Tornado damage can easily be unforgiving

With its combination of urban industry and agricultural productivity, Illinois is considered to be a microcosm of the U.S. Illinois homeowners should consider home insurance to protect against damages from the state’s unique and extreme weather, which includes tornadoes and flooding along the Mississippi River.

How Much Does Illinois Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Illinois was $793. But keep in mind insurance companies offering home owners insurance policies consider a number of factors when it comes to determining the total cost of a policy, including the age, location, and construction materials of a home. Even amenities like pools and hot tubs can raise premiums due to the fact that these features increase the potential of bodily harm to others. The amount of coverage you select for your personal property insurance, along with the amount of liability insurance you choose can also greatly increase your premium, as well as the deductible amount.

You can read more about finding an insurance company and policy through the Illinois Department of Insurance website. If you are unable to secure a policy in Illinois, the state has established the Illinois Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan for homeowners unable to maintain traditional homeowners insurance.

What Does It Cover?

A home insurance policy will help protect you from the cost of damages done to the structure of your home, and any personal property within it, while also providing liability coverage, a standard part of most home insurance policies, in case anyone is injured on your property and you are found to be at fault. In addition to paying for damages done to your home and personal property, homeowners insurance can help pay for you to stay elsewhere if your home requires extensive repairs following a catastrophic event. Additionally, most policies will provide limited coverage for certain money, gold, jewelry, and other valuable collectibles in your home.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Illinois?

Home insurance is not required by law in Illinois. But buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flood damage. However, you can buy National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance directly from your property and casualty insurance agent or insurance company if your community participates in the NFIP. You can learn more about flood history in your area through the Illinois State Water Survey’s flood plain map.
  • Fire and Lightning. In most cases, fire and lightning coverage will fall under basic homeowners insurance coverage in Illinois, but you should evaluate your policy’s protection for both perils carefully to ensure that you are properly covered in the event of a fire. Your policy will typically protect you from the cost of damage to your property specifically caused by fire or lightning. You will want to notify your insurance company of any fire protection devices in your home, such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler systems, since companies typically offer discounts for having them in your home.
  • Windstorm. Ensuring that your home is covered from damages associated with windstorms or tornadoes is essential for residents living in Illinois. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state of Illinois is hit by 54 tornadoes a year on average, one of the highest rates in the country. While most policies do cover damage associated with tornadoes, windstorms, and hail, as well as living expenses should you be displaced, some companies may require an additional rider to cover the damages. So, before purchasing you policy, make sure to go over the specifics of the policy with your agent.
  • Hazard. Hazard insurance in Illinois can differ from policy to policy. However, most will cover your home and personal property in the event they are damaged by perils like vandalism, smoke or fire damage. Be sure to read and understand your hazard coverage thoroughly, as some policies cover only a handful of specifically named items, while others may cover all hazards unless otherwise mentioned by name.
  • Watercraft Endorsement. Illinois homeowners who are boating enthusiasts may want to consider purchasing an additional watercraft endorsement. These endorsements extend your liability and medical payments coverage to cover personal injury and property damage to others that take place on any watercraft you may own, including small sailboats, outboard motor boats, and jet skis. Like liability coverage, a watercraft endorsement policy can help protect you from the potential costs of lawsuits, damages, and medical expenses that may result from someone using your watercraft.

Mobile Home Insurance in Illinois

Manufactured home insurance, or mobile home insurance, is similar to homeowners insurance in the state of Illinois in that it covers the structure of your mobile home, your personal belongings inside the home, and other structures like sheds. Most manufactured home insurance policies in Illinois also include liability protection should a guest suffer bodily harm on your property. The Mobile and Manufactured Home Insurance policy offered by Farmers Insurance includes personal property protection, liability protection for family members and guests, and structural damage protection from perils like fire, vandalism, landslide, failing objects, explosion, and many others.

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