Who pays whom?
You might think that it makes sense that your Insurance Company pays you (the insured) directly for your loss and you as the homeowner are responsible for compensating a contractor. This is only correct if you are mortgage free.

Understanding the Role of your Mortgage Company
Whenever your home has been damaged and an Insurance claim is placed you need to notify your mortgage company. Your mortgage company will then refer you to their Loss Draft Department. Your mortgage company will send you a packet of paperwork that needs to be filled out by you and the contractor you have selected to repair your home along with other necessary documentation regarding the loss.

Your insurance carrier will issue a check to you with both your name and your mortgage company that you will need to endorse and mail to your mortgage company's Loss Draft Department. Payments are normally issued to both you and your contractor in installments based on the percentage of work that has been complete. Your mortgage company will do routine inspections before issuing each progress payment.

What if I don’t have Insurance?
I forgot to pay my insurance, am I still covered?
You may have fallen behind on your insurance payments resulting in the cancellation of your policy. The first question you need to ask yourself is:

 “Do I have a mortgage?”

If you have a mortgage on your home and you neglect to obtain a homeowners policy your mortgage company will automatically place insurance on your home. These are called Lender forced policies or lender placed policies. These policies however are limited to structure coverage only and are limited to what you currently owe to the bank. There is no contents coverage or alternate living expense coverage. The claims process is still the same. But you will need to contact your mortgage company so they can tell you who the insurance carrier is to file the claim.

If you have a lender forced policy, it is still your right to chose what vendors you want working on your home. Another thing you need to consider with a lender forced policy is that there is no code upgrade coverage. Therefore it is important to select a vendor that is experienced in lender forced policies.

Contact us for a vendor referral in your area with 50+ years of experience with Insurance claims and lender forced policies.

What if I am behind on payments?
If you are behind on payments and have not been foreclosed upon you still have structure coverage. This is also a lender forced or lender placed policy. It will only cover the structure up to what is owed to the bank.

Can I still choose my own vendors?
Yes, you are still entitled to choose your own vendor for repairs. As mentioned earlier it is still up to YOU to make sure that the maximum benefit that you are entitled to for the structure is paid.

Will the bank keep the money for repairs?
NO, just because you are behind on payments does not mean that the bank can keep the funds for the repair to bring the loan current. It is the mortgage companies’ best interest to repair the home to protect their investment.

However, if you owe less money then what the damage totals, the mortgage company may elect to pay off the loan if it is a lender forced policy. Contact your mortgage company if this may apply to you. You may also want to contact an attorney to discuss the legalities before assuming that what your mortgage company is telling you is correct.

What if my insurance payment is included in my monthly mortgage payment?
If you are paying one monthly payment to the mortgage company that includes your homeowners insurance payment and you are unaware who your insurance carrier is you will need to contact your mortgage company to obtain that information in order to file a claim. Just because you pay your insurance with your monthly mortgage payment does not mean you have a lender forced policy. This is most likely an impound account that was set up when you obtained the loan for your home. A forced policy would only be in affect if you never got insurance or fell behind on payments that resulted in the cancellation of your original policy.

What if I am mortgage free and did not pay my insurance?
If you own your home free and clear and you have not maintained an insurance policy then you are not covered. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have options though. You can consider doing any of the following:

• Selling your fire damaged property
• Setting up a go fund me account (www.gofundme.com) for your local community to make donations to help your family restore your property.
• Contact Habitat for Humanity to see if they can help.
• Contact your city to find out what programs or grants you may qualify for to help restore your property.

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Tragedy to Triumph

We hope you have found the information on this site helpful. Getting informed about what you should do and your rights is the first step to take to coming out on top after a house fire.

There are different paths to take after your home has been burned. For some, restoring your home is the best option. For others, selling the home in a way that is financially beneficial to you makes more sense.

It’s important to know that you are not alone as you make these decisions. Our team is experienced in working with homeowners who have experienced fire damage.

We can provide support and information regarding who to contact and what to do. We can also provide you with a list of referrals of vendors that we know you will be satisfied with.

Contact us today for a consultation from one of our referred vendors. It is our goal to provide you with the information you need to ensure this process that you are comfortable with the choices you make in regards to your claim.

We strive to add as much value to our relationship with the homeowners we work with as possible.

We would love to talk more with you about your needs and see how we can work together to make sure you not only survive your house fire, but also thrive after it and turn your tragedy into triumph.