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Good Question: Who Actually Needs Flood Insurance?

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Flooding is so widespread across Minnesota that families from the Canadian border to the Iowa border are trying to dry out.

And many homeowners are seeing water seep into their homes and basements.

Mark Kulda is with the Insurance Federation of Minnesota. He says out of one million homes in the state, only about 12,000 actually have flood insurance.

He says most Minnesotans should think of getting flood insurance, not just those that live on a flood plain.

“That’s one of the biggest misconceptions and drives all of us in the insurance industry crazy,” Kulda said.

He says all flood insurance is purchased through FEMA, and the only requirement to buy it is that your city has to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Eighty-five percent of the municipalities in Minnesota are enrolled in the program.

“You just have to pay the premium, sign up for the coverage and you can be covered in 30 days,” he said.

Kulda says Thursday is a good test to see if you need flood insurance. If water is ponding around your home or running towards it, then it should be seriously considered.

While your homeowner’s policy covers tornadoes, fires and burglaries, flood insurance is separate and it’s not always cheap.

“I’ve seen policies go from as little as $350 for a low amount of coverage in a low-risk area, to as much as $2,000 to $3,000 for a maximum policy in places that are susceptible to flooding,” he said.

Kulda says you can buy a special endorsement through your homeowner’s policy that covers your sewer and sump pump. But flood insurance is a separate policy that most insurance agents can sell.

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