Poor credit making it hard to buy homeowners insurance?

Illinois law requires the insurer or agent tell you at the time of application if credit is a consideration. In addition, the company must notify the policyholder if credit negatively affects rates or coverages.

You can improve your credit-based insurance score by paying bills on time, lowering outstanding debt, and avoiding new credit cards. Periodically check your credit report for accuracy. You are eligible for a fee copy if credit causes your insurance to be declined or up-rated.

Ask a homeowners insurance agent about the Illinois FAIR Plan if you are unable to get coverage from traditional companies. The FAIR Plan is the market of last resort, but has some basic requirements. You must be turned down for homeowners insurance by traditional companies; the property must be located in Illinois; the house must meet basic fire, loss prevention, and safety standards; the property cannot be vacant or unoccupied.

Comparable homeowners coverage is available through the Illinois FAIR Plan, but rates are higher. Plan to shop around when your credit improves.