VA Loans and Natural Disasters

Unfortunately, disasters happen. When they do, you need to take special care to ensure you will be able to continue your day-to-day life without greatly disrupting your financial situation. This is especially true for Veteran homeowners whose loans are guaranteed by the VA. To help make the recovery process as smooth as possible, make sure to contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible following a disaster.

While you should file your insurance loss claims promptly, be sure not to make a rushed settlement. The following are some other tips for handling your VA Loan after a disaster:

  • Continue making your regular monthly loan payments: you are not excused from your payments even if your residence is uninhabitable
  • If your property has been damaged (but could be repaired), contact your local engineer's office to schedule an inspection for structural damage
  • Contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin the disaster application process. Their toll-free number is 1-800-621-FEMA. You must register with FEMA before their cut off date. This is crucial as Veterans with VA Loans cannot receive financial relief for uninsured losses or damages if they have not registered with FEMA.
  • Be sure to check for other sources of help. Potential options include the offices of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
happy couple with VA Loan

In short, be sure to contact the authorities as well as your insurance company to make sure that your life can restart as soon as possible after a disaster. While we all like to think that a disaster will never happen to us, it is imperative to know what to do in these situations to avoid additional difficulties. As a last bit of advice, if the location where you receive mail is damaged by a disaster, be sure to notify your local post office and VA Regional Office of a change of address.

Check the official FEMA website for more information.

Read more about the Veterans Benefit Act of 2004.

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