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Getting Flood Insurance in Louisiana

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Content was accurate at the time of publication.

While some areas of Louisiana have a lower flood risk than others, flooding can happen anywhere in the state. This is important for Louisiana homeowners to keep in mind, as flood insurance is not part of a standard home insurance policy.

To protect both the structure of your home and your belongings from flood damage, you need to buy separate flood insurance coverage.

Find the Cheapest Home Insurance Quotes in Louisiana

The average cost of a flood insurance policy in Louisiana through the FEMA-backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $814 a year.

Some of the factors that influence your flood insurance rate:

  • Flood zone rating of your home
  • Coverage types chosen
  • Your deductible
  • Age of your home
  • Elevation of the home above sea level
  • Whether or not you have a basement

The type of flood zone your home is located in is a big factor in how much your flood insurance premium costs. Owners of homes in high-risk zone V areas along the Louisiana coast pay the highest rates, at an average of $3,558 a year. Louisiana homeowners in zone X — or low-to-moderate flood areas — pay the lowest average rate of $569 a year.

Average cost of flood insurance by zone type

Zone typeCategoryAverage annual rate
AHigh-risk inland areas or “Special Flood Hazard Areas”$1,013
VHigh-risk coastal areas$3,558
DPossible but undetermined flood risk$2,403
XLow-to-moderate flood zones$569
Source: NFIP Policy and Loss Statistics by Flood Zone

Flood insurance bought through the NFIP provides two types of coverage: building coverage and contents coverage.

Building coverage protects the structure and systems of your home. This includes:

  • Foundation walls, anchorage and staircases
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, stoves and built-in appliances
  • Installed cabinetry, paneling and bookcases
  • Detached garages

Contents coverage handles your personal belongings, including:

  • Clothing, furniture and electronics
  • Washers and dryers
  • Portable air-conditioning units
  • Microwave ovens
  • Valuables such as furs and artworks (up to $2,500)

Building and contents coverage are sold separately. NFIP-backed flood insurance policies offer a maximum limit of $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents coverage for a single-family dwelling.

Flood insurance policies include certain exclusions to keep costs as low as possible. This means they won’t cover all causes of flooding.

To be considered a flood damage loss, the damage must be due to excess water affecting two or more acres of land, and/or two or more properties. For example, if your personal belongings are damaged due to a water backup not caused by flooding, they will not be covered.

Belongings outside your home are not covered. If you have an outdoor pool or gardening equipment outside and a flood damages them, your flood policy won’t pay for repairs or replacements.

Flood insurance also doesn’t cover secondary damages after flooding, like mold, mildew or wood rot.

Basements have their own exclusions, including:

  • Personal belongings
  • Improvements like finished flooring and walls
  • Power generators
  • Dehumidifiers that aren’t part of an HVAC system

Flood insurance is not required by federal law unless you are buying a home in a high-risk flood zone through a lender.

While there’s less of a risk in low-to-moderate flood zones, FEMA states that 25% of flood claims come from these zones. Also, we found that Louisiana has the third-highest risk of coastal flooding in the U.S., after New Jersey and New York. And the state has the second-largest area exposed to coastal flooding.

Because of this, and because standard home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, you should consider buying flood insurance in Louisiana even if it’s not required. In many cases, what you pay for a policy should be far less than what you might pay out of pocket after a flood without the right coverage.

Going through a home insurance company taking part in the NFIP is the most common way to buy flood insurance. Chances are good that the company you bought your homeowners insurance through can provide you with flood insurance. If it can’t, they can probably refer you to an insurer who can.

Some independent flood insurance agents can provide better coverage than NFIP-associated agents can, but they can also cancel your policy. NFIP coverage is guaranteed as long as you continue to make your premium payments. There are a few exceptions to this, such as if you don’t provide NFIP-requested documentation like an elevation certificate.

You can buy flood insurance at any time, but keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect. There are a few exceptions to this:

  • If you buy flood insurance while making, increasing, extending or renewing a mortgage, there is no waiting period.
  • If you are buying a flood insurance policy during the one-year period after a revised Flood Insurance Rate Map is put into effect, the waiting period is one day.