The unique climate of New Orleans allows us to enjoy mild weather all year round—but it also means that our area can be prone to flooding. If you’re thinking about moving to Southeastern Louisiana, it’s crucial to invest in a top-notch flood insurance policy. But even if you’re a NOLA local, you might not know where to start.
What You Need to Know Before You Purchase Flood Insurance
As with any type of insurance, it’s important to do your research and know what you’re getting into before you commit to a policy. Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about flood insurance.
Do you need flood insurance?
By law, all homes in New Orleans must have flood insurance unless they’re purchased in cash. This is mostly to protect your lender in the event of a natural disaster. However, having flood insurance can also benefit you as a homeowner.
A combination of low elevation, a high rate of hurricanes, and plenty of rain make New Orleans a prime spot for flooding. While it’s impossible to fully prevent water damage, having the right insurance policy can save you thousands in the event of a flood.
What is covered by flood insurance?
Flood insurance policies can vary a lot, and some cover more than others. However, a good policy should cover all damage to your home’s structure based on its replacement cost value, which doesn’t factor in depreciation.
Be sure to select a policy that also pays to replace all of your home’s major systems and appliances, such as HVAC systems, wiring, and plumbing. Carpeting, walls, and any built-in structures (like garages or staircases) should also be covered. It is possible to include your personal belongings in the policy, but you’ll only receive enough money to purchase replacements that are in same condition as what you lost.
How much should I expect to pay?
Some buyers might assume that flood insurance is expensive—but this isn’t always the case. Before you purchase a home in the New Orleans area, take some time to review local flood zone maps and consider investing in a property that’s been properly raised to reduce water damage. This can drastically reduce your premiums!
The average New Orleans resident can expect to pay around $726 per year for a typical flood insurance policy. However, this can vary depending on where you live. Your rates will also change depending on the dollar amount of coverage you buy, as well as your deductible.
How can I buy my own policy?
Buying a policy is surprisingly simple—just start by getting in contact with a local Louisiana insurance agent. And because the federal government controls rates through the National Flood Insurance Program, you won’t need to shop around to get the best quote unless you’re buying a private policy.
You may have to provide certain documents during the application process, such as an official proof of elevation. It can also take 30 days for a policy to go into effect, so be sure to handle the process before the summer and fall rainy seasons.
Take Your Next Steps
If you’re thinking about moving to the New Orleans area, we’d love to help you navigate the entire homebuying process. Just get in touch with the Nugent-Freeland Team for more information on life in the Big Easy. We can’t wait to introduce you to our one-of-a-kind lifestyle!