Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Louisiana

Louisiana homeowners are not required by state law to purchase flood insurance, but having protection in case of a disaster is highly recommended.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
homeowners are not required by law to purchase flood insurance. However, those living in high-risk zones may need to purchase flood insurance in order to qualify for a federally-backed mortgage.
Louisiana suffered the impact of flood devastation firsthand when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. The hurricane caused widespread flooding and resulted in the deaths of 1,833 civilians. In a state prone to such disasters, it should be no question that homeowners protect their properties with flood insurance.
Since standard homeowners insurance policies
won’t cover damage caused by flooding
, it’s important that Louisiana homeowners purchase additional coverage. For a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know,
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has created this guide to flood insurance in Louisiana. 
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What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance is a type of financial coverage that will protect your property from damages and losses due to flooding. 
While damages from other types of water damage, such as a burst pipe, are typically covered under a normal policy, damages sustained by flooding are not covered by standard homeowners insurance. 
Those living in high-risk areas often need to invest in this additional coverage to adequately protect their dwelling.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance can be broken down into two categories: building coverage and contents coverage
Building coverage will protect the structure of your property and cover such things as your electrical and plumbing systems, water heaters, kitchen appliances, and permanently-installed carpeting, paneling, and cabinets. 
Contents coverage, on the other hand, will protect your personal belongings. Items such as electronics, clothing, jewelry, and furniture will be covered. 
Keep in mind that flooding insurance will only cover losses if they were a direct result of a weather-related flood. Water damage that originated from a sewer backup, for instance, would not be considered flooding, and thus, would not be covered by this type of insurance. 
When in doubt, refer to FEMA’s definition of a flood as an excess of water on land that is usually dry affecting two or more acres or multiple properties.
Even in this instance, flood insurance policies do not cover items such as cars, personal property left in basements, and additional living expenses incurred as the result of a flood. 
For a detailed outline of what is and what isn’t covered under flood insurance types, refer to the table below:
Type of coverage
What it covers
What it doesn’t cover
Electrical and plumbing systems Water heaters and furnaces Large appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators Permanently-installed bookcases, cabinets, and paneling Permanently-installed carpets Window blinds Foundational walls, staircases, and anchorages Detached garages Fuel tanks, solar panels, and well water tanks/pumps
Decks and patios Swimming pools Fences and landscaping
Clothing Furniture Electronic equipment Curtains Washing machine and dryer Portable air conditioners, including window units Carpets not included in building coverage Valuables such as artwork up to $2,500
Valuable papers Currency Anything stored in a basement

Do you need flood insurance in Louisiana?

Flood insurance is not a federal requirement in the state of Louisiana. However, if your property is located in a high-risk flood area (Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs), a mortgage lender may require you to have it.
In an effort to provide financial protection to property owners, Congress created the
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
. Coverage is based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) determination of an area’s level of risk. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners in 23,000 participating communities. 
Living in an SFHA (or an NFIP-participating community) is not a requirement to purchase flood insurance, though. You can still protect yourself from flooding if you own property in moderate-to-low risk areas by finding coverage through a private company.

What flood zones require flood insurance in Louisiana?

FEMA created flood maps called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to aid in the identification of an area’s risk level. Accordingly, lenders are able to use FIRMS to determine insurance rates and costs. 
Designated moderate- to low-risk zones are identified on FEMA flood maps with a B, C, or X. While these areas are at lower risk, there is still a threat of flooding to these areas, and having flood insurance is recommended. In fact, one in three insurance claims comes from these areas.
Designated high risk-zones are identified on FEMA flood maps with an A or V. If you own property in a designated high-risk area and have a federally-backed mortgage, you must purchase flood insurance.
To find your zone’s level of risk, use FEMA’s
Flood Map Service Center
Flood Factor®
Key Takeaway If you live in a designated high-risk flood zone (starting with A or V) and have a government mortgage, you must purchase flood insurance. 

How much does flood insurance cost in Louisiana?

NFIP premiums in Louisiana cost an average of $715 annually. Compared to the national average of $958, Louisiana flood insurance is $243 less per year.
However, insurance rates may vary by property location, and those living in SFHAs will have higher premiums than those living in low- to moderate-risk areas.
In October 2021, the NFIP introduced a new Risk Rating 2.0 methodology, wherein the cost of insurance is calculated based on the unique risk of each property. Under this system, nearly 80% of NFIP policy users will pay $10-$100 more per month

How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Louisiana 

While protecting your home is important, having flood insurance does add an extra cost to your life. 
To save money on flood insurance in Louisiana, you can follow FEMA’s
recommended flood risk mitigation practices
, opt for a higher deductible or contents-only coverage, or submit an
elevation certificate
to your insurance agent.
Flood insurance will protect your home when disaster strikes. But what about your car? 
To ensure you have all your bases covered in the event of a flood, download the
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