Tornadoes and Reverse Mortgages

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Tornadoes and Reverse Mortgages

Many seniors may access the equity in their homes via a reverse mortgage to augment their income when they are no longer able to do so through employment. What transpires then if those who are most at risk lose their homes during a disaster if they have a reverse mortgage?

Key Takeaways

  • Your house will be fixed if you have enough insurance coverage, so you won’t have to pay back the reverse mortgage.
  • Your reverse mortgage will become due if you have little or no insurance coverage, and you will have to go through an appeal procedure to prevent foreclosure if you are unable to pay it back.
  • FEMA and the aging services provider in your community may be able to assist you if you are unable to pay for interim housing or home repairs.

How a Reverse Mortgage Works

You may be eligible for a reverse mortgage if you are over 62, own your house entirely, or have a significant amount of equity in it. With a reverse mortgage, you may access the equity in your house without having to repay the loan until you die away or sell it. You must maintain the property in excellent condition and have sufficient insurance coverage if you have a reverse mortgage.

Insurance Coverage and Reverse Mortgages

All reverse mortgages must continue to be insured, or else the remaining amount of the loan is payable. You must maintain your property in excellent condition since a reverse mortgage utilizes it as security; otherwise, the outstanding sum on the loan will become due. If your homeowners insurance coverage is insufficient to repair or rebuild your house after a storm, you might find yourself in trouble.

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Due to climate change, there will be more tornadoes in the United States in 2021 than normal, including 193 in December alone, which is a record-breaking number.

Reverse Mortgages With Adequate Insurance Coverage

Your house should be able to be repaired or rebuilt if you have a reverse mortgage with sufficient insurance coverage and it is damaged by a storm without your loan amount being due. To find out what exact paperwork your lender requires, get in touch with them. You may get temporary housing costs like a hotel or rental covered as long as your homes insurance offers coverage for extra living expenses (also known as loss-of-use coverage).

Reverse Mortgages With Inadequate Insurance Coverage

Your reverse mortgage can become due if your house doesn’t have enough insurance to rebuild or restore it after a storm. Your lender will send you a notice of default with appeal options if you find yourself in this scenario. Follow the procedures to begin the appeal process so that you may prolong your time in your house.

Contact the aging services agency in your community. Call 1-800-677-1116, go to, or dial 211 for contact information and recommendations to resources that may assist you if you’re not sure where to look for them. Don’t lose faith even if your insurance coverage is insufficient; there are several programs available to assist you in maintaining and repairing your house.

Will My Reverse Mortgage Become Due if a Tornado Hits My House?

If you fail to maintain house insurance coverage or reside elsewhere for more than 12 months straight, your reverse mortgage becomes due. Your reverse mortgage will become due if a tornado damages your house and you don’t have enough insurance coverage or you have to move out of your home for more than a year.

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How Will I Pay for Housing if a Tornado Hits My Home?

You have a few alternatives for paying for housing if a tornado seriously destroys your house and you are unable to remain there while it is repaired or rebuilt. Loss-of-use coverage, which will assist in covering housing costs up to a certain monthly sum for a specific period of time, may be included in your homes insurance. Consult your insurance agent to review the particular coverage limitations for your policy.

Can I Get Help From FEMA After a Tornado Hits My Home?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may be able to assist you if your region was especially heavily struck by tornadoes. When deciding whether to declare a disaster, FEMA has its own standards and does not always do so for lone tornado instances. A catastrophe was defined as widespread destruction like the storms that wreaked havoc in Kentucky in December 2021. Federal subsidies become available if a catastrophe has been declared by FEMA. These awards may help you find temporary lodging and pay for the repairs you need to make your house safe, hygienic, and useful.

The Bottom Line

Your insurance coverage will determine what happens next if a tornado damages your property and you have a reverse mortgage. Be proactive and make sure you have reliable coverage in place right away so you are well-positioned in case the worst occurs. If you don’t have enough insurance, you may still be able to have your house fixed and stay there, but doing so will entail contacting local agencies and FEMA for assistance (if a disaster has been declared).

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