Illinois Home Insurance - What you Need in the land of Lincoln
The land of Lincoln has a lot of good things going for it, along with a pretty diverse array of weather conditions that will impact a search for Illinois homeowners insurance.
Most home insurance policies don't cover damage caused by not making routine repairs, so you'll want to be vigilant and learn what to expect from the elements. The prairie state's winters and summers feature extreme temperatures, while spring and fall are times when flooding and tornadoes might strike.
Freezing weather during winter can wreak havoc on plumbing. Be sure to use heating systems and run hot water on a regular basis to keep things flowing evenly. If liquid in the pipes freezes, they could burst. That can also happen to a home's septic system, with more unpleasant results, especially if sewage damage isn't covered under your policy. Such phenomena really merit the extra expense of riders to expand your policy's coverage to include damage from floods, sewage and so on. Read through all of the insurer's literature to determine what's included and what isn't.
The state falls within a swath of land that's prone to flooding and tornadoes, neither of which is necessarily included in basic home insurance policies. So you'll get to decide whether to spend the extra money to extend your coverage to include these acts of nature. The southern half of the state generally has more risk than the north, but neighborhood infrastructure determines whether your home can withstand the elements.
Taking steps to improve a home's ability to withstand weather damage can lower the premiums for Illinois home insurance. Some examples include:
- Learn the location of the water main shutoff and learn how to use it in case of an emergency.
- During persistent cold weather, leave open the hot and cold faucets just enough to keep them dripping, which can prevent freezing.
- Disconnect all outside hoses from the property.
- Close the fireplace flue when you're not using it.
- Watch for dead or damaged tree limbs and remove them proactively before a storm does it for you and damages a person, car or your house.
- Keep your garage door closed, and with it the door connecting to the house.
- Regularly inspect fireplaces, electric heaters and wood stoves to make sure they're in good working condition.
- Designate a windowless area of your basement as a storm shelter, and instruct your family to move down there in the event of a tornado.
- If the dwelling is unoccupied over the holidays, consider asking a neighbor or hiring a house-sitter to run the heat strategically.
When in doubt about Illinois weather conditions, ask your insurance agent about what kinds of situations are covered under your current policy. The conversation might result in your buying additional coverage, but that's a lot better than the alternative – i.e., not being covered for a specific type of natural disaster. However, there's also such a thing as being overinsured. With time and practice, you should be able to find a happy medium so that you can obtain just the right amount of insurance for your state.