Flood insurance in Louisiana: How much is it & what does it cover?

Much of Louisiana is prone to flooding, so Pelican State residents in high-risk areas should consider flood insurance to protect their home and belongings from expensive flood damage.

Pat Howard 1600

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Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Published May 12, 2022 | 4 min read

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The average cost of flood insurance in Louisiana is $752 per year through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — slightly higher than the national average. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood-related damage, so if you live in an area of Louisiana with moderate or high flood risk, you should consider purchasing flood insurance. 

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Key Takeaways

  • Around 30% of the roughly 2 million housing units in Louisiana have a high risk of flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  • If your house is in a FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Risk Area, like an AE flood zone, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance.

  • Louisiana residents can go one of two routes for flood insurance: the National Flood Insurance Program, which is regulated and backed by the federal government and sold by insurance companies, or private flood insurance.

How much is flood insurance in Louisiana?

The average cost of flood insurance in Louisiana is $63 per month for around $280,000 in building property and personal property coverage. 

Homeowners pay as little as $527 per year in the New Orleans suburb of Harahan, to as much as $1,516 in Denham Springs, a city that sees heavy rainfall and flooding from the Amite River.  

Your flood insurance costs are generally calculated based on the following factors:

  • Your home’s location

  • Your home’s age, size, and construction type

  • Your home’s elevation

  • Your policy deductible amount

  • The amount of coverage in your policy

In addition to the above factors, the amount you pay for flood insurance will also depend on how your provider calculates flood risk.

The NFIP, for example, has historically based its rates on where a property is located on its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). This means you’ll often pay the same flood insurance rate as your neighbor, even if their house is right on the Mississippi River and yours is further inland.   

On the flip side, private flood insurance providers use more advanced methods to determine and price flood risk. This includes analyzing each home’s elevation and simulating flood events using computerized models.

Flood insurance is going up in Louisiana

Flood insurance in Louisiana is expected to get more expensive under Risk Rating 2.0 — the NFIP’s new method for calculating rates. If you feel you’re being overcharged with the NFIP, consider comparing private flood insurance quotes with Policygenius.

Flood insurance rates by flood zone in Louisiana

Flood insurance rates in Louisiana will generally vary depending on where you live and whether or not your house is in a FEMA flood zone, which it determines based on the likelihood of flooding over a period of time. Any flood zone with an A or V, for example, has at least a 1% chance of flooding during any given year. 

Also referred to as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) or “100-year floodplains,” these areas are at the highest risk of flooding, according to FEMA flood maps. Here are the average flood insurance rates in areas with a high risk, moderate to low risk, and undetermined risk, according to an analysis of NFIP premium data.

Flood zoneAverage annual cost
High risk (A or V)$1,040
Moderate to low risk (B, C or X)$560
Undetermined risk (D)$2,795

What does flood insurance cover in Louisiana?

Flood insurance helps cover the cost of flood damage to your home and belongings. That means if your house is inundated and damaged due to storm surge, flash flooding, river overflow, or any source of outdoor flooding, flood insurance can pay to repair or replace your property. 

A standard flood insurance policy through the NFIP comes with two main coverages that can be purchased together or individually.  

  • Building property coverage: Pays to repair or rebuild your house or garage if they’re damaged in a flood. The maximum building property coverage limit with the NFIP is $250,000, meaning that’s the most the NFIP will reimburse you for repairs, regardless of the damage amount.

  • Personal property coverage: Pays to repair or replace your belongings if they’re damaged in a flood. This includes your furniture, electronics, clothes, and any other items you own. The maximum personal property coverage limit with the NFIP is $100,000.

Each coverage also comes with its own separate out-of-pocket deductible, which is the amount you’re responsible for paying on each claim. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your flood insurance premium, but it will also reduce your claim payment.

Covered by NFIP flood insurance

  • Your home’s structure, including electrical and plumbing systems

  • Built-in appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers

  • Personal belongings like clothing, furniture, and electronics

  • Expensive valuables (up to $2,500)

  • Detached garages 

  • Debris removal

Not covered by NFIP flood insurance

  • Home or personal property damage caused by mold, mildew, or moisture

  • Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers

  • Belongings outside of your home, such as trees, plants, decks, hot tubs, etc

  • Any belongings in your basement

How to get flood insurance in Louisiana

When you’re ready to buy flood insurance, be sure to compare quotes from both the NFIP and private flood insurance companies. If you have homeowners insurance, there’s a good chance your insurer offers the NFIP plan, but it may offer private flood insurance as well. 

Private flood insurance vs. NFIP coverage

Private flood insurance generally gives you the option for higher coverage limits beyond the relatively low $250,000/$100,000 in coverage you’re limited to with the NFIP. 

Additionally, private flood policies include coverages and perks that aren’t available through the heavily regulated NFIP. This includes loss of use coverage to help cover the cost of lodging or restaurant meals in the event your house is badly damaged and you’re forced to evacuate; or replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings. 

Here’s a look at what Louisiana residents can expect with NFIP and private flood insurance.

NFIPPrivate flood insurance
Maximum home rebuild limit$250,000Typically up to $500,000 or higher
AvailabilityEvery county in LouisianaMay be limited in higher-risk areas
Waiting period30 daysAs little as two weeks
Accepted by mortgage lendersYesYes
Replacement cost building coverageYesYes
Replacement cost contents coverageNoYes
Loss of use coverageNoYes
Loss avoidance coverage (sandbags, etc)NoYes
Debris removal coverageYesYes

Flood insurance helps fill an important coverage gap

A typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by flooding, including flood damage caused by major storm events like a hurricane or severe thunderstorm. If your home is one of the nearly 600,000 in Louisiana in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone, your mortgage lender may require flood insurance as part of your loan agreement. But even if it isn’t required for your home, flood insurance is a smart purchase in Louisiana given the high probability of hurricanes and frequent flooding in communities along the Bayou.

Do I need flood insurance in Louisiana?

Flood insurance isn’t legally required in Louisiana, however coverage is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your house through a federally-backed lender and you live in a high-risk flood zone, as designated by FEMA. Here’s a look at the total number of housing units and the percentage of all homes in high-risk flood zones for each county in Louisiana.

While most Louisiana homes are in flood zones B, C, and X (areas with a moderate to low risk of flooding), around 25% of all flood insurance claims come from these areas, according to FEMA. 

But regardless of which flood zone you live in, you’ll want to make sure you’re finding the best flood insurance at the most affordable rate. For the best flood insurance policy comparison, consider comparing both NFIP and private flood insurance plans with Policygenius.

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