Minnesota Home Insurance
The Land of 10,000 Lakes actually has almost 12,000 of them, and Minnesotans jest that you can feel every one of them. You get the punchline of that joke once you experience the summer's humidity. The state has 13,136,357 acres of water and wetlands, plus a history of rather extreme weather conditions year round. That adds up to one thing: If you live in Minnesota, you really need good home insurance to protect your property and valuables from the elements.
Minnesota real estate has to withstand temperatures spanning a 174 degree range. Record highs have hit 114 degrees and lows have gone down as far as -60, not including wind chill. Average annual precipitation spans from 19 inches to 35 inches in different parts of the state.
Standard policies for Minnesota homeowners, renters and landlords usually exclude damages from floods, earthquakes, acts of war and nuclear accidents. These items each call for additional insurance known as a rider or endorsement, and pricing depends on the likelihood that the phenomenon might occur. While Midwestern states are largely earthquake free, unlikely to become warzones and have an equally miniscule chance of a nuclear accident, flooding occurs frequently enough to make a very strong argument for buying flood coverage. In case you still need convincing, consider the following:
- The state ranks 12th in the U.S. for land mass, and five percent of that is lake.
- There are 6,564 naturally occurring rivers and streams, together traversing about 69,200 miles.
- Minnesota has 9.3 million acres of wetlands.
- Various parts of the state can get very strong winds, along with hail and blizzards.
If your property lies in a neighborhood that's considered prone to flooding, your mortgage lender will probably require you to buy flood insurance. But even if you reside or lease property in a neighborhood that isn't prone to flooding, going without flood insurance is simply too risky. About one out of every four claims for flood damage involves real estate that lies outside of officially designated flood risk areas. Flooding coverage for property in low- to moderate-risk areas can run as little as $100 a year, which is a reasonable amount of money compared to what it might cost to pay for repairs out of your own pocket.
Regardless of the amount of flood risk in your area, insurance for flooding costs a lot less money than what you'd have to pay in the event that you had to repay a flooding-assistance loan from the Federal Emergency Management Administration. FEMA provides temporary loans to flood victims and has only offered such assistance in about 10 percent of all disasters that have hit Minnesota.
The Insurance Federation of Minnesota offers a help line that you can call with questions related to choosing insurers and filing claims under existing policies. The hotline number is (800) 642-6121. The Minnesota Department of Commerce also fields queries related to insurance and can be reached at (800) 657-3602.
Insurance agents can also answer questions about how policies and insurers differ from one another. The more you take advantage of help resources while shopping for coverage, the better informed you'll be when it comes time to make a choice. The right selection will help you and your loved ones feel more secure and protected from the unexpected.