Though most of the August flood victims did not have flood insurance when disaster struck this summer, it appears more are prepared for future flooding.
The number of residential and commercial National Flood Insurance Program policies for properties across south Louisiana increased from 451,377 as of July 30 to 480,086 as of Oct. 31, according to new figures released by the NFIP, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
NFIP policies in East Baton Rouge Parish jumped 26.6% to 29,797 total, an increase of more than 6,000 policies. The NFIP policy count in Ascension Parish increased by more than 2,200, or 25.1%. Similarly, NFIP policies in Lafayette Parish increased by more than 2,200, or 29.7%. Most people impacted by the August flood lacked insurance, with Louisiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon initially estimating that roughly 75% of those impacted were not protected.
“The vast majority of the state’s parishes were federally declared disaster areas as a result of devastating flooding this year and we are seeing a significant jump in the number of people in those parishes purchasing NFIP policies,” Donelon says in a prepared statement. “While the recovery process is very much underway, I’m pleased that folks are taking steps to safeguard their homes and property. Louisiana is far and away the largest recipient of funds from the National Flood Insurance Program and while no one wants to see more disasters, there is peace of mind in being covered against such events.”
The share of homeowners or renters with NFIP policies across Louisiana has remained constant at about 22% over the past three years, according to the state insurance department. The NFIP has thus far issued more than $2 billion in payments as a result of the August flood, according to a news release.