In the months after Hurricane Katrina, as billions of dollars in damage piled up and insurance companies threatened massive rate hikes, Louisiana turned to its Gulf Coast neighbor for guidance.
Florida had been here before. Hurricane Andrew slammed into the state in 1992, laying waste to the four counties along its southern tip. The Category 5 storm killed 44 people and damaged or destroyed more than 730,000 buildings and homes. At the time, it was the costliest disaster in U.S. history, and insurers got stuck with the bill.