Two people walk through a flooded street in Sorrento, Louisiana as an early morning fog blankets the area. 
Two people walk through a flooded street in Sorrento, Louisiana as an early morning fog blankets the area.  - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

The Louisiana Department of Insurance says only about 20 percent of homes in the state were covered by flood insurance in July 2015. You only have to buy it if you’re in a flood-prone area.

For some low-income homeowners, flood insurance is just too expensive.

“What might be affordable to some is not affordable to many that live in flood-hazard regions,” said Rob Hoyt, a professor of  risk management and insurance at the University of Georgia.

Hoyt said Louisiana homeowners did buy flood insurance after Hurricane Katrina, but they may have let it lapse. 

Hoyt added that homeowners across the country just don’t think they’ll ever need flood insurance.  To make matters worse…

“People like to live close to water and much of the development in the U.S.  has been in harm’s way," he said. "So the exposure, unfortunately, continues to grow.”

Homeowners in those areas are a burden on the federal government, even if they are insured. Because flood insurance is backed by Uncle Sam. 

 

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Nancy Marshall-Genzer at @MarshallGenzer