Looking for renters insurance in Illinois? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Wherever you go in Illinois, natural beauty surrounds you. Beyond the golden cornfields, Illinois boasts exquisite botanical gardens, caves, waterfalls, rivers, beaches, lakes, forests, wetlands, canyons, and epic rock formations.
Illinois is diverse from big cities to farmland, from cosmopolitan life to rural small towns that earn its name as the Prairie State. Residents get to enjoy all four distinct seasons and a cost of living that is lower than the average for the United States.
Whether you’re in Illinois to study, work, play, or anything in between, you might want to cover your stuff with renters insurance. We’ll take you through the basics of renters insurance coverage and also go through some of the coolest cities and hidden gems to explore in the Land of Lincoln and beyond.
What does your renters insurance cover in Illinois?
Okay, so you get that a renters insurance policy is a great idea in theory… but obviously you’re curious about what it can actually do for you. Let’s break down the components of what your policy covers and your coverage options.
‘Personal property coverage makes sure your stuff, your personal belongings, is protected, whether you’re relaxing at your apartment or traipsing across Europe. So if your living room furniture is ruined due to water damage from that burst pipe, or your phone is stolen while you’re taking a trip to Berlin, your renters insurance policy has your back.
Loss of Use
What about if disaster strikes? If you can’t stay at your home because of covered losses (like a fire or windstorm), your ‘loss of use coverage provides reimbursements for temporary housing and additional living expenses such as food, laundry, hotel parking, and more.
If someone is injured in your apartment or anyone on your policy causes damage to someone else’s property or stuff, your insurance company should have things like legal fees and property damage covered.
Your insurer covers medical expenses if your guests get injured at your place or if you accidentally hurt people outside of your home as well. Note that your renters insurance policy does not cover medical payments if you or someone residing with you is injured—only non-residents and guests.
Is renters insurance required in Illinois?
While there’s no law requiring that you purchase renters insurance in Illinois, your individual landlord might specifically require it. And if your lease specifies that you need renters insurance, well… that’s that.
The good news is that it’s easy to sign up for a renters insurance policy with Lemonade, and you’ll thank yourself later if your stuff gets stolen or damaged! When signing up, your landlord might request they be added as an ‘interested party‘ on your policy. This just means they’ll be kept in the loop when you make any policy changes—or if you cancel your policy. It’s super easy to add them using the Lemonade app.
What’s the right amount of coverage to get?
There’s no easy answer to that question, and it depends on how much stuff you have to cover and what it’s worth. As we discussed above, your policy has a few main categories: Contents (your stuff); Loss of Use (temporary living expenses); and then personal liability and medical bills.
You’re able to set the coverage limits for these categories when you sign up for a Lemonade policy. Lower coverage limits might save you a few bucks on your monthly premiums—but they might also leave you with insufficient coverage when you have to make a claim. You’ll also need to figure out your deductible. It’s a balancing act and one that requires you to think about your property and lifestyle. Take a few minutes to apply to see your renters insurance quote to get a sense of your insurance options.
Also, if you’ve got valuables that are especially pricey or important—things like engagement rings, fancy cameras, musical instruments, or artworks—you can add ‘scheduled personal property coverage’ for those items. At Lemonade, we simply call it ‘Extra Coverage’—here’s a bunch more info about that.
Top Illinois rental destinations
Most people know Illinois as the historical starting point for the iconic Route 66 and large stretches of rural farmland. Whether you are looking for the nightlife and culture of northern Illinois, the small towns or quality universities of central Illinois, or the affordable comfort and warmer weather of southern Illinois, the Prairie State is an ideal place to settle down. According to the University of Illinois, demographic trends in the state are becoming increasingly more diverse. From the Windy City vibes to over sixty gorgeous state parks, there is something for everyone.
Clarendon Hills is ranked as the number one place to live in Illinois by Niche.com. The affluent Chicago suburb located in DuPage County earned an A+ for being an excellent place for families and top-notch public schools. In fact, Clarendon Hills is home to four of the highest-rated schools in the state: Clarendon Hills Middle School, Hinsdale Central High School, Prospect Elementary, and Walker Elementary. The town is vibrant with year-round seasonal events that the whole family can enjoy. Clarendon Hills is also forward-thinking with numerous sustainability projects and programs.
The cost of living is relatively on the high end, but it’s worth it for the area’s strong sense of community. The average cost of a rental in Clarendon Hills is around $1,595 a month.
Fun fact: Clarendon Hills won the Illinois Governor’s Hometown Award for its annual summer event, “Dancin’ in the Street!” “Dancin’ in the Street!” is a series of free concerts and acoustic music nights in the downtown area. Streets are shut down for this musical community gathering.
Places to visit:
- The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Explore 2,503 acres of oak-maple woodlands, prairies, and savannas. You can go hiking, biking, horseback riding, or skiing on eleven miles of trails. The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien is one of the most popular forest preserves known for its extensive trails, the Sawmill Creek bluff overlook, and the Rocky Glen waterfall.
- The Morton Arboretum. If you want to see trees in a different light, check out The Morton Arboretum, which inspires its guests to learn about and appreciate trees. There are forest trails for hiking, the stunning tree-inspired sculptures of Heartwood, the Spruce Plot, and Wonder Pond in the Children’s Garden. This place is a must for tree lovers!
- Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm & Fall Festival. With over thirteen family-friendly rides, attractions, fluffy farm friends, a petting zoo, hearty meals, and savory snacks, Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm is America’s favorite fall festival and pumpkin farm. Get a warm drink and watch the pig races! This farm is a place to add to your family’s fall traditions and make some memories.
Peoria is one of the three cities in Illinois that made the list for best places to live in the United States, ranked by U.S. News and World Report. It is considered the second-best place to live in Peoria County, according to Niche.com, and received an A for nightlife and diversity, with an above-average grade for public schooling. The city is located on the Illinois River and offers diverse activities from hiking to a flourishing nightlife. You can even get around on a Sunday via public transportation.
This college town is full of nature, wineries, and history. Renting a home in Peoria averages out to be about $1,559.
Fun fact: Peoria is the oldest settlement in Illinois. It was established in 1691 by Henri de Tonti, a French explorer. The city gets its name from the Peoria Native American people. Originally, in their language, peewaareewa, the name means “comes carrying a pack on his back.”
Places to visit:
- The Peoria Riverfront Museum. This museum connects science, history, and art in its mission to inspire learning. They host educational programming, a theater, a dome planetarium, interactive galleries, major exhibitions, and of course, a permanent collection. The Peoria Riverfront Museum is Smithsonian-affiliated and is a one-of-a-kind multidisciplinary museum in the nation.
- Forest Park Nature Center. With over 500 acres, the Forest Park Nature Center is the perfect place for nature lovers, hikers, and bird watchers. You can hike on the seven miles of trails through prairie openings and forested woodlands or enjoy the bird observation center and natural history museum. Check out their programs and upcoming events.
- One World Cafe. Experience globally inspired flavors at a restaurant with a vision. A reflection of the diversity of Peoria, One World Cafe offers hospitality and unique flavors in service to the Central Illinois community. They are a premier caterer of the area with a peace-promoting gift shop.
Another suburb of Chicago in Lake County, Buffalo Grove has been rated as the number three best place to live in Illinois by Niche.com, ranking highly for its public schools, housing, diversity, and as a good place for families. It is also one of the safest suburbs in the Chicago area. Buffalo Grove is a perfect town for children, known for its early childhood development programs, athletics, and many parks.
While the cost of living is slightly higher than the United States average, it is worth the high quality of life. The average cost for a rental in Buffalo Grove is $1,554 per month.
Fun fact: Buffalo Grove has a “dual personality.” It is divided between two separate counties, the Cook County Wheeling Township and the Lake County Vernon Township.
Places to visit:
- Raupp Memorial Museum. This is a museum made possible by the Raupp brothers, who donated land from their farmhouse to create the Buffalo Grove museum in 1964. Learn the story of Buffalo Grove’s history, starting with what life was like for the Potawatomi in the 1830s in the Main Gallery. The Crossroads Gallery details Buffalo Grove life in the 1900s. Come time travel by sitting on an 1890s porch or listening to telegraphs!
- Countyline Tavern. If you are craving all-American cuisine with a twist of creativity, this tavern has the menu to whet your palette. The Countyline Tavern honors the region’s history by bringing a sense of abundance to the table.
- The Buffalo Grove Park District. The Buffalo Grove Park District manages programs and events, offering aquatics, camps, dance, community events, fitness, performing arts, sports, youth programs, and more! There are numerous facilities, including disc golf courses, Emmerich Park, a fitness center, a golf dome, Happy Trails Dog Park, Rick Drazner Park, a skate park, Spray N’ Play, and Willow Stream Pool. This is clearly part of the reason why Buffalo Grove ranks so highly as a great place to raise a family.
The second-largest city in Illinois, Aurora is known as the “City of Lights.” This diverse city is great for families and young professionals alike. Nestled along the Fox River, nature lovers get to kayak or hike nearby. Along Benton Street Bridge, there are food trucks to enjoy. The renovated downtown area offers a wide range of restaurants, shops, and parks.
From nature to science to art and culture, Aurora has much to offer. The cost for a rental in Aurora is $1,563 on average.
Fun fact: The nickname for Aurora, the “City of Lights,” is due to the city being the first in the United States to illuminate its streets with electric lights.
Places to visit:
- Sunken Garden. Designed by Ray C. Moses in the 1930s, the Sunken Garden is fit for nobility. Its design has expanded over the years to include “carpet bed” plantings, which are tributes to the armed forces and navy. The garden is a hand-planted beauty that reflects the seasons. On your way to the Phillips Park Zoo, come take a stroll.
- Blackberry Farm. All aboard! Blackberry Farm is a living history museum of pioneer life. You can have a load of fun and learning through their educational demonstrations and experiential learning. Experience ponies, a carousel, paddle boats, pedal tractors, a hay wagon, and unlimited train rides!
- Paramount Theater. The Paramount is a fabulous theater that started the revival of downtown Aurora. The theater’s mission is to make performing arts accessible to everyone, introduce the magic of live theater to expand imagination, share broad perspectives, and contribute to the growth of downtown Aurora. Plan your visit, catch a play, and get a bite to eat on the way.
Other cities and towns to consider:
- Chicago: Of course, the biggest city in Illinois is a desirable place to live. It made number 102 out of 150 for the top places to live by U.S. News and World Report. Eclectic Bucktown, charming Logan Square, Lincoln Park, and the scenic views of Lake Michigan are part of what makes The Windy City attractive. As a big city, the rent tends to run higher in Chicago than in other cities in Illinois. Average rent: $2,059.
- Rockford: The town is bountiful in outdoor entertainment, including kayaking on the Rock River or hiking in nature preserves. Stroll in historic neighborhoods with tree-lined streets or join the bustling downtown area. Average rent: $698.
- Naperville: This picturesque suburb of Chicago is nestled along the banks of the DuPage River. It often makes it to lists of top cities in Illinois. Over thirty Fortune 500 companies call Naperville home, which makes it the perfect commuter city. The DuPage Children’s Museum and the Naper Settlement, a thirteen-acre outdoor museum, make the city attractive for families. Average rent: $1,692.