Illinois Flood Insurance: Complete Guide for Homeowners

Amy Beardsley
Written by
Amy Beardsley
Photo of an Insurify author
Written by
Amy Beardsley
Insurance Writer
Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.
John Leach
Edited by
John Leach
Photo of an Insurify author
Edited by
John Leach
Insurance Content Editor at Insurify
John Leach is an insurance content editor who has worked in print and online. He has years of experience in car and home insurance and strives to make these topics easy to understand for everyone. He has a linguistics degree from UC Santa Barbara.

Updated August 20, 2021

Reading time: 5 minutes

Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify is America's highest-rated insurance comparison platform. We partner with the nation's top insurance companies and are licensed as an agent in all 50 states. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners, and you can learn more about how we make money by viewing our advertising disclosures. Also check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify is America's highest-rated insurance comparison platform. We partner with the nation's top insurance companies and are licensed as an agent in all 50 states. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners, and you can learn more about how we make money by viewing our advertising disclosures. Also check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

Should I have flood insurance in Illinois?

Illinois residents are at risk for flooding, no matter where they live, but Illinois flood insurance can protect you and your family from a devastating loss.

With a nickname like the Prairie State, you might not consider Illinois to be at risk for floods. But Illinois is home to one of the largest inland systems of rivers, lakes, and streams in the U.S.—the state is very flood-prone.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in Illinois. Homeowners should consider buying flood insurance no matter where they live.

But remember, flood insurance isn’t a replacement for homeowners insurance policies. The best and cheapest Illinois home insurance can protect you and your family. Use Insurify to shop for rates and compare coverage options for homeowners insurance.

Do I Need Flood Insurance in Illinois?

Flood insurance isn’t typically something homeowners think about unless they live in a well-known flood zone or hurricane-prone area. By those standards, you can rule Illinois out as a place where you need flood insurance, right?

Not so fast. While homeowners aren’t typically required to buy flood insurance, coverage can be essential for some.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, floods are an “inevitable natural event.” They account for over 90 percent of declared disasters in the state.

If you have a federally backed mortgage, such as an FHA or VA home loan, your lender generally requires you to buy flood insurance if the house is in a high-risk flood area.

However, property owners outside of high-risk areas should also consider purchasing flood coverage—30 percent of all flood insurance claims come from homes with low risk to moderate risk, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ).

If you have flood damage without flood insurance, you have few options. Nonprofit organizations and state, county, and local aid may be able to help. But the resources are limited, and none of the options will pay to replace your home or belongings.

Illinois Flood Zones

Illinois is home to two types of flooding: flash floods and river floods. Excessive rainfall can cause runoff to join streams, rivers, and other waterways. The rapidly rising water can cause flooding to occur quickly.

River flooding is another primary concern. The state’s large inland river system can swell from melting snow and storm runoff. Because of its colder climate, Illinois is more prone to ice jams that can block water flow and cause water to back up and create flooding.

So, how do you know if you’re in a flood zone? The Illinois State Water Survey offers Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that outline your flood risk:

  • Zone A is part of the “100-year” floodplain with a greater chance of flooding. It includes sub-designations of A, A1–A30, AE, AO, AH, and AR.

  • Zone V is areas subject to coastal flooding—there are no V zones in Illinois.

  • Zone B and Zone X (shaded) have a moderate flood risk.

  • Zone C and Zone X (unshaded) have minimal flood hazards above the “500-year” flood level.

  • Zone D consists of areas with undetermined risk, but flood hazards are possible.

What’s Covered with Illinois Flood Insurance?

Standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. Add flood insurance coverage to protect your home and your loved ones from flood damage.

Flood insurance comes in two types: building coverage and contents coverage. As the names imply, building coverage includes your home’s structure and systems, while contents coverage protects your personal belongings.

Building coverage protects your:

  • Foundation, walls, and staircases

  • Electrical and plumbing systems

  • Furnaces and water heaters

  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, dishwashers, and other built-in appliances

  • Permanently installed carpeting, cabinets, paneling, and bookcases

  • Window blinds

  • Detached garages

  • Well-water tanks and pumps and solar energy equipment

Contents coverage protects your:

  • Clothing, furniture, electronics, and other personal belongings

  • Curtains

  • Washer, dryer, and microwave oven

  • Portable and window air conditioners

  • Carpets that building coverage doesn’t cover

  • Artwork, collectibles, and other valuable items

Keep in mind that your coverage can vary according to the terms and conditions of your policy. If you’re not sure what your policy includes, read it carefully and contact your insurance agency for clarification.

What’s Not Covered with Illinois Flood Insurance?

Understanding what your flood insurance doesn’t cover is just as important as knowing what is covered.

First, you must know that flood insurance covers only direct damage caused by flooding. For example, it doesn’t cover damage caused by a sewer backup unless the backup directly results from flooding.

Building and contents flood coverage also doesn’t include:

  • Temporary housing and additional living expenses while your house is repaired

  • Landscaping, septic systems, fences, swimming pools, or other property outside of your insured building

  • Precious metals, stock certificates, currency, or other valuable papers

  • Cars and most vehicles

  • Personal property you keep in the basement

This may not be an exclusive list of what your policy doesn’t include. Reach out to your insurance agent to discover policy gaps and discuss how to get coverage for those areas.

What’s the Cost of Flood Insurance in Illinois?

Because of the increased flood risk, the state of Illinois ranks among the top 15 costliest states for flood insurance. A typical homeowner in the Land of Lincoln can pay an average premium of just over $1,000 per year.

However, your rate may vary. The largest factor that determines your flood insurance quote is the flood zone your home is in. The second-largest factor is the amount of coverage you purchase.

For example, a policy that provides $250,000 in coverage is typically more expensive than a $100,000 policy.

How much coverage you need depends on your home’s structure, style, features, and location, as well as the personal contents coverage you buy.

How to Get a Flood Insurance Policy in Illinois

Getting coverage to protect your home and belongings from flood damage is crucial as a homeowner. A good place to start is with your homeowners insurance provider.

Contact your insurance company or agent to find out available options. You can get coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ) or a private policy in most areas.

National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP )

FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program. It’s a federal government program that offers flood insurance protection.

Although FEMA manages the program, it doesn’t sell NFIP flood insurance policies directly to homeowners. Instead, you’ll purchase a policy from an NFIP reseller.

The NFIP website, Floodsmart.gov, has a tool to help you find a flood insurance provider. Illinois has 22 participating insurance companies that offer NFIP policies, including:

  • Allstate

  • Auto-Owners

  • Farmers

  • Liberty Mutual

  • USAA

Private Flood Insurance

Private flood insurance is a viable alternative to the NFIP program. The coverage is similar—it comes with building coverage and contents coverage to protect your home and belongings from flood damage.

A private policy can have higher policy limits. For example, NFIP coverage has a cap of $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for building contents. But private flood insurance can go up to $500,000 or more.

Whether an NFIP policy or private flood insurance is right for you depends on the value of your property and your insurance goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Illinois policyholders typically pay around $1,000 annually for a flood insurance policy. However, your location and flood zone are the primary factors that influence your cost. Your coverage amount and whether you choose an NFIP or private insurance policy also impact your rates.

  • Homeowners have two options when purchasing Illinois flood insurance. Most policies are through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. But you can also buy a private flood insurance policy. NFIP coverage might be more affordable, but private policies can have higher policy limits.

  • Illinois flood insurance covers the structure of your home and its contents. It protects your personal belongings as well as your home’s walls, foundation, cupboards, flooring, electrical and plumbing systems, and washer and dryer.

Is Illinois Flood Insurance Worth It?

In most cases, flood insurance isn’t required. But keep in mind that Illinois has a greater flood risk than many other states, thanks to its large system of inland rivers, lakes, and streams.

Flood insurance can pay to repair or replace your home and belongings after flood losses. Contact your current homeowners insurance provider to ask about a policy from the NFIP or through a private insurer.

And if it’s been a year or more since you compared homeowners coverage, you could be missing out on significant savings on your homeowners policy. Use Insurify to compare rates and policy options to get the protection you need.

Compare Home Insurance Quotes Instantly

  • Personalized quotes in 5 minutes or less
  • No signup required
Amy Beardsley
Written by
Amy Beardsley
Linkedin

Insurance Writer

Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Learn More
John Leach
Edited by
John Leach

Insurance Content Editor at Insurify

Photo of an Insurify author
Edited by
John Leach
Insurance Content Editor at Insurify
John Leach is an insurance content editor who has worked in print and online. He has years of experience in car and home insurance and strives to make these topics easy to understand for everyone. He has a linguistics degree from UC Santa Barbara.