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Flood insurance is required for many Minnesotans

The recent flooding in Texas may have homeowners in Minnesota wondering about whether they are covered for this type of natural disaster. Homes in Minnesota are often exposed to a variety of types of extreme weather, with flooding being among the potentially most destructive.

In Minnesota, anyone who lives in a community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program can buy flood insurance. Readers probably live in a NFIP-enrolled community; more than 93 percent of the state is part of the program. Structures in a high flood risk area, defined as having a 1 percent chance of being flooded each year or being in a “100-year” floodplain, must have flood insurance.

Those properties must have insurance equal to the outstanding balance on the mortgage; the value of the building; or the maximum coverage available, whichever is less, the Minnesota DNR says.

Even when a flood does not damage the structure of a home, the water can lead to mold, which can affect your health and require clean-up before the home can be habitable again. After water damage, it is important to dry the affected area as soon as possible, ideally within 24-48 hours, to prevent mold from growing, according to the EPA.

Once mold has become a problem, it may be possible to clean it yourself, if the affected area is less than 3 feet by 3 feet. More extensive invasion may require professional assistance.

Mold and other flood-related damage may require an insurance claim. If the insurance company denies or low-balls a valid claim, it may be time to discuss the matter with an attorney.

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