The Best Homeowners Insurance in Illinois

Typical Illinois home insurance premiums sit comfortably below the national average — but the increasing age of Illinois homes and an upswing in severe storms could shift this balance. And as the cost of homeowners claims continues to rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure you get the best possible rate on your policy.

There are many factors that determine homeowners insurance premiums, including the age of your home, previous claims you’ve made, and your creditworthiness. Each company weighs these considerations differently, so the only way to find your best rate is to compare quotes from several providers. We’ve evaluated coverage, customer support, and company ratings for the top five providers in Illinois to get you started.

The 5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Illinois

  • State Farm
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Allstate
  • Travelers
  • Country Financial

State Farm

We’re impressed by State Farm’s efforts to make home insurance easy. All policy offerings are clearly listed on its website, and it’s the only company on our list that doesn’t require you to call and speak to an agent in order to purchase a policy: You can do it online through the company’s 360Value Tool, which walks you through detailed questions about your home’s construction to assess its replacement value. State Farm’s claims process is similarly smooth, as evinced by high customer ratings from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports.

State Farm was also the second-cheapest option when we requested sample quotes, coming in at just $15 more per month than Liberty Mutual. Many people will be able to cut costs even further with State Farm’s range of available discounts. You can save by installing fire alarms, bundling your auto and home insurance, and simply by remaining claim-free. If you have an older home, you may also be interested in State Farm’s discount for updated utility systems.

If you’re concerned about wind and hail damage, we should mention that State Farm is the only company on our list that lacks a separate wind/hail deductible. This may make your policy cheaper on the front end — although the downside is that you must choose a deductible between one and five percent of your home’s value, which often works out to be more expensive than most companies’ dollar-based deductibles.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual gave us our cheapest sample quote, at just $66 per month for a home in Chicago. It keeps rates low by offering an impressive list of 15 discounts (second in number only to Allstate); including savings for new homes, updated utility, and new roofs. If you’re a member of one of Liberty Mutual’s partner associations, you can score additional savings.

Liberty Mutual offers plenty of policy endorsements, too, allowing you to customize your homeowners insurance. In addition to standard coverage for valuables, replacement cost, and water backup, it has some unique options we didn’t see anywhere else. For instance, the Inflation Guard endorsement continually adjusts the value of your homeowners policy to keep up with inflation. There’s also Home Protector Plus, an endorsement that pays for unforeseen circumstances like replacing your personal belongings or paying for additional living expenses in the event that your house is severely damaged.

Liberty Mutual also earns accolades from its customers. Consumer Reports readers give the company an 83 (“very good”), which tops every other company on our list by a slim margin. It pulled slightly lower in J.D. Power’s report, taking home three out of five stars versus State Farm’s four out of five — though this puts it right in line with Allstate and Travelers. All in all, Liberty Mutual customers should expect responsive service and a smooth (if not incredibly fast) claims process.

Allstate

Our sample quote from Allstate fell in the middle of the pack, but you may score a cheaper rate depending on how many discounts you qualify for. This company offers the most homeowners discounts of all our finalists, including a welcome discount for new members, a discount for being smoke-free, and discounts for new homeowners and new autopay users. If you’ve suffered from hailstorms and are upgrading to an impact-resistant roof, Allstate will give you a discount there as well.

On top of that, Allstate offers a couple of endorsements that can help keep your premium low over the long term. The company’s Claim-Free Rewards, for example, gives you a bonus check every year you go without filing a homeowners claim. Its Claim RateGuard works like the accident forgiveness offered by some auto insurers, preventing your rates from going up the first time you need to file a claim.

The only place Allstate didn’t fare as well was in terms of claims handling. It received an “average” three out of five from J.D. Power, and Consumer Reports noted that customers were often not satisfied by the damage amount they received for their claims. Of course, not everyone will have the same experience – but if great service is first priority for you, you might prefer a higher-rated provider like State Farm.

Travelers

Travelers was by far and away our most expensive quote in Chicago, at $121 per month. Part of the reason may be that the company doesn’t offer as many discounts as providers like Allstate and Liberty Mutual. (Although you can still get standard savings for things like remaining claim-free and holding multiple policies.)

If you’re able to afford the risk, one way to keep monthly costs down is by choosing a higher out-of-pocket deductible. Travelers sticks to dollar-value deductibles, and has seven options ranging between $1,000 and $50,000, so you can find an amount that fits your budget. Like most companies on this list, it also has a separate wind/hail deductible: You can opt for $1,500, $2,500 or $5,000, or go with one based off a percentage of your home’s value.

Standard coverage aside, Travelers is worth a closer look if you own a green home: It’s the only company on our list to give discounts for buildings that are LEED-certified. Plus, you can purchase a special endorsement to ensure that your home is repaired with eco-friendly building materials. These considerations are usually not included under a traditional homeowners policy.

Country Financial

It’s not easy to get a read on Country Financial at first glance because its website offers little information. There’s a basic description of coverage options and discounts, but you’ll have to contact a local Country Financial agent by phone to learn about specifics. You’ll also have to call when you’re ready for a quote because there is no online quote tool. Alternatively, you have the option fill out a contact form online and wait for the company to get in touch with you.

Country Financial offers three levels of coverage. Its Basic plan is a standard policy that covers things like fire, theft and storm damage. Premier is its top-tier plan, and includes coverage against all standard perils, plus minor incidents like paint spillage and power surge damage. If Premier proves too expensive, the Combined coverage option falls right in the middle, providing Premier protection for your personal items and Basic protection on your home itself. There aren’t many discounts available to help you save on coverage, but you may not miss them: Country Financial’s rates are known for being pretty affordable on their own.

Though Country Financial wasn’t rated by Consumer Reports homeowners survey, it did put up an impressive showing in J.D. Power’s survey. The company earned four out of five starts — surpassing even State Farm for fair pricing and a reliable claims process. Should something happen to your house, you can rest assured Country Financial will handle the claim smoothly and quickly, without a bigger headache than necessary on your part.

Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Illinois

For older homes, consider upgrading utilities

The average home in Illinois is between 40 and 50 years old. That’s great if you’re looking for something with a little vintage charm, but older homes often bring problems — especially when the original utility systems are still in place. This could result in much higher premiums for you.

Consider updating your home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems if you can afford to do so. It will cost more upfront, but it could end up saving you quite a bit in insurance premiums over the long term. State Farm, Liberty Mutual and Country Financial all offer discounts to homeowners who update their utilities.

Factor wind and hail insurance into pricing

As a homeowner in the upper Midwest, you’ll absolutely want wind and hail coverage included in your homeowners insurance policy. The catch? These important endorsements typically cost extra. The expensive nature of wind- and hail-related claims has caused many providers to rethink their business model charging homeowners a separate deductible for these claims.

Wind/hail deductibles may be a standard dollar-value amount or a percentage of your home’s value. In either case, they’re often more expensive than your all-perils homeowner deductible and you usually have fewer options to choose from.

State Farm is the only company on our list that doesn’t require you to pay a separate deductible for wind and hail damage. The tradeoff is that State Farm requires you to choose a percentage-based deductible, which may turn out to be more expensive than going with a separate wind/hail deductible.

Compare quotes before you buy

Homeowners insurance is never one-size-fits-all. The most important thing is to look for the coverage you need; whether that’s an endorsement for wind and hail, coverage tailored to a LEED-certified home, or extra protection for high-value personal items. Of course, pricing is a huge factor too — and that’s where comparison shopping really comes into play.

The cost of your policy depends on many factors, from the age and location of your home to your credit score, and every company evaluates these things a little differently. In short: you won’t know which company can offer you the best price until you’ve looked at personalized quotes side-by-side. We recommend checking prices with each of our top providers; all except for Country Financial offer online quotes, so it only takes a few minutes to find the best deal for you.

Illinois Homeowners Insurance FAQ

How much is homeowners insurance in Illinois?

Illinois’ annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the lower side — averaging $1033 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,173. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. We suggest comparing prices from multiple providers before purchasing, to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the coverage you need.

Why are homeowners insurance prices going up in Illinois?

Catastrophe-related claims — those due to large-scale weather-related incidents — have been on the rise in Illinois for a number of years, and they are a key contributor behind the state’s rising homeowners premiums.

The Insurance Research Council found that in 2013, insurers paid an average of $502 for every insured home in Illinois, compared to $442 paid on average nationwide. Typical claim cost also rose sharply during the same time period: From approximately $7,000 in 2005 to $9,486 in 2013. The IRC credits these increases in part to the severity of the storms that have hit the state, plus the rising cost of building materials.

As a homeowner, there isn’t much you can do about this increase other than ensure you’re adequately protected. Look at what types of incidents you may be at risk for in your area and make sure your coverage limits are high enough, and review your policy every year to ensure that it remains adequate for your needs.

The Best Homeowners Insurance in Illinois: Summed Up

State Farm
Liberty Mutual
Allstate
Travelers
Country Financial
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A
A
A+
A++
A+
J.D. Power overall satisfaction score
4/5
3/5
3/5
3/5
4/5
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