The majority of National Flood Insurance Program claims in Louisiana stemming from Hurricane Laura, which hit the state in August 2020, have been closed.
FEMA says the NFIP has closed 87% of the 1,227 claims submitted and paid more than $45 million.
NFIP flood insurance specialists contacted over 3,000 insurance agents and over 600 real estate professionals in the Hurricane Laura-impacted area with flood-insurance and flood-risk information, claims and marketing support, FEMA said in a media release.
More than 12,900 structures in Louisiana were inspected to see if they were substantially damaged. Substantial damage applies to a structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or a 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain for which the total cost of restoring a structure to its pre-damaged condition is 50 percent or more of the structure’s market value before the disaster occurred, regardless of the cause of damage.
Hurricane Laura struck Southwest Louisiana on Aug. 27, 2020, as a Category 4 storm. The Louisiana Department of Insurance has said that Calcasieu, Rapides, Beauregard, Ouachita and Vernon parishes had the most claims of all kinds from the storm.
The LDI reported in late January 2021 that as of Dec. 31, 2020, insurers had closed 77% of non-NFIP claims from Hurricane Laura, 59% of which were closed with payment. Total paid losses, plus reserves, on reported claims from all surveyed lines of insurance for Hurricane Laura at the end of 2020 came to $6.6 billion, representing the overwhelming majority of damage in Louisiana from the record 2020 hurricane season. That figure does not include NFIP claims, the department said.
FEMA said that as of Feb 28, more than 230,000 families and hundreds of businesses have been assisted in Louisiana in the form of Individual Assistance grants, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and National Flood Insurance (NFIP) disbursements. More than 226,860 households have registered with FEMA for individual assistance.
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