Minnesota, the “land of 10,000 lakes” (actually 11,842, but who’s counting?), is blessed with gorgeous summer weather and great natural beauty. But it’s also the second northernmost U.S. state (after Alaska), which means Minnesotans pay for those gloriously balmy summers with fierce winter storms. The state is also number two on the list of highest claims loss from hail damage in the U.S.

So, before the weather turns nasty, it’s a good idea to make sure your homeowner insurance policy is comprehensive enough to cover claims for wind, hail, and other calamities. The average homeowner insurance premium in the state is $1,219, just a shade higher than the national average of $1,173. But your premium will probably differ, based on factors including the value of your home, your location, and, of course, what’s included in your coverage.

We recommend comparing quotes to find the right level of coverage at the best price. Here, we’ll help you compare the five biggest providers in Minnesota.

Tips for Minnesota Homeowners Insurance Policyholders

Damage from hail can be costly.

Hail doesn’t get the kind of press coverage that, say, earthquakes or tornadoes do. But, as Minnesotans know, it can be just as dangerous. In St. Paul in 2017, to give one example, there were nine reports of hail storms, with the one including hailstones that clocked in at 1.75 inches in diameter.

That’s big enough to break windows in houses and cars, damage trees, and displace roof shingles. The latter is important to know, especially if your roof is flat or not clearly visible from the ground. It’s a good idea to take a close look at your roof after a significant hail storm to see if you’ll need to make a claim on your insurance.

Fortunately, the average Minnesota homeowner policy covers hail damage, but be sure to talk to your agent so you’re clear on exactly what that coverage entails. In some cases, it may make sense to add an endorsement to your policy that provides additional financial security. State Farm, for example, offers an endorsement that provides more expansive coverage in the case of significant roof damage. In a region where hail is common, it might be worth considering.

Make sure your coverage is complete.

Minnesota’s Commerce Department, which oversees the Department of Insurance, features a wealth of information on their website, from programs to save money and energy to how to file a complaint if you’re unhappy with your homeowners insurance company.

Its home insurance basics page lists some common gaps in homeowner insurance that many people don’t realize, including:

  • Sump pumps: always ask if sump pump backup or failure is covered in your policy. Generally, it isn’t, but can be added as an endorsement. Sump pump coverage is usually $10–25K, because it takes very little water to do a great deal of damage to your basement.
  • Sheds and unattached enclosures: that pretty little gazebo in your backyard is probably not covered by your standard policy. A dwelling extension clause may cover your garage, but read the fine print to find out if garden sheds or other separate buildings on your property are covered.
  • Jewelry artwork, antiques: policies generally offer limited coverage for things like jewelry, furs, and fine furniture. But that original Picasso print hanging in the front hall? You’ll want additional coverage. Also ask your agent for suggestions if you have a room full of electronics, or a cabinet full of high-priced firearms.
  • Home office or business: if you’re doing tax returns for clients out of your basement or funding your retirement with Avon products, don’t assume that you’ll be covered if a client trips on the rug and breaks a leg or a leaky roof damages a pallet of Skin-So-Soft lotion. You will need an additional policy to protect your assets if a client is injured on your property or if merchandise is damaged or stolen.

Urban homes are (usually) cheaper to insure.

You’ve heard the old adage that there are three things that matter in real estate: location, location, and location. We’re here to tell you that this is true of insurance as well. We got sample, standard policy quotes from our two biggest contenders, State Farm and Allstate, for comparable properties on the market for $200,000 in locations across the state. The differences were impressive.

State Farm
International Falls

Although there could be many reasons for variation in policy pricing, whether a home was in a large urban area or a more rural or suburban location clearly played a role. Rochester and Minneapolis premium prices for both companies were closer to the $1,000 range. The more rural, smaller towns of International Falls, Moorhead, and especially Pipestone, near the South Dakota border, triggered higher premiums. One reason for this? You’re more likely to be near a fire station — or even a fire hydrant — in the city than in the country.