May 22, 2017

Nearly 90% of Parishes Included in Major Disaster Declarations Over Last 18 Months:
Prepare Now for Hurricane Season

With hurricane season fast approaching, the Louisiana Department of Insurance is advising policyholders to take steps now to better prepare for the threat of severe weather.

“Over the last 18 months, federal Major Disaster Declarations have been issued for 56 of our 64 parishes as a result of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding – and 14 of those parishes were struck twice. None of us has the luxury of thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’,” said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “It’s not enough to know that you have homeowners insurance – now is the time to review your policy, know what your deductibles are, check if you have flood insurance and make a home inventory.”

The Louisiana Department of Insurance offers the following tips on preparing for hurricane season:
  • Know your deductibles. Named storm and hurricane deductibles typically run two to five percent of the insured property value. If a home has an insured value of $250,000 with a five percent hurricane deductible, the policyholder would pay $12,500 out of pocket before insurance coverage took effect.
  • Update your home inventory. You can use your phone to take pictures or video of the items in your home. Having a record of your possessions will make the claims process easier in the event of property damage or loss. Include identifying information such as brand name and serial number.
  • Store copies of your important documents off-site. In case of an emergency evacuation, you’ll want to have copies of your family’s essential documents and copies of your insurance policies filed away in a separate location or backed-up on a secure internet site or jump drive.
  • Get flood insurance. Flood damage resulting from heavy rain or storm surge is excluded from most policies and there is typically a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect. For information on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, you can contact your agent or visit You can search for an agent on the LDI website
According to FEMA, more than half of the dwellings damaged in last August’s flood were located in moderate- and low-risk areas. Data compiled by the Louisiana Department of Insurance shows that as of December 2016, 23.4 percent of Louisiana residences have NFIP policies. In three-quarters of the state’s parishes, the percentage take-up in the program is below 20 percent while the highest participation is in the Greater New Orleans area.

To view a map of residential take-up in the National Flood Insurance Program, please click here. To view a map of parishes where major disaster declarations were issued because of flooding in 2015 and 2016, please click here.

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting