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Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know in Southern Minnesota

June 26th, 2023 by

While the chances of Minnesota ever getting a hurricane are pretty much zero, it doesn’t take an ocean to cause serious flood damage to your home. Few people in Minnesota think much of flood insurance – which, by the way, is not typically included in a basic homeowners’ policy – but I’m here to tell you that it might be a good idea to look into it.

First-Hand Experience in Water Damage

I know from firsthand experience just how crucial it is to have good insurance for my home. It wasn’t too long ago, on the first day of the 2022/2023 school year, that I was standing in our own basement, bailing buckets full of backed-up murky waters for three hours of what turned out to be raw sewage. It was not an experience I’d recommend to others.

In our case, though we have a finished basement, we don’t have a sump pump. We do, however, have a flood alarm. We were also home to hear the alarm, and once the damage was assessed, we were thankful that we had great insurance coverage. Even though the worst part of our experience was bailing buckets of water, the financial devastation could have been much, MUCH worse without the right insurance coverage.

What Flood Insurance Do I Need?

As a homeowner, you have to prepare for the unexpected. That may sound nearly impossible, but with the right protections in place, you can take nightmares like our experience described above, and come out unscathed… Well, at least after a hot shower!

Have a Flood-Specific Policy

So, what policies should a southern Minnesota homeowner have in place for floods? First, understand that you will most likely need a flood insurance policy, separate from your homeowners’ policy. With rains being more and more severe in our state, over 50 percent of building damages due to floods happened outside of the mapped flood zones last year.

Flood insurance can cover buildings, buildings’ contents, or both. Be sure to go over your options with a professional to fully understand your policy.

Know Your Floodplains

One quick reference to understanding the Minnesota floodplains is to check out this video. Our state Department of Natural Resources explains how to understand the flood maps, and where your house may be located in relation to them. This can help you determine the likelihood of your insurance needs (and just how much coverage you should have).

Understand Flood Risk

No matter your location, understand that flooding can occur from a number of sources. Ours, for example, had to do with backed-up sewage lines. Risk can come from any water source. According to FEMA, one single inch of water in your home can cause over $25,000 in damages. 

Don’t Rely on Federal Disasters

Many people assume that when any large natural disaster occurs, the federal government will step in to declare it a disaster. That may be the case, but did you know most grants are capped at $5,000?

Even a small amount of water can cause big problems and costs. Having a private flood insurance policy will give you peace of mind – not to mention financial safety nets – whether a disaster is declared or not.

While the purpose of this blog was not to alarm you, I do hope it’s made you stop and think. At the very least, give my office a quick call to assess your current policies. You can also request a free quote on my website. Either way, I look forward to putting your mind at ease!

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