Louisiana Homeowners May Face Pricey Flood Damage

Louisiana Homeowners

FEMA oversees the nation’s flood insurance program, and the agency said just 42 percent of all of Louisiana’s structures in high-risk areas have flood insurance. And, many of the regions that got hit have never been hit before. Flood insurance for those buildings outside designated flood zones is rare, with just 12.4 percent of homes having coverage.

Janet Pitts is in this very position. Her home isn’t located in a flood zone, but it still managed to get five feet of water in it. She said her family doesn’t get a decent assistance amount, they’re going to be financially destroyed. Pitts said they’d have to start all over.

While Pitts has been in Louisiana for over 30 years, she’s never been through a flood before. She said everything had been paid for, but now will be starting over again.

Pitts said she and her husband have been staying with friends since then. They came back to the home Tuesday – to find total devastation. She said they lost everything.

While thousands of people attained flood insurance after Hurricane Katrina damaged the region in 2005, there’s been a nine percent decline in flood insurance around the nation since 2009 due to rising premiums.

Lenders often require homebuyers to purchase federal flood insurance before they write a mortgage in high-risk regions. However, there are several reasons they may not do this:

  • They own their home

  • Federal risk classification has increased since home was purchased

  • Policy lapsed because of non-payment, and lender wasn’t aware

The bigger issue though is that most of the uninsured flood damage takes place in locations where the government didn’t designate it as being high-risk. Thus, homeowners didn’t know they needed flood coverage and were not advised to get it.

Pitts, her husband and 23-year-old son have lived in their home for three years and face this particular situation. She said she looked for homes not in flood-designated areas. Pitts said if she had known she needed it, she would have purchased flood insurance coverage.

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