NEW YORK, August 17, 2016 —Louisianans recognize the importance of having flood insurance, with nearly half a million FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies in-force statewide as of June 2016, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Nonetheless, too many Louisianans and others in the U.S. continue to underestimate their flood risk. In fact, more than 20 percent of NFIP claims nationally are paid each year to those living in low to moderate flood risk zones.
Flood insurance is available to homeowners and renters from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a few private insurance companies. Excess flood insurance policies can also be purchased by homeowners seeking coverage above and beyond the basic NFIP policy, which is capped at $250,000 for structural damage and $100,000 for contents, or those residing in a community that does not participate in FEMA’s NFIP and cannot buy an NFIP policy from the federal government.
Cars damaged by flooding, however, are covered under comprehensive auto insurance, which is an optional coverage.
The I.I.I. recommends that all homeowners and renters look into their flood insurance risk by talking to their insurance professional or visiting www.floodsmart.gov.
The number of flood insurance policies in Louisiana peaked (494,370) in the year following 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Since then, there has been a steady decline, with nearly 9 percent fewer NFIP policies in-force in Louisiana as of June 2016 (452,208) than in 2011 (493,640), according to FEMA’s NFIP. The latest flooding in Louisiana is a reminder that flood insurance is important enough protection to maintain year-after-year, pointed out the I.I.I.
Residents and business owners in declared parishes who sustained losses can begin applying for federal assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Those without access to the internet may register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).
Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its 2016 Atlantic hurricane outlook, calling for the higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season.