BATON ROUGE, La. – Renters, businesses and homeowners all benefit from flood insurance to protect their belongings when a flood hits. As of Feb. 1, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has already paid over $115 million to Louisianans for flooding from the 2020 hurricanes, where 35% of NFIP claims came from policyholders in moderate to low-risk flood zones.
Everyone needs to know that there is often low-cost insurance available that can make the difference between a big setback after a flood or a smooth recovery. Property and business owners as well as renters in moderate- to low-risk areas are eligible for lower-cost flood insurance, known as Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs).
A single-family residential building can be insured up to $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000. Flood insurance for renters can cover contents up to $100,000. Non-residential property owners can insure their buildings up to $500,000 and contents up to $500,000.
Many people who purchase homes receive information about flood risk when they buy. And in the most flood-prone areas they are required to purchase flood insurance if they have a federally insured mortgage.
But potential tenants are not always alert to flood risk when they are looking for a home. Most renters are not given any information about flood dangers when they look at properties. Just a few inches of water in a house can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Tenants are less likely than homeowners to have adequate insurance. As a result, those who rent houses or apartments in flood-prone areas are putting their safety, belongings and financial security at risk without knowing it.
Like ordinary homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance does not normally cover flood damage. Only a specific flood-insurance policy will cover flood-related losses. Flood insurance covers policyholders even if there is no federal disaster declaration, which is often the case.
To find out if your community participates in the NFIP, ask your insurance agent or go online to https://www.fema.gov/cis/LA.html.
To purchase flood insurance, call your insurance company or agent. If you need help finding a provider go to FloodSmart.gov/find or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627.
There is typically a 30-day waiting period for an NFIP policy to go into effect.
For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit fema.gov/disaster/4559.For the latest information on information on Hurricane Delta, visit fema.gov/disaster/4570. Information on Hurricane Zeta is at fema.gov/disaster/4577. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.