As the third largest city in the country following New York City and Los Angeles, the “Windy City” is known for its Midwestern charm. Whether you moved for the famous Chicago hot dogs or the lakefront views of Lake Michigan, there are endless cuisines and attractions to explore in Chi-town.
Have a laugh at a renowned Second City Improv show or take a photo next to the Bean at Cloud Gate. No matter where you are in the City of Big Shoulders, make sure you and your home are protected with the right home insurance in Chicago, IL. Keep reading to learn about considerations for homeownership in Chicago and how to make the most of it.
Home insurance in Chicago, IL is $3,460 per year, according to Insurance.com — the same price as 82 tickets to see the Chicago Bulls play basketball at the United Center. This is over three times the average of Illinois’ home insurance rate of $1,187, due to both the popularity of the location as well as the extreme weather patterns it’s known for.
Since Chicago makes up 75% of the population of Illinois, it has the highest average home insurance rate when compared to other cities in the state. Your home insurance rate is impacted by a number of factors such as the age and location of your home in addition to the weather conditions in the region. Homes in Mud City were built as far back as the late 1800s, and it’s important to note that insurers commonly may deem older homes riskier to cover.
Chicago’s weather patterns, like extreme heat or cold, drive the cost of home insurance up since there’s a higher likelihood that your home could face damage by a snowstorm, tornado, or flooding from heavy rainfall.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to home insurance in Chicago is the city’s higher-than-average crime rate. Luckily, theft protection is included in most homeowners insurance policies to keep you protected. Reviewing your policy to make sure you’re not under-insured can save you money on costly repairs or property that may not be covered with your current homeowner's insurance.
Home insurance in Chicago will typically cover the basics like dwelling, liability, and personal property. It’s also standard for traditional policies to cover damage from standard wind gusts, though areas with extreme winds can benefit from adding windstorm insurance as an insurance rider to their policy.
Homeowners in Chicago should also consider adding on insurance riders to their policy for additional coverage not included in standard policies, such as flood insurance and catastrophe coverage. Although earthquakes probably don’t immediately come to mind when you think of Chi-Town, they actually occur every few years in the Mud City, so you may want to consider adding on earthquake insurance for extra protection.
Some Illinois residents may also be at risk for underground mine collapses, so for residents in at-risk areas, insurance companies are legally required to provide mine subsidence insurance. To check if your home is located in an at-risk area, homeowners can use the interactive mapping tool from the Illinois State Geological Survey.
Chicago has it all: snow, rain, sunshine, wind, cold, and heat. Residents of the Windy City are no stranger to subzero temperatures, paired with an average of 37 inches of snowfall per year.
Protect your home from winter weather damage like frozen pipes by weatherproofing your home ahead of time. You may even want to consider add-ons like blizzard and catastrophe coverage should your home be damaged in a snowstorm. It’s worth noting that snow can build on homes and actually weigh down your home’s structure, so it may be worth considering a home renovation if you own an older property in order to fortify the structure.
Luckily, Chicagoans get the best of both worlds: Summers in the Second City are warm, humid, and sunny with average temperatures in the 70s and 80s — perfect for a trip to the Oak Street or Ohio Street beaches, or even just a stroll on the 18-mile-long Lakefront Trail.
But before the summer sets in, you may want to make sure your HVAC system is up to snuff so you’re not subject to extreme heat waves without AC in the summertime. Heat waves have been known to overload power grids in Chi-town, causing power outages, so besides servicing your home’s HVAC system it is also a great idea to make sure you’re stocked up on emergency supplies and have already assembled your emergency kit.
Another pressing concern for Chicago residents is flash flooding, since the Deep Tunnel sewer system is easily overwhelmed and often results in urban flooding. Flood insurance is therefore a wise add-on for Chicagoans. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is also a great resource for homeowners looking to cover uninsured flooring repair and reconstruction costs.
Chicago has so much to offer, but that can come with a steep price tag. Saving money on your home insurance premium is a priority for all homeowners, especially those in the Second City.
Properly weatherproofing your home to protect it from damage not only can take the weight off your shoulders but can even help you save on your premium.
Some tactics you can use to weatherproof your home include attic insulation and ventilation, checking the roof flashing, and trimming trees and dead branches so they don’t crash through your roof during a storm.
To prevent frozen pipes, start by wrapping them and installing smart home devices such as water leak and freeze detectors to catch problems early on and minimize the likelihood of needing to file a claim.
You can even be notified of any leaks when you’re on the ice at Millennium Park, making the most of the chilly winters.
Chicago is where the metropolitan meets the Midwest with sky-high city views that draw people from all over the globe. Whether you’re watching a Cubs game or eating a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, you can rest easy knowing you’re protected with the right home insurance.