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The Beginner’s Guide to Illinois Renters Insurance in 2024

The Beginner’s Guide to Illinois Renters Insurance in 2024

Home to the Windy City, Illinois hosts over 12 million residents, and 33% are renters. And just like you, many renters nervously wonder what happens if a fire strikes their building or their bike gets stolen on Michigan Avenue. 

Renters insurance helps you avoid paying for the damages out of pocket. However, there’s much more to it, and renters insurance can protect you in ways you might not expect.

This guide will break down whether you need renters insurance, the average price in Illinois, how to get a personal quote, what’s covered and what’s not.

We’ll walk you through:

  • Is Renters Insurance Required in Illinois?
  • What Does Renters Insurance Cover in Illinois?
  • What’s Not Covered by Illinois Renters Insurance?
  • How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Illinois?
  • Top Resources for Illinois Renters

Is Renters Insurance Required in Illinois?

Illinois currently doesn’t have statewide laws requiring renters to get insurance. Landlords are still able to require it in your rental agreement, though. And honestly, even if they don’t require it, it’s a good idea to get a policy – and we’re not just saying that because we’re in the industry.

Whether you’re chilling in Chicago, hanging out in Peoria, or settling down in Aurora, a lot of standard Illinois rental agreements still include insurance requirements between landlords and future tenants. 

These built-in clauses require that you carry renters insurance that meets specific personal liability limits, generally around $100,000. While six figures might sound like a lot of money, liability claims can get expensive fast – after all, medical bills or property damage add up quickly.

Here’s why that’s important: required liability coverage financially protects you from the worst-case nightmare scenarios. For instance, if a visitor slips while running up the stairs of your building thanks to a sneaky puddle from one of Chicago’s sudden spring showers, liability protection can step in to cover any legal and medical expenses, saving you and your landlord from digging into your own pockets.

Plus, active renters insurance provides the added financial safeguard of helping replace stolen or damaged possessions if fire, theft, or certain types of water damage happens in your home. Next, let’s break down the details of what’s covered when you buy renters insurance in Illinois.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover in Illinois?

Illinois renters insurance includes three types of coverage: property damage, personal liability, and temporary housing assistance. 

Property Damage Coverage

Property damage coverage is exactly what you think it is — it keeps your personal belongings safe. However, not all policies are created equal. 

Take Goodcover, for example. We pay full replacement cost value (RCV) for your belongings if they get damaged due to stuff like fires, plumbing failures, storms, break-ins, riots, or vandalism. 

Goodcover’s covered property categories. 

For example, if an electrical surge from Chicago's unpredictable weather destroys your laptop, television, or other electronics, your coverage reimburses equivalent replacement costs up to the total property coverage limit you selected.

But watch out. Some other companies may only offer you actual cash value (ACV) for your items, which can be way less than what they’re worth today. If you get insurance with one of those companies, you’ll probably still need more money to replace your stuff with new items.

For your special, higher-value items like musical instruments, fine jewelry, and camera gear, 

Goodcover offers the SUPERGOOD extended coverage option. It’s an affordable add-on that lets you buy extra coverage for these prized possessions. The cool part? Items covered under SUPERGOOD don’t require a deductible to be paid, and they are even covered from accidental damage.

Goodcover offers the flexibility to get enough coverage to protect what matters while adjusting deductibles to meet your budget. 

Liability Protection

Liability coverage is a safety net. If someone is injured inside your home or as a result of something that happens in your place, and they decide to sue, this coverage can cover their medical bills and your legal fees, up to your policy limit.

Imagine having a BBQ, and a stray ember causes a fire on your neighbor’s property. Yep, your Goodcover Illinois renters insurance policy could step in to cover your legal fees and any settlements up to your policy limits, protecting you from massive debt. 

What renters insurance personal liability protection includes. 

Similarly, guest falls, pet bites, and unintentional tenant fire code missteps could trigger expensive lawsuits. Goodcover offers personal liability limits from $100,000 to $500,000, and you can adjust personal property coverage limits independently of liability to create the perfect mix for your situation.

Temporary Housing Assistance

What if something happens to your place and you can’t stay there? Say a neighbor’s bathtub overflow caused a massive leak in your apartment. This is where temporary housing coverage comes in. It helps cover hotels, extra commute costs, and additional living expenses while you’re sorting things out.

Also called loss of use protection, Goodcover’s temporary housing assistance helps pick up the tab in a stressful situation so our members can focus on logistics – not finances –  when a crisis requires temporary relocation.

What’s Not Covered by Illinois Renters Insurance?

Even the best Illinois renters insurance has exclusions. While it covers you in most situations, it’s important to understand what’s not covered.

What’s not covered by renters insurance in Illinois.

Routine health expenses: While personal liability protection can help cover medical expenses for others in some cases, your regular health costs are covered by health insurance.

Your pet’s health: Coverage for your pet’s routine vet visits falls under pet insurance.

Vehicle damage: If your car gets stolen outside Wrigley Field while catching a Cubs game, resulting damages require car insurance. Renters policies exclude vehicle protection – you'll want car insurance for that.

Natural disasters: Floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes require special policies for protecting your home in a disaster-prone region.

Intentional damage: Renters insurance protects against outside events. Intentionally damaging your stuff and filing claims is considered fraud. 

There are also events that are only covered sometimes.

Goodcover protects against personal liability from dog bites up to $10,000. Some insurance companies exclude dog bites completely or certain dog breeds like Dobermans, Pit Bulls, and Rottweilers from liability claims, but Goodcover has no breed restrictions.

Accidental damage is excluded from most basic renters insurance policies. Similarly, expensive jewelry like watches or engagement rings often exceed basic personal property coverage caps. 

However, Goodcover’s SUPERGOOD option adds extended coverage for watches, cameras, and musical instruments, plus accidental damage protection for minimal extra cost and maximum peace of mind.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Illinois?

Budget-wise, the average cost of renters insurance in Illinois is about $146 annually ($12 monthly), just under the $148 national average. For comparison, Goodcover offers coverage in Chicago at rates competitive with the statewide average.

The average cost of Illinois renters insurance. Goodcover Renters Insurance Options

Prices can vary, though, based on where you live and how much coverage you need. If you live in Chicago and need a wide range of asset coverage options, you’ll likely pay more than someone living in a smaller town like Aurora with less coverage needs. 

You can get all the details with an individualized renters insurance quote from Goodcover. It’s a breeze – you can get a quote faster than you can listen to your favorite song and bind your policy from your comfiest spot on the couch. 

Top Resources for Illinois Renters

At Goodcover, we’re all about helping you understand your rights as a tenant. To help our Members, we’ve compiled the following list of tenant resources.

The state sets important baseline protections like termination notice requirements, security deposit maximums, and health/safety violation reporting processes. Plus, other cities add extra renter safeguards locally.

  • Renters insurance Illinois
  • Tenants rights
  • Illinois tenants responsibilities
  • Illinois tenant rights, laws, and protections from HUD
  • Rental housing resources

We can help if you want high-quality and affordable renters insurance. You can get a quick and free quote from Goodcover in seconds.

And when you’re ready to switch, just email your current policy to compare@goodcover.com. We'll analyze it to find the best Goodcover policy for you, plus help you cancel your old one.

Note: This post is meant for informational purposes; insurance regulation and coverage specifics vary by location and person. Check your policy for exact coverage information.

For additional questions, 
reach out to us – we’re happy to help.

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