The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) says there are now more than 480,000 active NFIP flood policies in Louisiana following the March and August floods, representing an increase of more than 35,000 policies.
NFIP had the largest monthly increase of more than 20,000 policies from August to September last year. Ascension, East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes received the most damage from the 2016 floods and now account for more than 62,000 NFIP policies.
In Louisiana, polices in 2015 dropped to approximately 454,000. In 2014, the number of active NFIP policyholders topped 472,000. In 2013 and 2012, the number of policies in effect remained at more than 483,000.
More than 50 percent of structures flooded in August were located in low-and moderate-risk areas. Properties in these areas account for more than 20 percent of the country’s NFIP claims and receive a third of flood-related federal disaster assistance.
Policyholders following the August event received an average payment of $83,862. The average NFIP payment after the March event was $53,053.
Flood-related disasters occur about every six years in Louisiana. NFIP provides content and structure coverage and helps pay for recovery costs following a disaster.
The average annual cost of flood insurance is about $700. Insurance holders may receive up to $250,000 for home damage and $100,000 for contents depending on the type and amount of coverage they bought. NFIP payments are not dependent on state or federal disaster declarations. New flood insurance policies go into effect 30 days after purchase.