If your home or business was damaged or destroyed in a recent tornado, United Policyholders’ Roadmap to Recovery® program will help you on your road to recovery and make good decisions or repairing or rebuilding or replacing your home.
You can search to see if your community was included in a federal disaster declaration here and learn if you qualify for assistance. Links to state-specific assistance are included in the Government Bulletins and Announcements section below.
In the months ahead, you will have to deal with lots of paperwork and make important financial decisions. The word most commonly used to describe people’s mind set after a natural disaster is “overwhelmed.” While insurance payments can’t bring back your cherished mementos, they are critically important to a successful recovery.
At this time, take care of your family’s immediate needs first. UP recommends focusing on photographing and documenting damaged and destroyed property, getting a complete current copy of your insurance policy, and finding temporary lodging that is comfortable and safe. If you are unable to return to your home, you may be able to access insurance funds through your “Additional Living Expense” Coverage.
Understanding some basics about the insurance claim process from the start will help you navigate:
Insurance is a vehicle to get you back where you were before your losses, but it won’t drive itself. You have to drive it or get help if you can’t.
UP offers tips, information, sample letters and tools to help each person recover the full amount they’re entitled to and avoid and solve problems if they come up. We have your back when insurance matters. UP is a charity…a non-profit with expertise on insurance and helping consumers. We do not sell insurance, give legal advice or represent individuals in claim matters. United Policyholders has over 30 years of experience in communities hit by catastrophic losses from disaster. We’re rooting for you and here to help. No strings attached. You paid for an insurance safety net and we are here to help you get what you paid for.
- Take photos of the damage before any clean-up or repairs are done and completely document and value all damages and costs to repair or replace your property.
- Keep a journal of conversations with insurance, repair, government, and other professionals.
- Check your home policies for special deductibles or coverages related to wind damage.
- Start working on a detailed and itemized “proof of loss” form but don’t rush and leave things out.
- Give your home insurer a chance to do the right thing, but advocate for yourself and be prepared to get help if you’re not being treated fairly. Sources of help include professional claim advocates and attorneys, and your state’s Department of Insurance. Please visit our State-by-State library for additional resources.
- If an insurance adjuster says damage isn’t covered, but you feel it should be, get an independent professional opinion before giving up on getting some or all of your claim paid.
NOTE: United Policyholders respects and protects the privacy of all who communicate with our organization. We do not share or sell our mailing lists.
Taking it in and Getting Started
If you need assistance finding shelter, the American Red Cross may be able to help.Resources General
- Arranging Temporary Housing
- Getting Organized, Informed and Empowered
Getting Debris Removed
Being Pro-active in Documenting and Valuing Your Losses
- Creating Your Home Inventory and Navigating Your Contents Claim
- Making Housing and Financial Decisions
- Choosing a Contractor
Working with Your Mortgage Company
Your mortgage company cannot require you pay off your loan with your insurance proceeds, but they will typically be listed on the insurance payments along with you. Fannie Mae’s Disaster Response Network™ can help eligible homeowners navigate the broader financial impacts of disaster and the challenging recovery process with a team of HUD-approved housing counselors offering:
- A needs assessment and personalized recovery plan
- Help requesting financial relief from FEMA, insurance, mortgage servicers, and other sources
- Web resources and ongoing guidance from experienced disaster relief advisors
Homeowners can call 877-833-1746 to access the Disaster Response Network or other available resources.
Visit Fannie Mae’s KnowYourOptions.com consumer website for housing resources, including details on disaster relief. Homeowners can visit www.knowyouroptions.com/relief to learn more and find out if they have a Fannie Mae-owned mortgage and access to the full benefits of their Disaster Response Network.Resources General
- Getting help if/when you need it
Taking Care of Yourself Along the Way
Government Bulletins & Announcements
Use these links to find assistance available in your area.
June 2023, Texas – State Emergency Response Resources
May 2023, Tennessee – Severe Thunderstorms and Possible Tornadoes Federal Major Disaster Declaration
April 2023, Oklahoma – Oklahoma Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, and Tornadoes Disaster Declaration
March 2023, Arkansas – Arkansas Severe Storms and Tornadoes
March 2023, Indiana – Indiana Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, and Tornadoes
March 2023, Mississippi – Mississippi Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, and Tornadoes
March 2023, Alabama – Alabama Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, and TornadoesResources General