New FEMA flood insurance program lowers rates for much of south Baton Rouge

While Louisiana’s congressional delegation continues to push for a delay in the implementation of FEMA’s new flood insurance risk rating program, 2.0, the new rates are scheduled to go into effect Friday for all new policies.

Existing policies under the National Flood Insurance Program will not see their rates change until April, but according to FEMA, an estimated 77% of all policyholders will see their rates increase.

Though some residents of the Capital Region will be hit hard by rate hikes of several hundreds or thousands of dollars more per year, most residents of south Baton Rouge will likely see their rates stay the same if not decrease.

A ZIP code breakdown of affected policyholders on the FEMA website shows the number of policyholders who will see either a slight decrease of as much as $20 per month or an increase of no more than $10 per month. A partial listing shows:

Zip code/No. Policyholders with rate changes of -$20/month to +$10/month

  • 70806: 946
  • 70808: 2,468
  • 70809 2,072
  • 70810: 3,996
  • 70815: 1,870
  • 70816: 3,962
  • 70817: 3,913
  • 70818: 1,365
  • 70820: 1,802

Only in ZIP code 70818 would more than 100 policyholders see an increase of greater than $10-$20 per month.

In other words, policyholders in much of the lowest-lying areas of East Baton Rouge Parish located within the high-risk flood zones, according to FEMA maps, will not see their rates increase under the new program.

Why exactly is unclear. But the changes to the program are based on each building’s perceived future flood risk, not based on where it is on a map, though flood zones still will be used to decide which properties are required to have flood insurance to qualify for a federally backed mortgage.

Still there’s been plenty of bipartisan opposition to implementing the new rate hikes, which will affect many in parts of the region still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ida. 

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, and others are holding a press conference on Capitol Hill at 12:45 to again ask FEMA to delay implementation.