Released: June 14, 2007
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon will be in Alexandria tomorrow to discuss
vital insurance issues during this hurricane season and the importance of flood insurance.
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 $24 million of those dollars were paid to policyholders with
hurricane-related losses in Rapides Parish, and nearly $50 million to neighboring
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. Hurricane season officially
began June 1 and runs through November 30.