Natural Disaster May Lead To Financial Ruin For Homeowners

(credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The bad news keeps coming for victims of the Washington landslide.

While the residents may soon be receiving federal disaster funds, that probably won’t be enough to cover mortgages on homes that can’t be rebuilt and are effectively worth nothing.

While some banks have said they’ll work with homeowners, they are not coming out and saying they’re going to simply write off the entire home loan, which may leave those who have already been hit by the catastrophe no choice but to declare bankruptcy.

Here’s the thing: while most insurance covers fires and falling tree limbs, many natural disasters, like hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, aren’t covered under standard policies.

So here’s what to do: take a look at the first page of your homeowner’s policy which, by law, has to state in plain English what is covered and what the payout limits are. If you live in an area prone to a particular type of event like hurricanes or floods, look for coverage and if you don’t see it, call your insurance company now so you don’t first face a natural disaster and then a financial one.

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