

Wind

Illinois is notorious for being an incredibly windy state, with nearly double the reports of wind damage as hail damage (which is a lot). High winds can cause damage to your house’s exterior, including the roof, siding, and windows. 
Insurance companies may raise premiums to help them cover the cost of these fairly frequent claims. 

Homeowners insurance discounts in Illinois

Despite the common claims listed above, there are ways to offset the cost of your home insurance premiums. Many insurance companies offer common discounts, many of which are outlined below.
DiscountHow to get it
BundlingBundling home and auto insurance could earn you a steep discount on both policies.
First-time homeownerMost companies will offer you a discounted policy if it’s your first time purchasing a home.
Claims-freeIf you maintain a certain period (typically a few years) without any claims on your policy, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.
Storm proofingInstalling various hurricane safety measures, such as an upgraded roof or storm shutters, could earn you a discount on your homeowners policy.
Security systemIf you’ve got a security system to prevent theft, your insurance company might discount your homeowners insurance rate.
Upgraded fire alarmSet up your fire alarm to contact the fire department directly—your insurance company may give you a discount for a shorter fire response time.

How to save on home and auto insurance

Shopping for the best home insurance policy takes time and dedication, but Jerry can make that easier. Jerry compares rates from the nation’s top providers and delivers the best deals to your phone in minutes for free
All you need is a few minutes and your smartphone. Jerry will browse for quotes from over 50 top providers and deliver the best results right to you for comparison. Just tell Jerry which one you like best, and you’ll even be able to register in the app! 
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FAQs

Tornado insurance isn’t a separate policy, so that means your homeowners insurance will likely cover damage caused by high winds, hail, and falling or thrown objects from a tornado. 
That said, if the tornado is accompanied by a large rainstorm and your house or property suffers from flooding damage, you will need a separate policy for flood coverage.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Illinois varies based on geographic region, the value of your house, and personal demographics. You can expect to pay between $1,056 and $1,596 a year for home insurance in Illinois.

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