Louisiana homeowners insurance rates might rise 5%-10% after 2020 hurricanes
The estimated damage from Hurricane Zeta is $2.5 billion to $4 billion, and it’s only one of several storms that hit Louisiana this year. That could contribute to a 5% to 10% rise in homeowners insurance premiums in 2021, state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said.
This year’s historically busy hurricane season is just one piece of a natural disaster puzzle. Donelon said disasters such as earthquakes overseas, wildfires in the West and hurricanes along the Gulf South will likely force the insurance industry to raise rates so it can reinsure customers next year.
“Indications are that next year we will be seeing a 5-10 percent rate increase in the homeowners’ insurance market,” Donelon said.
Zeta didn’t punish Angelo Lamartina’s home in Marrero, but he had some damage to the front of the house and to his gate. A semi-retired contractor, Lamartina repaired the damage himself and didn’t file an insurance claim, but that might not prevent his home insurance from increasing next year.
Lamartina said he already pays $2,600 a year for his home insurance. An increase would be painful.
“I think it’s kind of crazy. We pay enough as it is for homeowners’ insurance, plus we got flood insurance,” Lamartina said.
Donelon said the anticipated hikes could be some of the highest Louisiana has seen in 15 years, but he said they won’t compare to what happened after Hurricane Katrina swamped the New Orleans area in 2005. The following year, Louisiana homeowners’ insurance rates rose 12 percent.
Louisiana has some of the highest insurance costs in the United States. Donelon said there are ways to chip away at the cost, first by consulting an insurance professional.
“It’s worth the money you pay in commissions to get the advice that comes with an expert, with an insurance agent,” he said.
Discounts also are available for homes that meet certain hurricane building codes, Donelon said.