Help for Homeowners On the Hook for Billions in Hurricane Damages

One company is offering zero-percent financing on roof repairs.

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored by GAF - And now comes the arduous task of rebuilding hundreds of thousands of houses destroyed or damaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

And with it, alas, the realization by all too many homeowners that they're the ones on the hook for the cost of a large chunk of their own repair work.

The main reason? In a word: flooding.

While areas like the Florida Keys were decimated by winds that reached 130 mph -- a quarter of all houses there were demolished and another 65 percent suffered major damage -- a lot of the wreckage from this summer's double wallop came from floodwaters. And since homeowners' insurance policies typically cover wind and hail but exclude (you guessed it) flood damage. . .Well, even given the miscellany of federal, state and local aid programs out there, you can see why some estimate the total out-of-pocket costs for Texas and Florida homeowners at $28 billion and $13.1 billion respectively.

"There's going to be a huge uninsured economic loss here," Pete Mills, a senior vice president at the Mortgage Bankers Association, has said.

As in past emergencies, fellow Americans immediately joined a long list of companies like Apple, Verizon, and Chevron in donating truckloads of money, clothes, and other products to help with the relief efforts.

One of the latest corporate initiatives seems especially apt, given all those houses that need to be rebuilt.

In what it says is a first-of-its kind program for them, GAF, North America's largest roofing manufacturer, is offering a special financing program for homeowners in need of roof repairs in FEMA-designated areas for individual assistance of Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Through November 30, 2017, they can take advantage of zero percent interest over 36 months of equal payments.

"The hurricanes have had a devastating impact on so many people," said Jim Schnepper, president of GAF. "We recognize that restoring communities begins with getting homeowners back into their homes as quickly as possible, with a roof they can trust to protect the things that matter most in their lives."

Know that the financing is available only through GAF factory-certified contractors, who can be located through the company's website at gaf.com/rebuild.

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