Rising home insurance rates have Louisianans on edge

Insurance coverage on home value increases
Insurance coverage on home value increases(WALB)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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KENNER, La. (WVUE) - The scars of Hurricane Ida are still visible throughout Southeast Louisiana eight months since landfall.

For Amy Sherer, her husband, and her two children, it’s been some of the most challenging times of their lives.

“It’s been hell. When it’s really all said and done,” Sherer said. “We had $230,000 for my whole house. Everything was a total loss.”

Sherer said her Kenner home was left without a roof after last year’s hurricane barreled through the neighborhood. What was left inside the house sustained major water damage, forcing the family to live out of their garage and a trailer.

With the help of her husband and an SBA loan, she was able to make what repairs she could, but she worries about what will happen to her insurance premiums after renewing her plan this year.

“I didn’t see or hear anything about going up. I don’t know because I’m in the process with an attorney,” she said.

She’s taking two of her insurance companies to court after she said they didn’t want to replace her roof, among other repairs and reimbursements. Neighbors around her and Louisianans around the southeast have either been dropped from their plans altogether or are seeing monthly bills double.

“It’s put me in a position to remember why I’ve gotten into insurance in the first place,” Kenner resident and retired insurance agent Seyli Molina said.

Molina says she has tried to help people navigate the confusion that comes in the aftermath of a hurricane while also dealing with repairs to her home.

“(It’s) policy limits worth of damage. I would say over $140,000. It’s been a negotiation, a constant conversation, providing documentation,” Molina said.

With some checks coming in, Molina’s trying to rebuild in a way that lowers her premiums in the long run, like using fire resistant material, and urges local governments to make significant changes to the building codes.

With another active hurricane season ahead, homeowners are hoping they won’t have to worry about even higher premiums and repairs in the event another storm hits.

“I don’t want to move away but I will move away if this continues,” Sherer said.

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