What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Minnesota

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If you live in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone and have a federally backed mortgage, flood insurance is mandatory. Your mortgage lender may also independently require you to purchase flood insurance for your Minnesota home.
A state known for having 10,000 lakes is bound to see some floods, and your standard home insurance policy will not cover flood damage. While some natural disasters are normally covered under home insurance, flooding is the most common natural disaster in America. Because of the large scope of damage it can cause, flooding requires a separate policy.
With flash floods common throughout Minnesota, whether due to thunderstorms in the southeast or the Red River snowmelt in the west, knowing how flood insurance affects you could be important. That’s why car insurance comparison app Jerry has compiled this guide to flooding in Minnesota.
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What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance covers financial losses from flood-specific damage to your home and its contents. Coverage is usually up to a set limit.
Many Americans assume their home insurance covers floods, as standard policies cover water damage as relating to plumbing mishaps. However, flood insurance is specialized property insurance, and flood damage is not covered by standard insurance policies. 
Keep in mind, you shouldn't wait until your street has become a small river to take out flood insurance. Policies can have up to a 30-day window before coming into effect, depending on how and where you purchase your policy.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance can be broken down into two areas of coverage: building insurance, which covers your home’s structure and built-in components; and, contents insurance, which extends to possessions contained in your home. 
Here is a more detailed list of what is and isn’t covered by each type of flood insurance.
Type of coverageWhat it coversWhat it doesn’t cover
BuildingElectrical and plumbing systems, Water heaters and furnaces, Large appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators, Permanently installed bookcases, cabinets, and paneling, Permanently installed carpets, Window blinds Foundational walls, staircases, and anchorages, Detached garages, Fuel tanks, solar panels, and well water tanks/pumpsDecks and patios, Swimming pools, Fences and landscaping
ContentsClothing, Furniture, Electronic equipment, Curtains, Washing machine and dryer, Portable air conditioners, including window units, Carpets not included in building coverage, Valuables such as artwork up to $2,500Valuable papers, Currency, Anything stored in a basement
Policies normally cover up to $250,000 in-building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage.

Do you need flood insurance in Minnesota?

If you live in a zone designated by FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) as being high risk for flooding and have a federally backed mortgage, or if your mortgage lender requires it: yes, flood insurance is mandatory.
If you do not live in an area at high risk for floods, then the choice is yours. However, over the last 30 years, 40 percent of flood insurance claims in Minnesota came from people who live outside designated high-risk flood zones.  
You don’t have to live in a high-risk zone to buy flood insurance. Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, flood insurance is an option for you. Floods can happen nearly anywhere, especially in a state with so much water and snow. 
The government will only step in to help with costs associated with floods if the President deems the event a presidential disaster and agrees to provide disaster assistance to a region. This is rare, so protecting yourself is the best option
Key Takeaway You do not need to be in a flood zone to buy flood insurance. It is recommended to have flood insurance to protect your property in case of emergency. 

What flood zones require flood insurance in Minnesota?

To determine your level of risk, consider consulting FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center might help you determine your home’s level of risk. Some parts of Minnesota are not covered by this map, however, so you can also check out the Flood Factor® tool, which is more user-friendly.
Essentially, if your home lies in a flood zone whose letter grade starts with A or V, there is a 26 percent chance of a flood during a 30-year mortgage and you will require flood insurance. You may see the term “100-year floodplains,” which does not mean there is a flood once every 100 years, but it means the area has a one percent or higher chance of flooding every year. 
In Minnesota, for instance, 55 percent of all properties in East Grand Forks are considered at risk. Even in Minneapolis, 11 percent of properties are considered at risk. Minnesota ranks 29th in America for the number of flood-related claims per state, however, only 0.57 percent of Minnesotan households have flood insurance. That’s one big uff-da!
Key Takeaway Homes in high-risk flood zones with a government-backed mortgage require flood insurance, but you could still be at risk of a flood if you live outside a designated zone.

How much does flood insurance cost in Minnesota?

The average annual cost for flood insurance in Minnesota is $932, which works out to $78 monthly. This is just less than the national average of $985 per year.
The actual cost for a Minessotan depends on where you live and whether you seek coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or have private insurance. 
The NFIP is managed by FEMA and exists to ensure those who need flood insurance are able to procure it. To purchase insurance through the NFIP, your community must have opted in to participate in the NFIP. The NFIP itself is not an insurance company, but it provides insurance through major American insurance brands. However, many Americans don’t realize they also have the option of private insurance, which can be cheaper. 
While FEMA is the standard for flood risk, private insurance companies use different flood mapping data, which can be more accurate. Sometimes FEMA may deem a community high risk, while a private insurer will see it as lower risk—meaning premiums with the private insurer could be lower.
How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Minnesota
There are a few ways you can save on flood insurance. 
Even if you have contents insurance, your flood insurance will not cover your car. Comprehensive car insurance is important if you also want to protect your favorite motorized friend from becoming a boat. Insurance super app Jerry will save you from being left high and dry in a flood by providing the cheapest rates on the best car insurance in the nation.
Just download the Jerry app, answer a few questions, and in less than a minute, Jerry will compare quotes from more than 50+ top insurance providers. Once you’ve found the best coverage, Jerry will even help cancel your old policy. 
The average Jerry user saves $887 a year. That’s almost enough to pay for a year of flood insurance on your home. 
Jerry was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up my homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
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