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Louisiana homeowners insurance

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7. Louisiana             

When shopping for Louisiana home insurance, you need to know how much coverage to buy, how to get the best price and what you can expect to pay. We’ll explain everything you need to know to do that. We outline average Louisiana homeowners insurance rates by coverage level, ZIP code and company. That means you can anticipate how much it will cost and won’t overpay for it. We also explain coverage for hazards that are common in the Pelican State to ensure you have sufficient protection.

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Whether you’re a new homeowner buying insurance or you’re shopping your existing policy, it’s wise to know the home insurance basics about coverage. 

Home insurance: Louisiana rates by coverage level, ZIP code and company

  • Here we will provide information on:
  • Louisiana homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code
  • Home insurance: Louisiana rates by company for six coverage levels
  • Louisiana home insurance laws and FAQ

What is the average cost of home insurance in Louisiana?

Louisiana is the second most expensive state for home insurance in the nation. Its average rate is $2,979. That’s $1,751 more -- 143 percent -- than the national average of $1,228 for the coverage level of:

  • $200,000 dwelling coverage
  • $1,000 deductible
  • $100,000 liability

Here are average home insurance rates for the state’s largest cities for the above coverage level:

  • New Orleans – $5,457
  • Baton Rouge -- $2,487
  • Lafayette – $2,806
  • Lake Charles -- $3,281
  • Shreveport -- $1,966
  • Monroe -- $1,893 

What you need to know about buying Louisiana home insurance

Here are the basic components of a home insurance policy that you decide the coverage amount for:

  • dwelling
  • liability
  • medical payments

The limits of your coverage for the following are typically a set percentage of your dwelling coverage limit as shown below:

  • other structures – 10 percent
  • personal property – 50 percent
  • loss of use – 20 percent

Liability insurance applies to incidents in which you’re at fault and the result is that a guest in your home or on your property is injured. It covers medical expenses, as well as damage caused to neighbors’ property. Personal liability also covers legal fees if you are sued, as well as any resulting judgments from a lawsuit, up to your policy limits.

Most home insurance policies come with $100,000 in personal liability insurance but this is rarely enough coverage. The cost to defend a lawsuit or to pay for medical expenses for a serious injury can easily exceed that amount. Most experts recommend upping your limits to at least $300,000.

Medical payments also pays for injuries to guests in your home but differs from liability in that it applies to injuries regardless of who is at fault. It is for minor incidents as it comes with much lower coverage limits than liability insurance. Medical payments coverage is typically for $1,000 or $5,000.

Dwelling coverage pays to repair your home. When buying home insurance, you should insure your home based on its replacement cost. That’s the amount you need to rebuild it if damaged or destroyed, and not its market value, which is what you could sell your home for in its current condition. Replacement cost offers more protection because the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value.

When shopping for a policy, you will have to choose a “dwelling coverage” amount. You should select a dwelling coverage limit that best matches the cost to repair damage to your home or rebuild it completely at equal quality — at current prices. You can calculate your replacement cost by using online calculators or hiring an appraiser to give you a replacement cost valuation or by doing it yourself.

You will also need to select a deductible, which is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. For example, if your home has $3,500 worth of damage, and you have a $500 deductible, you pay the first $500 out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in for the rest ($3,000).

Some deductibles are based on dollar amounts, such as $500 or $1,000. Others are based on a percentage of your home's value. If your home is insured for $200,000 and your deductible is 2 percent, you will owe $4,000 before insurance coverage pays out.

You  choose a home insurance deductible amount, which applies to claims for damage to your home or belongings, but not if you’re sued or a medical claim is filed by someone in your home. Typically, deductible amounts are $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500.

Louisiana homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code

ZIP codes in Venice and neighboring Boothville, located at the southernmost west bank of the Mississippi River are among the most expensive places to insure a home in Louisiana. They were nearly destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but have been undergoing dramatic rebuilding efforts since then.

Insurance.com analyzed home insurance rates from major insurance companies for nearly every ZIP code in Louisiana. For $200,000 dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 liability limits, the average rate of $11,151 in Venice ZIP code 70091 is the highest in the state. Dubach ZIP code 71235 is the cheapest at $1,723.

By entering your ZIP code and choosing a deductible, dwelling and liability amount, you’ll see the average home insurance rate for that area, as well as the highest and lowest premium fielded from major insurers. This will give you an idea of how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates. For example, the highest rate ($6,961) for the Audubon area of New Orleans, ZIP code 70118 is $3,563 more than the lowest ($3,398). That means you can save more than $3,560 just by comparing rates and shopping around.

 

 

When buying home insurance, you should insure your home based on its replacement cost. That’s the amount you need to rebuild it if damaged or destroyed, and not its market value, which is what you could sell your home for in its current condition. Replacement cost offers more protection because the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value.

When shopping for a policy, you will have to choose a “dwelling coverage” amount. You should select a dwelling coverage limit that best matches the cost to repair damage to your home or rebuild it completely at equal quality — at current prices. You can calculate your replacement cost by using online calculators or hiring an appraiser to give you a replacement cost valuation or by doing it yourself.

Louisiana home insurance rates by company

It's crucial to shop around for the best home insurance rate, because prices for the same coverage vary by hundreds of dollars. If you don’t compare rates, you could wind up overpaying.

Many factors influence the price you pay for insurance. Among others, the Insurance Information Institute (III) cites the following:

  • Your home's square footage
  • Building costs in your area, and your own home's construction, materials and features
  • Local crime rates
  • The likelihood of certain types of disasters, such as hurricanes

So, shop around for the right policy. The Insurance Information Institute (III) suggests getting at least three price quotes when shopping for coverage, and says that doing so can save you up to hundreds of dollars annually.

Although Louisiana home insurance costs can be expensive, it's a mistake to cut corners in an attempt to save. III recommends that you get enough insurance to cover the costs to:

  • Repair or replace the structure of your home and personal possessions
  • Defend yourself against liability costs if someone is hurt on your property
  • Pay for a temporary place to live while your home is repaired or replaced

Who has the cheapest Louisiana home insurance?

Here are home insurance rates by company for six coverage sets. Based on our rate analysis, you’ll see Progressive is the cheapest insurance company in Louisiana and Liberty Mutual was the most expensive insurance company for the coverage levels analyzed.

Home insurance: Louisiana rates by company for six coverage levels

$200,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$100,000 liabilityRate
Progressive$2,296
Louisiana Farm Bureau$2,891
Allstate$3,035
State Farm$3,172
Liberty Mutual$3,502

 

$200,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liabilityRate
Progressive$2,306
Louisiana Farm Bureau$2,927
Allstate$3,085
State Farm$3,192
Liberty Mutual$3,545

 

$300,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liabilityRate
Progressive$3,212
Louisiana Farm Bureau$4,082
State Farm$4,096
Allstate$5,251
Liberty Mutual$5,728

 

$400,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liabilityRate
Progressive$4,378
State Farm$5,185
Louisiana Farm Bureau$5,709
Allstate$7,420
Liberty Mutual$7,793

 

$500,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liabilityRate
Progressive$5,443
State Farm$6,213
Louisiana Farm Bureau$7,397
Allstate$9,588
Liberty Mutual$9,886

 

$600,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liabilityRate
Progressive$6,510
State Farm$7,231
Louisiana Farm Bureau$8,969
Allstate$11,756
Liberty Mutual$11,976

 

Best Louisiana home insurance companies


When shopping for a policy, make sure to get quotes for the same coverage levels and deductibles so you can compare policies properly. It's wise to research each company to ensure you're comfortable with the insurer. You can start by looking at Insure's Best Home Insurance Companies.

Once you're ready, get quotes from at least three home insurance companies. Also, remember the cheapest company isn't always the best. Here are how major home insurance companies in Louisiana rank overall for claims handling, customer service, value and renewal recommendation, based on a 2017 survey of 3,160 customers. Scores out of 100.

CompanyScore
Chubb91.42
Allstate88.84
AIG87.86
USAA87.19
Farmers86.82
Erie86.34
Progressive86.20
Nationwide85.73
State Farm84.98
Liberty Mutual84.72
Safeco84.52
Hartford84.25
American Family84.12
Travelers81.82
Esurance81.55

Louisiana homeowners insurance laws and FAQ

How do I find the right insurance company?

To get the right policy, it's important to compare quotes from several homeowners insurance companies in Louisiana. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends you get quotes from at least three insurers before settling on a policy.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) recommends you look for an insurer that:

  • Is financially sound
  • Has a history of good service
  • Charges a fair rate

The price you pay for home insurance coverage will vary based on a number of factors, including the size and value of your home and its possessions. You also can trim costs by taking steps on your own that range from simply raising your deductible to renovating your home so it is better able to withstand hurricane-force winds.

The LDI website lets you search for insurance companies providing coverage in Louisiana. You can search by company name, insurance type or other criteria.

The LDI website also features a compilation of complaint data by both insurance company and type of insurance. You can access this list when shopping for a homeowners insurance policy. The LDI's complaint index allows you to see how many complaints the LDI has received about a company relative to the number of premiums the company has written.

Companies with a complaint index of 1 have an average number of complaints. Numbers above 1 indicate a greater-than-average number of complaints.

Why do I need flood insurance?

Flood damage is always a risk in Louisiana. In 2016, the Bayou State experienced devastating flooding that ranked as the fourth-most severe flooding event in U.S. history. However, homeowners insurance does not protect you if your home is flooded. Instead, you need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.

You can purchase flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. A policy will give you $250,000 in coverage for your house, and an additional $100,000 for personal property. If you need more coverage, private insurers might sell you extra protection above those limits.

Such a policy can be a lifeline in the wake of a flooding disaster. After the 2016 floods, more than $1.7 million was paid out in flood insurance claims, and the average claim topped $80,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

What is windstorm insurance?

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina reminded residents of Louisiana of the devastating power of storms that arrive from the sea. The storm caused $25 billion in damage tied to 725,000 insurance claims in the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

Hurricanes are a potential threat every year in the state, with the Atlantic storm season running from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Louisiana is one of 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) that has what is known as a "hurricane deductible." Also called a "percentage deductible," it differs from traditional types of deductibles and is potentially much costlier for the policyholder.

For instance, if your home is insured for $300,000 and you have a percentage deductible of 2 percent, you will need to cover the first $6,000 in repair costs before your insurer steps in. Louisiana percentage deductibles tied to hurricane coverage typically range from 2 percent to 5 percent, according to the LDI.

Insurance companies in Louisiana determine what triggers a hurricane deductible and when they apply, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In general, triggers go into effect only when the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch or warning

This period does not expire until a specific time after a storm has passed. A storm's intensity also may play a role in whether a hurricane deductible is triggered.

Although the term "hurricane deductible" is often used generically to refer to windstorm coverage, there are actually three types of deductibles tied to wind policies:

  • Named storm deductible. Triggered when the National Hurricane Center declares a storm to have reached tropical storm strength, with winds of 39 miles mph.
  • Hurricane deductible. Triggered when the NHC declares a storm to have reached hurricane strength, with winds of 74 mph. 
  • Windstorm and hail deductible. This can be triggered when homes sustain damage from any type of wind or storm.

In Louisiana, insurance companies typically cannot increase named storm or hurricane deductibles after a homeowners policy has been in effect for more than three years, according to III. In addition, insurers can only impose one named storm or hurricane deductible each hurricane season.

Hurricane deductibles can bruise your wallet if a storm damages your home. However, there are ways to cut costs. If your home is fortified in a way that protects it from high winds, it is less likely to be damaged. And you might also be rewarded with lower insurance premiums.

For example, you might be entitled to insurance premium discounts if you build or retrofit a home to standards set by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code. Improvements that have been shown to lessen windstorm or hurricane damage also might qualify for the price breaks.

Tax deductions also are available, and sales and use taxes might not apply when you buy storm shutter devices.

You can find more information at the LDI website.

What if I can't find wind insurance?

In most cases, wind coverage is part of a policyholder's homeowners insurance policy. However, some homeowners policies exclude wind and hail damage from their coverage. This is especially likely if you live near the coast.

If you can't get coverage through your private insurance company, you will be able to purchase a policy through Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. This organization provides coverage for homeowners and businesses that cannot get coverage from the voluntary market.

Two types of coverage -- offering both wind and hail policies -- are available, according to III:

  • Louisiana Citizens Coastal Plan. Offers coverage in Zone 5, which is south of the Intracoastal Waterway. This region is particularly vulnerable to hurricane damage.
  • Louisiana Citizens FAIR Plan. Offers coverage throughout the rest of the state.

Typically, policies purchased through Citizens are more expensive than coverage purchased with a private insurance company.

For more on this type of coverage, check out the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. website.

What can I do if I can't get homeowners insurance in Louisiana?

As with windstorm insurance, some property owners in Louisiana might find it difficult to secure overall homeowners insurance coverage in the private market. The Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp is the insurer of last resort in the state, and offers policies to those who cannot get coverage elsewhere. For more information, visit the organization's website.

Where do I get claims processing info or file a complaint?

In rare cases, you may end up in a dispute with your Louisiana homeowners insurance provider. If this occurs, you can turn to the LDI for help. The department can investigate your complaint against an insurer, agent or adjuster.

The LDI also can help provide you with consumer information and – if necessary –enforce Louisiana insurance laws. Among other things, the department says it can help with questions about:

  • Cancellation of a policy
  • Nonrenewal of a policy
  • Premiums you are being charged
  • Unsatisfactory settlement of a claim

To file a complaint, visit the LDI website and fill out a complaint form. Typically, you will hear back from the department within a week of filing a claim. You will be asked to send copies of documents relevant to the case.

You will receive status reports as your case progress. It takes an average of 45 days to fully investigate a claim, according to the LDI.

There are several things the department cannot do on your behalf. The LDI cannot:

  • Act as your attorney or providing legal advice
  • Interfere in a pending lawsuit
  • Decide disputes involving questions of fact, such as who is negligent or at fault

For more information, call 1-800-259-5300.

Methodology:

Insurance.com in 2016 commissioned Quadrant Information Systems to field home insurance rates from major insurers in each state for nearly all ZIP codes in the country for 75 coverage levels based on various dwelling and deductible limits. The homeowner profile is a 35-year-old married applicant with excellent insurance score; new business HO3 policy for house built in 2000 with frame construction and composition roof. Other Structures: 10%. Loss of Use defaulted: 10%. Personal Property defaulted: 50%. Guest Medical limit: $5,000. Personal property: 50% of dwelling coverage for actual cash value.