Is Renters Insurance Required in Illinois? Everything You Need to Know

Renters insurance is not required by law in Illinois, but it can still be a very good idea for tenants to have coverage. Here’s a complete guide on renters insurance in Illinois – from whether it’s mandatory to how much it costs and what it covers.

Is Renters Insurance Required by Law in Illinois?

There is no state law in Illinois requiring renters to have insurance coverage. However, some individual landlords or property management companies may require tenants to carry a policy as part of the lease agreement.

So while you can’t get in legal trouble for not having renters insurance in Illinois, you may still need a policy to rent some apartments or homes in the state. Always check your lease carefully to see if insurance is mandatory.

Even if you aren’t required to have renters insurance, it can still be a smart idea to get covered voluntarily. Renters insurance provides important financial protection for your belongings and liability coverage in case someone gets injured at your rental.

Do Most Renters in Illinois Have Insurance?

According to insurance industry surveys, only about 37% of renters in Illinois have insurance policies. That leaves over 60% unprotected.

Renters insurance is relatively affordable in Illinois, with average annual premiums of just $168-$216 per year. But many tenants mistakenly believe their landlord’s insurance will cover their possessions. This is almost never the case.

Renters insurance also covers liability, which protects you if someone slips and falls or is otherwise injured in your unit. Very few renters can afford the costs associated with a liability lawsuit out of pocket.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover in Illinois?

A standard renters insurance policy in Illinois provides the following key coverages:

  • Personal property coverage: Pays to repair or replace your belongings if they are stolen, damaged by fire, water, windstorms, and certain other hazards. You choose a coverage limit when you get a quote.

  • Additional living expenses: Pays for temporary accommodations if your unit is damaged and unlivable for a period of time.

  • Personal liability: Covers injury claims if someone is hurt in your rental unit and medical payments coverage to pay guests’ medical bills.

  • Theft away from home: Provides limited coverage for belongings stolen while traveling.

Other optional add-ons may also be available, such as coverage for expensive jewelry, collectibles, golf equipment, musical instruments, bicycles, and more.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Illinois?

Renters insurance rates can vary considerably based on your location in Illinois, the size of your unit, your selected coverage limits and deductibles, and other factors like your age and credit score.

However, most renters in Illinois can expect to pay between $10 and $30 per month for a standard policy. This works out to $120 to $360 per year.

Some of the factors that affect your renters insurance premiums in Illinois include:

  • Location: Rates tend to be higher in large cities like Chicago due to increased risks. More rural areas often have lower premiums.

  • Square footage: The size of your rental unit impacts rates. Larger spaces with more belongings generally cost more to insure.

  • Coverage limits: Higher personal property and liability limits raise your premiums. Lower limits cost less.

  • Deductible: Choosing a higher deductible (like $500 or $1,000) reduces your rate. A lower deductible costs more.

  • Discounts: Most insurers offer discounts for bundling with auto insurance, being claim-free, having protective devices like alarms, and more.

Shopping around with different insurance companies can help you find the best rate. Comparing quotes from 3-5 providers gives you the clearest picture of pricing options.

Major Renters Insurance Providers in Illinois

Most national insurance companies provide renters insurance in Illinois. Some top options include:

  • State Farm: Large insurer with local agents across Illinois. Bundling discounts available.

  • Allstate: Another major brand in Illinois with comprehensive renters policies.

  • Liberty Mutual: Offers standard coverages plus identity theft and pet injury protection.

  • Farmers Insurance: Allows customization with many add-ons like earthquake and water backup coverage.

  • Travelers: Provides renters insurance discounts for alarms, retired individuals, and fire extinguishers.

Shopping around among several providers is the best way to find competitive pricing and coverage that meets your needs. Independent agents can also help compare quotes from multiple insurers.

What Discounts Are Available for Renters Insurance in Illinois?

Illinois renters can potentially save money on premiums by taking advantage of discounts commonly offered by insurers, including:

  • Bundling: Combine with auto or home insurance from the same provider.

  • Claims-free: Get a discount for being claims-free for 3-5 years.

  • Protective devices: Alarms, sprinklers, and other devices may qualify for savings.

  • Good payer: Maintaining continuous insurance coverage with no lapses earns a discount.

  • Paperless: Go paperless with electronic billing and policy documents.

  • Affinity: Graduates of certain universities and members of groups like AARP may save.

  • Advance quote: Some insurers offer a discount for getting a quote well in advance of your policy start date.

Ask your insurance agent or company representative about discounts you may be eligible for to potentially lower your premium. Every dollar of savings helps.

How to Get Renters Insurance Quotes in Illinois

Here are some easy ways to get renters insurance quotes in Illinois and find the best rate:

  • Online: Visit insurer websites or use quote comparison sites to get instant rate estimates.

  • Independent agents: Local agents can shop multiple companies and find you competitive pricing.

  • Direct insurers: Get quotes from State Farm, Allstate, and other direct carriers.

  • By phone: Call insurers’ toll-free numbers to speak with agents and request rate estimates.

Make sure to get quotes from several different insurers and compare them carefully. Consider coverage amounts, exclusions, deductibles, discounts, reviews, financial strength ratings, and premium prices.

How to File a Renters Insurance Claim in Illinois

If you suffer a covered loss like theft or property damage, follow these steps to file your Illinois renters insurance claim:

  • Take reasonable steps to prevent further damage if it is safe to do so. For example, close windows during storms or turn off water valves after a pipe bursts.

  • Contact emergency services like the fire department if needed. Ask for a copy of the incident report for claim documentation.

  • Notify your insurer right away. There are usually time limits to report claims, so don’t delay.

  • Take photos and videos documenting damage before beginning repairs or throwing anything away.

  • Make temporary repairs if possible, like boarding up broken windows. Save all repair receipts.

  • Your insurer will assign an adjuster to assess damages, review your policy, and settle the claim appropriately based on your coverage.

  • Provide any requested documents and track expenses related to your loss for reimbursement. Communicate with your insurer throughout the claims process.

Key Takeaways

  • Renters insurance is not required by Illinois law, but some landlords mandate it in leases.

  • Only about 37% of Illinois renters have insurance, leaving many exposed to financial risk.

  • Renters insurance costs $10-$30 per month on average and protects belongings, provides liability coverage, and more.

  • Shopping around among top insurers can help Illinois renters find the best rates and discounts.

  • Reporting claims promptly and communicating with your insurer is key for smooth claims handling.

Renters policies provide important protection for your personal property and give liability coverage in case someone is injured in your unit. They are affordable protection for Illinois tenants. Carefully consider getting this valuable coverage, even if not strictly required.

Official Illinois Renters Insurance Guide


Is it illegal to not have renters insurance in Illinois?

Although renters insurance isn’t required by Illinois law, your landlord or the company that manages your apartment building, condo, or house may mandate a renters policy before you can move in.

How much is renter insurance in Illinois?

Compare Renters Insurance Premiums in Illinois The cheapest option on our list for renters insurance in Illinois is Toggle, which costs on average $151 per year. This is 8% cheaper than the annual state average of $157. The state average of $157 is lower than the national average of $180 per year.

Is renters insurance required in Chicago?

While there’s no law requiring that you purchase renters insurance in Chicago, your individual landlord might specifically require it. And if your lease specifies that you need renters insurance, well… that’s that.

Is renters insurance worth it?

Yes. If you can afford it, renters insurance is usually worth it. It will protect your belongings, provide liability coverage, and may cover your personal items when you travel. Renter’s insurance protects you from a long list of perils, as well.

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