Insurance Checks, Your Mortgage Company & Hurricane Matthew

Getting your insurance check endorsed by the mortgage company

Let me start by saying that I am thankful that you and your loved ones safe and sound.  I’m sorry to hear that things for your home did not turn out quite as well.  Hopefully the damage was minimal and you will be back in the swing of things very soon. And, in many cases, that means getting your insurance check endorsed by the mortgage company.

Getting your insurance check endorsed by the mortgage company

 One thing I have been reminded from going through Hurricane Matthew (yes, my home was hit too.  I am writing this as much for myself as for you), is most people are good.  Neighbors are checking on each other’s homes.  They are sharing information.  Neighbors are safeguarding each other and their communities.  They are banding together to clean up and share supplies.  Neighbors are helping each other.

 Yes, most people are good.  This includes your mortgage company and your insurance company.  They want your home to be safe, secure and returned to normal as quickly and conveniently as possible.

 While this post is specifically written for the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, many of the tips will apply after any natural disaster and will also apply anytime that you have to get an insurance check processed by your mortgage company. So here we go…it’s all about getting your insurance check endorsed by the mortgage company quickly.

 

Determine Needed Repairs

Some repairs are obvious.  If a tree landed on your roof it clearly needs to be removed.  If the same tree pierced your roof then that damage also needs to be repaired.  But what about the roots?  Were the roots under your foundation?  Did they come out of the ground?  Do you need a structural inspection?  Be certain that you speak to your insurance adjustor and work with other necessary professionals to determine the full scope of repairs that are needed.

On a flight to Dallas this week I sat next to a retired Army nurse.  He went through the hail storm in Dallas this past April. He was sharing his story and he had some great advice.  Be sure to take action.  The hail storm had damaged his roof and blown out a lot of his windows.  This left his carpet soaked. He had pulled out the carpet to prevent further damage and he put a tarp over his roof. 

 You too can take action to prevent further damage. This step is called remediation.  Many areas have had a tremendous amount of damage.  Our resources will be stretched and it may take time for adjusters and tradesmen to get to your repairs.  You don’t want damage to get worse.

 Be certain that you take precautionary steps. Your safety is worth more than your stuff. The Georgia Department of Insurance shares important safety tips along with other insurance tips like how to document your claim. You should be taking pictures – better to have and not need than to need and not have.  The same thing with receipts.  Keep those receipts. I haven’t read my insurance policies in detail since I took them out and I am guessing that you haven’t either.  I don’t know exactly what is covered, say is spoiled food in my refrigerator covered, but I would rather have proof than not.  Evacuation costs, gas, lodging, food, remediation costs, etc.  it may or may not be covered under you policy.

 Selecting A Contractor

I hate to say it, but there are unscrupulous people in this world.  When you are selecting someone to work on your home make sure that you do your due diligence.  At a minimum do the following:

·        Ensure your contractor has the licenses required by your city, county, state

·        Check references

·        Don’t pay cash

·        Don’t pay for work in advance

 

 Need help cashing your insurance check with your mortgage company? Click To Tweet

Does your insurance company know who your mortgage company is?

Yes, it matters that your insurance company knows who your mortgage company is.  Your claim check from your insurance company will be made payable to you and your mortgage company; the mortgage company that is listed on your insurance policy.  If your mortgage loan has been sold and you haven’t updated your insurance policy this could cause you problems. Why?  You will need three endorsements in order to cash your check.  You will have to endorse the check.  The mortgage company listed on the check will have to endorse the check and your current mortgage company will have to endorse the check.  Better to have the mortgage company updated with your insurance company before the insurance claim check is issued.

 Hurrican Matthew recover from damage tree hits roof of house

  

Speaking of reaching your insurance company.  If you can’t reach your insurance agent to file your claim you can always call your insurance company or vice  versa.  Not sure if you should call your flood insurance agent you’re your homeowners insurance agent?  Call them both.  You also likely have different deductibles for different perils (wind, flood, etc.).  Be certain to ask about that when you call.

 Will they need anything to endorse my check?

Your home serves as collateral for your mortgage loan.  The mortgage company has a responsibility to ensure that the collateral remains in a reasonably similar condition as it was when the loan was closed.  Depending on the scope of the repairs and the dollar amount of the claim check, before your claims check can be endorsed, your lender may require one or more of the following:

·        Estimate of repairs

·        Bid for Repairs

·        Contractors information and proof of licensing

·        Insurance Adjustors Report

·        Inspections specific to the damages (i.e roof inspection, structural inspection)

·        Final Inspection (proof work has been completed)

·        Proof of identity for you and any joint mortgage holders

 

Can the local office endorse my claims check?

Check in advance for the policies of your lender. The loan officer that made your loan is not likely going to be able to endorse your insurance claim check.  This is generally handled by the servicing department and that department is typically centrally located.  

 

Can I live in my home while repairs are being made?

This is a great question.  I don’t have an answer for you as it depends on the extent of the damages and the scope of the repairs. Your safety is of the utmost importance.  You may have to live elsewhere while repairs are completed on your home.

 

A side note on safety, as power comes back on be extra careful of standing water and power lines.  There is still a danger of electrocution.  Don’t take any unnecessary chances.  Be sure to wash everything as storm water often mixes with sewage and other chemicals.   

 

Remember that policies vary from lender to lender and insurance company to insurance company.  Be sure to check with your providers for specifics. 

 

Remember, it’s more than money; it’s your future.

 

 

26 thoughts on “Insurance Checks, Your Mortgage Company & Hurricane Matthew”

  1. I’m so sorry you are going through this, Christy, but it’s so wonderful that you are helping people with this information. I’ve never had to deal with something like this, so it’s good to know what to do if it ever happens. Best wishes to you!

  2. I have several friends who were in Matthew’s path. I’ve shared this with them. I’ve lived through severed tornadoes, hail storms and wildfires. It’s very scary and once the actual event is over, the clean up remains and is a whole new, different type of stress.

  3. Thank you for making this easier, Christy. Great blueprint for what to do. When disaster strikes, you’re already discombobulated and having a plan like this helps enormously. Printing it out!
    Glad you’re safe from the storm.

  4. Great advice. Sorry to heat that you are dealing with the aftermath of Matthew too. Hope everyone goes well and quickly. Whenever I get my new homeowner’s policy, I make sure that the mortgage company information and policy number is on the policy agreement. It a great time that reminds me to make sure nothing has changed.

    1. Sabrina, everything that is truly important is safe and sound. Material items can be replaced. Keeping your mortgagee clause up to date is quick and easy, but often a forgotten item. Have a great day. Christy

  5. Christy, I’m so sorry you have had to go through this – what a terrifying experience. It is wonderful that you are helping others with this great information. We live in a bushfire prone area and every summer we face the possibility that our lives and our home will be affected. Having a plan is so important as the stress can make it difficult to think clearly.

  6. So sorry to hear that the latest hurricane affected you 🙁

    I live in California, where I biggest threat to our homes are earthquakes. And I do not have earthquake insurance (terribly expensive but probably should revisit that).

  7. I am pleased you are good after the hurricane. Many of these tips apply to any repairs. We have learned the hard way to always work with a licensed contractor with good references

  8. So sorry to hear you are going through this, Christy, yet know many people will benefit from the great tips you’ve shared in this post. Reading this, it sounds like things in Canada are very different. Our mortgage company is listed directly on our home insurance policy and we always have to get a claims person on the phone and then out to see the damage, before we can hire anyone or remove anything. I had a fire in my home that did a lot of damage to the walls etc., and my insurance company was right on it and even sent over the contractor they preferred, which worked out well for me. All the best as you get your home repaired and back in order!

    1. Beverly, I love hearing about how it works in other places. There is always room to improve the process. Thanks for sharing your insights. Sorry to hear about the damage to your property, but glad that it worked out well for you. Christy

  9. Any storm is horrible and hind sight is 20/20 in that we wish we had the protection but we don’t think we need it. These are all super tips for anyone having to face insurance claims from storms, damage and etc. Again, sorry that you (and everyone) was affected by Matthew and wishing good things for them all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *