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Californians Are In Deep Doo-doo

"If more than 88 percent [of homeowners] don't have policies, who's going to pay for the devastation if we have a big one?" asks Moraga. After Hurricane Katrina, the image of the federal government coming in as a knight in shining armor was shattered.

Homeowners should know that FEMA is fairly limited in what it can provide. Grants tap out at about $31,000, which is not likely enough to rebuild or repair substantial damage to a home; plus people not everyone will qualify.

Just because you lost your home and don't have insurance doesn't mean you will automatically receive a grant.

The Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans, but those have to be paid back and are also determined by credit worthiness and income. If you already have a significant mortgage, you may not qualify for a substantial rebuilding loan.

In addition to having millions of people without homes or jobs, large parts of the country could come to a complete halt. A catastrophic earthquake in California would have a national impact including disruptions to supply lines, shock to financial markets and a drain on the insurance system.

"People may also believe that their family, friends, neighbors, or charity will take care of them, which may be true. Following Hurricane Sandy, millions were donated to the Red Cross to aid disaster victims. Of course, charity (and most friends and family) aren't going to buy you a new house," says Orma.

Insure.com receives compensation from carriers when readers choose to request insurance quotes. This article is provided by an external partner that is solely responsible for the content.
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