Released: May 29, 2007
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon will kick off his statewide storm awareness
tour with a visit to the Downtown Rotary Club in Shreveport today at noon.
With the official start of hurricane season just a few days away on June 1, Commissioner
Donelon is reminding residents that no matter where you live in Louisiana, you can
be subject to the effects of severe weather. "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused
an estimated $19.3 billion in insured losses in Louisiana," said Commissioner
Donelon. "Over $20 million of those dollars were paid to policyholders with
hurricane-related losses in Caddo Parish, and nearly $5 million to Bossier Parish
policyholders," said the Commissioner.
Commissioner Donelon is urging policyholders to reevaluate their insurance needs
to ensure they have the right coverage in the right amounts. He warns one of the
biggest concerns statewide is that of adequate flood insurance since most homeowners
insurance policies do not cover flooding. "In the past year, the number of
flood insurance policies sold in Louisiana has increased by 25%, however, only 31%
of the state's households are covered," said Commissioner Donelon.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), after a hurricane, some
of the most damaging floods occur hundreds of miles from the coast. Commissioner
Donelon said many people think that because their property is not located in a flood
zone it won't flood. But according to the NFIP, 20 to 25% of all flood claims actually
occur outside of the floodplain, in low to moderate risk areas.
Commissioner Donelon said flood insurance is offered at lower premiums for residential
and commercial properties located in low to moderate risk flood zones and can be
purchased by calling a local agent.
The NFIP states that over the past five hurricane seasons, from 2002 to 2006, insured
flood losses in Louisiana totaled more than $13.4 billion.
2007 Storm Awareness Fact Sheet
• 31% of the Louisiana’s households have flood insurance.
• Flood insurance policies have increased 25% in Louisiana in the past year,
to 495,200 policies.
• 20 to 25% of all flood claims occur outside of the floodplain, in low to
moderate flood risk areas.
• Louisiana’s close proximity to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico,
as well as the 50 rivers, streams and bayous in the state, leave many of our 1.6
million households at an increased flood risk.
• In the last 10 years, Louisiana has experienced 11 flood-related, federally
• There is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year
mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire.
• Losses due to flooding are not covered under typical homeowners and business
• Over the past five hurricane seasons, from 2002-2006, insured flood losses
in Louisiana totaled more than $13.4 billion.
• Approximately 96% of flood insurance claims in Louisiana have occurred during
hurricane season over the past 10 years.
• Some of the most damaging floods after a hurricane occur hundreds of miles
from the coast.
• Homeowners can purchase a flood insurance policy that offers a maximum of
$250,000 coverage on the building and $100,000 coverage for contents. However, excess
flood insurance coverage can be purchased for properties that need to be insured
at a higher value.
• Renters and lessees who meet underwriting criteria are eligible for contents-only
• There is typically a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy
• The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30.
• The Atlantic hurricane season typically peaks between August 1 and late
• The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be active with 13 to 17 named storms,
7 to 10 of which are expected to become hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
• Of the 7 to 10 hurricanes forecast, 3 to 5 will be major ones of Category
3 or higher, with winds over 111 miles per hour, according to the NOAA annual forecast.
• Hurricane Katrina: $16.7 billion in Louisiana insured losses; Over 720,000
• Hurricane Rita: $2.6 billion in Louisiana insured losses; Over 201,000 claims