UPDATED 10/2020

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5 Tips to Help You Recover from a Catastrophe

Recovering from a catastrophe is easier when you’re prepared for the unexpected. Life can happen fast, and in case you weren’t as prepared as you hoped to be, it’s just as important to have a game plan to help you get back on your feet.


Consider these five tips that can help you stay on the path to financial security before, during and after a catastrophic event.  


What are the financial things I need to consider when trying to recover?

Try not to allow emotion to influence good financial decisions. Recovering from a catastrophe can be easier by having safeguards in place, like a strong financial foundation that includes emergency savings and insurance. However, it’s also important to be a good financial steward during tough times and not be dependent on your credit cards. You don’t want to make things more challenging by digging a deeper hole when trying to get things back to normal.                  


What steps should I take to replace my home or car following a total loss?

You may not have been in the market for a new car and now you’re having to shop. It’s important to consider the total cost of the vehicle or home you are purchasing and how you’re financing it. Interest rates could have changed since the last time you financed a vehicle or home.


What do I do after I’ve filed a claim and received the insurance proceeds?

Insurance is designed to help you repair or replace your property. Do not be tempted to spend that large insurance check on items that are not related to your claim. It’s important to make sure that the proceeds you receive from an insurance claim go toward completing good quality repair work. Get multiple estimates from various professionals and ensure that your property is repaired properly.


What should I do to be financially prepared for future catastrophes?

Being ready means having a plan for physically and financially managing the catastrophe. Having an emergency fund that can help pay for a deductible or support you if you’re displaced from your home during a catastrophe. Having adequate insurance, with coverage that’s personalized to your financial situation, can help avoid being reliant on credit cards or other debt instruments when trying to recover. If it has been some time since you reviewed your various insurance policies, evaluate your coverages and update them as needed.


Near misses should be a wake-up call.

If the disaster missed you, how ready were you? Did you feel adequately prepared if a catastrophe were to hit? Improve your readiness by revisiting your insurance, starting an emergency savings fund, and preparing your family and important documents for a potential evacuation need. 


USAA is here for you. Visit usaa.com/help for more detailed information about how to prepare, stay safe and recover.




Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based in San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe) and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.