The Best Homeowners Insurance in Illinois
Typical Illinois homeowners insurance premiums are below the national average — but the increasing age of Illinois homes and an upswing in tornadoes could shift this balance. And as the cost of homeowners insurance claims continues to rise, It’s more important than ever to make sure you get the best rate possible 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 evaluated coverage, customer support, and company ratings for the top six providers in Illinois to get you started.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Illinois
We tackled Illinois homeowners insurance using the same criteria we developed for our nationwide homeowners insurance review. Starting with the state’s top providers by market share, we did a deep dive into each company’s policy offerings and reputation. Specifically, we looked for strong financial backing (high ratings from A.M. Best, indicating a company’s ability to pay out on claims), as well as robust coverage, plenty of discounts, and responsive customer support channels. We also evaluated the quality of each company’s online resources, looking for tools that simplify policy shopping, quotes, and filing a claim.
The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Illinois
We’re impressed by State Farm’s efforts to make homeowners insurance easy. Policy offerings are clearly listed on its website along with helpful resources, including how to determine your home’s coverage needs and decipher the difference between market value and replacement cost. State Farm’s online quote tool is also straightforward, but it does require you to enter your Social Security number. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, you can always call an agent.
State Farm has high customer service ratings from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports and a A++ from A.M. Best in the financial stability arena. Our experience requesting a quote from State Farm was smooth, and we liked the company’s range of available discounts. You can save by installing fire alarms, bundling your auto and home insurance, ans simply by remaining claim-free. If you have an older home, you might 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 might make your policy cheaper on the front end, but the downside is 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 MutualLiberty Mutual keeps its rates low by offering an impressive list of 12 discounts on its website, including savings for new homes, updated utilities, 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.
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 came in 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.
AllstateAllstate offers a solid number of discounts that can lower your rates, including a welcome discount for new members, a discount for being smoke-free, as well as those for new homeowners and auto-pay users. If you’ve suffered hailstorms and are upgrading to an impact-resistant roof, Allstate will give you a discount for that, too.
Allstate also 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.
TravelersTravelers doesn’t offer quite as many discounts as providers like Allstate and Liberty Mutual, which might make it more expensive in certain scenarios. 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 on 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 your home is repaired with eco-friendly building materials. These considerations are usually not included under a traditional homeowners policy.
It’s not easy to get a read on Country Financial at first glance because its website doesn’t offer much 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. The company does offer a mobile app that lets you pay bills, access claim information, and contact customer support on the go. Although we haven’t tried it, the app has decent ratings in the App Store and Google Play Store.
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 might 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 three out of five stars on J.D. Power’s most recent survey. 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.
Although USAA only comprises about 3% of the market share in Illinois, we think it’s a great option for any active and retired military personnel and their families. The company has a strong track record in financial stability and customer service, and it caters to the ins and outs of military life, including frequent transitions. If you qualify, we highly recommend picking up the phone and giving USAA a call.
Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Illinois
For older homes, consider upgrading utilities
The median age of houses in Illinois is between 40 and 49 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 by charging homeowners a separate deductible for these claims.
Wind/hail deductibles might 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 might 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. One of the most important things 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 $1,033 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,173. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary 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 insurance 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 about $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 might 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.