Can you afford home or flood insurance? A growing number Louisianians can’t

Some Louisiana residents are taking big risks during hurricane season

If you’re finding it harder to pay for home/flood insurance while also paying for food, gas and every other daily necessity, there’s an increasing number of people in Southeast Louisiana who can empathize.

Hurricane Ida’s impact in 2021 has shifted the insurance provider landscape in Louisiana. According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, 260,000 Hurricane Ida claims were closed with payments last year. The payments totaled $6.5 billion. But that represented only 60% of the 434,633 total claims.

Many policyholders fought and are still fighting with insurers to receive some level of payment. Damage estimates rank insured losses from Hurricane Ida among the top five costliest in U.S.

In mid-June of this year, another home insurance provider in Louisiana suffered a financial collapse. It left more than 40,000 Louisiana policies in limbo. Since 2020, at least a dozen insurance companies canceled policies because the risks of insuring properties in Louisiana were too high.

With fewer providers in the market, prices for policies are reaching unsustainable levels for many families. Compounding those prices are the rates for flood insurance. They’re expected to shoot up as well.  It’s part of a reassessment of risk for the National Flood Insurance Program.

On a recent trip to the bayou, I discovered some of the biggest risks are being taken by the people who can least afford it. They’ve been taking these risks for a long time.