UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020
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Illinois homeowner’s insurance rates fall below the national average by 14%, which is good news, but still means there is plenty of room to find a lower rate. Protecting a home properly is more complex and nuanced than insuring a car, and there are several factors to consider when choosing the best home insurance policy; price is only a part of the picture.
The Basics of Illinois Home Insurance
Home insurance, unlike car insurance, is not required by law, but it is required by financial institutions. The lender that holds your mortgage will require that your home insurance policy meet certain standards in order to comply with your loan. This protects the lender’s interest in the home.
If you do not carry home insurance, your lender can force you to pay for a policy. Known as force-placed insurance, this policy will be costly, and it will protect only the lender and not you or your personal property. Carrying the right insurance policy is the smart choice all around.
Home insurance is comprised of a few basic components: dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and liability. Beyond these basics, there are many additional coverages that may be standard or optional depending on the insurance company. The coverage you need can be specific to your home and your own personal needs; for example, home office coverage is available to those that work out of the home.
Specifics of Home Insurance in Illinois
While most homeowners should be able to find coverage with either a standard or non-standard insurance company to cover their home and meet lender requirements, there is a program for Illinois homeowners that have not been able to do so.
Illinois FAIR Plan Association helps homeowner’s obtain coverage when they have not been able to do so on the open market. This coverage is designed to meet the same levels of coverage as a standard home insurance policy and does still have some qualifications. It offers far more coverage to the homeowner than a force-placed plan with the lender would.
Like all states, Illinois rates will vary depending on where you live. Chicago rates will differ from those in rural areas, and the right company for each area may differ.
Our goal in choosing the best home insurance for Illinois is to select companies that provide good value. That means a good price for excellent, comprehensive coverage.
When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, comprehensive coverage means offering higher levels of coverage on a standard policy, versus companies that require that each coverage is added at an additional cost. Replacement cost coverage for the dwelling, preferably with at least the option to increase above 100%, is a must for solid home insurance. We also looked for available replacement cost on personal property and other included benefits.
All of the companies we chose rank highly in customer satisfaction. We looked at customer reviews of the company, particularly for claims satisfaction, and also looked to trusted consumer reporting sources. No matter the price, an insurance policy is only as good as the company that backs it.
We also selected companies that offer coverage to the majority of Illinois homeowners, without restrictions. This means that our choices write insurance for homes in the average price range (we left out those that cater to high-value homes only) and do not have eligibility requirements. USAA is an example of the latter, and offers excellent value but is open only to military members and their families.
Our Top Picks
These three companies all offer excellent value, with comprehensive policies at a great price for Illinois homeowners.
State Farm is the number one home insurance company in the nation, and they are also a top pick for Illinois. They rank in the top five in J.D. Power’s 2018 national home insurance satisfaction study, as well as in the claims satisfaction survey.
State Farm also has excellent coverage on their standard homeowner’s policy, with plenty of options to choose from, and insures a wide variety of homes. They also have a nice auto and home bundling discount among other ways to lower rates. And even without those discounts, State Farm rates come in among the lowest for Illinois.
A list of the best home insurance in Illinois would not be complete without Amica Mutual, which ranks at number one nationwide for home insurance satisfaction as well as in claims satisfaction, making them the best-rated home insurance company in the country. They offer home policies that include many added benefits, including extended replacement cost as standard.
Amica Mutual has one of the biggest auto/home discounts available, which makes them a great choice for those looking to bundle, and their rates are competitive overall even without the bundling option.
Allstate is a top pick for Illinois homeowners thanks to a generous list of available discounts that can bring their rates down, and those rates are already competitive in the Illinois market. Their home policy offers a solid program with comprehensive coverage to protect the dwelling and beyond.
Allstate also ranks well in customer satisfaction surveys and lands in the top ten nationwide based on J.D. Power’s surveys. That makes them a solid value for homeowner’s insurance in the state of Illinois.
Shopping for Home Insurance in Illinois
While homeowner’s insurance has the same basics across the board, the needs of each home will differ based on location and the homeowner’s needs. Rural Illinois homeowners may need to shop a little differently than an urban dweller, especially if there are farm operations on the premises – even hobby farms. Every homeowner should look for the insurance policy that best meets their own needs.
When shopping, be sure you know what kind of coverage you need, what deductible you would like to carry, and what additional coverage you need on top of the basics. Each company will have its own replacement cost calculator, and the numbers may differ vastly. You can use a third-party calculator to determine replacement cost or check with your lender to see what coverage amount they require for replacement cost to determine what that coverage amount should be. Protect yourself thoroughly by choosing a policy with extended replacement cost to keep up with the increasing cost of construction materials.
Some areas of Illinois may require additional coverage – if you live in a high-risk flood zone, you will also need to add flood insurance to your regular home insurance policy. Most home insurance companies can help you to obtain this added policy.
Home insurance is easier to shop for online than ever before, but not as simple as car insurance. It is a good idea to speak with an independent agent not only to compare rates but also to get a good idea of what coverage you really need, especially if you’re a first-time homeowner.
The Bottom Line
Illinois homeowners can get great rates and coverage from some of the biggest and best-rated companies in the country. This list is an excellent starting point, but it is always a good idea to check with as many companies as possible to get a clear look at what is available for your home and your needs.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.