The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced this week that due to the damage and displacement caused by recent flooding, the grace period to renew flood insurance policies has been extended to 120 days for certain parishes in Louisiana.

In order to avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew policies under the National Flood Insurance Program. In Louisiana, the extensive damage to homes and businesses, as well as widespread disruption of power, transportation, and communication infrastructure may affect the ability of policyholders to meet the standard 30-day deadline to renew policies.

The grace period extension to 120 days applies to policies in the 20 parishes declared as disaster areas in Louisiana with a current grace period ending Aug. 11 through Sept. 10. Affected policyholders should note that the NFIP cannot pay a flood claim that occurs after the expiration date, unless the policyholders renew their premium with their insurance carriers on or before the last day of the grace period.

“We’ve seen major destruction to communities across the state; thousands of Louisianans have been displaced,” said Roy Wright, deputy associate administrator for FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration. “This extension will give policyholders one less thing to worry about, at a time when they are trying to focus on getting back into their homes safely and on beginning to rebuild their lives.”