Commissioner Donelon urges consumers to protect their property with flood insurance


One-month countdown to the 2008 hurricane season begins today

With experts predicting another above-average hurricane season beginning June 1, Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon is urging people to protect their home and property against the most frequent natural disaster in Louisiana – floods. The team of Dr. William Gray and Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University predicts there will be 15 named storms, with eight of them being hurricanes and 4 of those being intense hurricanes. The team also predicts there is a better than average chance of at least one major hurricane hitting the United States.

“Historically, flooding during hurricane season is one of the most costly natural disasters affecting Louisiana,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Residents should learn their flood risk and take steps before the next storm to protect their home or business from potential flood damage. Remember, standard homeowners insurance does not typically cover flood damage,” he said.

Flood insurance backed by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides home owners, business owners and renters with the best protection available against flooding. Currently, more than 31 percent of households statewide have flood insurance coverage for losses they would otherwise have to pay for themselves.

“Louisiana, because of its close proximity to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico, has one of the most vulnerable coastlines to flooding in America,” Donelon said. “It is imperative that our residents take action to guard against this risk.”

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, over the past 10 years, from 1998 to 2007, insured flood losses in Louisiana totaled more than $13.8 billion.

The risk of hurricanes and related flooding includes the Gulf Coast and entire Eastern seaboard. Many scientists predict warmer waters in the Atlantic will be fuel for stronger hurricanes over the next 15 to 20 years – and storm surge can be a major factor for coastal areas. Flood insurance covers flooding from tidal and storm surge where other policies may not.

Although storm surge caused by hurricanes and tropical storms can wreak havoc on coastal areas, some of the most damaging floods occur hundreds of miles from the shoreline, days after the storm’s initial landfall. As hurricanes and tropical storms move inland, torrential rains and high winds intensify the risks of flooding by rivers and streams.

Contact your insurance agent to purchase flood insurance. National Flood Insurance policies are available to home owners, renters and business owners. The average flood insurance policy premium is around $500 a year. However, if your property is located in a low- to moderate-risk flood zone, you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy, which can start as low as $120 a year.

Individuals can learn more about their flood risk by visiting, or calling our nationwide toll-free number, 1-800-259-5300. Residents can also visit or call 1-800-427-2419 for more information about flood risk and the benefits of purchasing a flood insurance policy.

Be Floodsmart – Reduce your Risk

• Learn your flood risk. Properties that are not located in high-risk areas can also flood. Find out your flood risk right now by entering your address at “Assess Your Risk.” Your insurance agent can also help you check your risk.

• Plan for evacuation. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route, ask someone out of state to be your “family contact” in an emergency, and ensure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.

• Move important objects and papers to a safe place. Store your valuables where they cannot get damaged.

• Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of your belongings will help you file your flood insurance claim. For more information, visit

• Build an emergency supply kit. Food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines, and a battery-operated radio should be ready to go when you are. Visit for a disaster supply checklist.

• Reduce your flood risk through home improvements. Visit to learn about ways to lower your risk of sewer backup, electrical problems, basement flooding and other flood-related issues.

• Purchase a flood insurance policy. Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods and there may be a 30-day wait before a flood policy becomes effective. If you already have a flood policy, remember that your policy needs to be renewed each year.


Louisiana RealEstateRama is an Internet based Real Estate News and Press Release distributor chanel of RealEstateRama for Louisiana Real Estate publishing community.

RealEstateRama staff editor manage to selection and verify the real estate news for State of Louisiana.


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