What To Do After a Disaster

If you’ve been affected by a disaster, such as a winter storm, hurricane, tornado, or wildfire, here are 3 steps you can take to help ensure your home and finances are protected.

  • File an insurance claim with your provider for damages related to the disaster.
  • Apply for mortgage assistance with us.
  • Register for disaster assistance with federal, state, and local agencies. (This assistance may cover expenses that your insurance company doesn’t.)

Insurance Claim Process

  1. Contact your homeowners insurance provider – Provide details of the damage and loss sustained due to the disaster.

    Note: If flood damage occurred and your flood insurance is provided through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can find information on starting a claim with them at FloodSmart.gov/start.

  2. Document damage before making repairs – Keep photos and videos for your records. Some insurers let you report the damage remotely via live video from your smartphone.

  3. An adjuster is assigned, if your loss is covered – The adjuster will work with you to assess the property damage and provide an estimate of the repair costs.

  4. Find a contractor – When finding a contractor, consider recommendations from others, obtain multiple offers, and finalize the agreement in writing.

  5. Loss draft (claim) check issued – If the check is sent to you, visit www.insuranceclaimcheck.com or call our Loss Draft Department at 866-825-9302 for next steps. Check out our Insurance Claim Check Process article for more information.

Applying for Mortgage Assistance

  1. Contact us – Tell us how you’ve been affected and provide us with updated contact information if you have been temporarily relocated.

  2. Possible additional assistance – Depending on your loan, if your home or income were impacted by the disaster, this assistance may include a Disaster Forbearance Plan with benefits, such as:

  • Payment relief for a set period of time
  • Negative credit protections
  • No late fees

Registering for Additional Disaster Assistance

  1. Federal disaster assistance – Visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (for TTY calls, dial 800-642-7585). You may be eligible for benefits and resources that are not covered by your insurance company.

Note: This step is recommended whether or not your home is in an official disaster area, as undeclared areas can be added at a later date (you can check for declared areas with FEMA’s search tool).

  1. State or local agencies – Contact agencies, such as your:

  • State’s and county’s emergency management offices
  • Department of health and human services
  • Governor’s office

You can also find resources at www.fema.gov/locations by entering your city and state or ZIP code. Select “Helpful Resources” once your state’s page appears. USA.gov also provides links to local resources.

  1. Helpful organizations – Non-profits and other organizations may be willing to assist you as well. Here are some well-known organizations and their information:

  • Red Cross: Visit the Get Help section of their website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
  • United Way: Visit the 211 section of their website or call 2-1-1.
  • Salvation Army: Visit the Disaster Relief section of their website.

Important:: Beware that scammers may try to take advantage of you in your time of need and pose as a non-profit or government official. Home repair scams and price gouging efforts also increase after natural disasters.

By making the most of every opportunity open to you, we hope you will walk away from a disaster financially sound and with your dream of homeownership secure. Whenever you need us, we will be here to help you.