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Minnesotans pay an average of $900 per year for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your home lies in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as determined by the federal government, buying flood insurance is a mandatory part of your mortgage agreement. We looked at flood insurance rates across Minnesota to determine the typical costs and scenarios you may face in getting coverage.
How much does flood insurance cost in Minnesota?
The average flood insurance policy in Minnesota costs $900 a year for coverage of about $244,000. However, a closer look at the available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shows that flood insurance rates can deviate significantly from the average if you're in a higher-risk area. While flood insurance isn't as common in Minnesota as in coastal states like Florida, there are still places in the state that have a higher risk of flooding than others.
Comparing the average premiums in Moorhead and Winona prove this point. Flood insurance policies in Moorhead offer an average coverage limit of $322,000 but cost just $540 in average premiums, far less than the $1,443 paid in Winona for an average coverage amount of under $270,000. Note that NFIP coverage limits differ based on structure usage and type: single-family homes, for instance, have a limit of $250,000 in maximum flood coverage.
Cities with the most active flood insurance policies in Minnesota
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On a state-by-state basis, flood insurance premiums in Minnesota fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Nationwide, Americans pay an average of $699 annually for NFIP flood insurance. However, the amount that people spend on flood insurance varies widely based on regional conditions. Floridians spend close to $1 billion in combined annual premiums for NFIP flood insurance, compared to just $7.8 million in Minnesota.
When is flood insurance required in Minnesota?
Flood insurance coverage is mandatory if you live in a FEMA high-risk flood zone or if your particular mortgage lender requires it. Standard homeowners insurance doesn't include protection against flooding, so you'll need to buy a separate policy. The specific amount of flood insurance coverage you need will depend on factors such as your property value and mortgage balance. If you're in a high-risk area on FEMA's rate maps, you're required to have coverage equal to the lesser of:
- The outstanding principal balance of your mortgage
- The value of the structure
- The maximum available flood insurance coverage (usually $250,000)
This means that even if you're forced to buy flood insurance through the NFIP, that coverage will never offer more than $250,000 in structural coverage on a typical single-family home. If your property value is far above that limit, you may need to consider buying supplementary flood insurance from a private flood insurance company operating in Minnesota.
Flood insurance rate maps for Minnesota
If you want to find out where flood insurance is required in Minnesota, you can look at FEMA's latest flood insurance rate maps. Looking up your address will reveal the zone it falls under, along with that zone's letter designation. If your zone's lettering includes an A or V, NFIP flood insurance is both available and required. Zones that include a B, C or X indicate places where NFIP insurance is available but optional.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources states that 95% of all Minnesotans live in communities that participate in the NFIP. Regardless of whether flood insurance is mandatory for your zone, chances are that flood insurance is at least available in your area. If you'd like a better understanding of your local risk of flooding, figuring out how to read the additional details of the FEMA flood map is a good first step.