Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Private companies approved to write flood insurance in LA, list attached

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BATON ROUGE- For decades, private insurance companies avoided writing what's called first dollar coverage after it became too risky in Louisiana and across the nation.

However, investors from around the world have sparked a renewed interest in the marketplace, according to Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. The benefit could mean more competition in the market which would ultimately mean cheaper prices.

Donelon says the National Flood Insurance Program was created after Hurricane Betsy in 1965. That's when the majority of private insurers stopped writing flood policies. If you go with one of these companies, you're urged to research the financial stability of them.

Currently the NFIP is operating in a 25 billion dollar deficit.

Joseph Fredrick has been through a lot in his life. He purchased a home in Baton Rouge following Katrina which swamped his home.

"We lost everything down there, 26 feet of water," Fredrick said.

When he found the home off Hooper Road in Baton Rouge following Katrina, he was excited to get away from areas that could flood. He made sure to get flood insurance.

"From my understanding, Baton Rouge aren't supposed to flood at all," Fredrick said.

But it did. This is what Fredrick's neighborhood looked like. It was only accessible by boat, as water reached the eaves of most homes.

Every house in the Comite Estates Subdivision flooded back in August. Although some people are back in their homes, the recovery has been long and winding for others, where work is still being done almost a year after the flood.

Despite having flood insurance, Fredrick says he recently had to get an attorney to recoup some of the money the flood insurance program did not pay. He's relieved to hear there could finally be some competition in the marketplace that could create better prices.

"Especially a cheaper rate, because I know it's going to go up," Fredrick said.

Tonight, Senator John Kennedy is fighting for homeowners like Fredrick. He says, a bill to revamp the National Flood Insurance Program could be the answer. It would put a cap on how high the feds can raise rates to ten percent. Currently, rates can increase to 18 percent.

As private insurers begin entering the marketplace, Kennedy says they're welcome to come in, but he doesn't want them to avoid policies with the highest risks. Meanwhile, residents like Fredrick have learned a thing or two after having two total losses from a flood.

"If you can't get your money from your insurance company, get an attorney and fight with them," Fredrick said. "It's the only way you'll get it. You need a mouth piece."

If you would like a list of the companies authorized to write flood insurance in Louisiana, click here.

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