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Homeowners insurance quotes and FEMA's individual assistance

If you ask a Libertarian for an opinion on people who hold their hands out for federal government or state aid, the printable version of the reply is likely to refer to such people as scroungers who should pay their own way through the hard times. The Tea Party is also hot on the subject, asserting the perils of Big Government. If it's too quick to step in to help citizens in trouble, why should those citizens take any precautions. They can just sit back with their hands out and, sooner or later, the Government will put some money in it. Everyone on the right points to the private insurance industry and pushes the notion everyone should pay for cover and never be allowed to rely on tax dollars for support. There's a slight change of tone when a disaster hits the home of a Libertarian. Then there's criticism of the slowness of the response by federal government. Such is life for the flip-floppers.

For the more rational members of the community, there's no such thing as too much help if there's a disaster. The more Government or state aid, the more quickly the community can be put back on its feet. This help should not just look at the big picture of repairing roads and bridges so people can move around again. It also comes down to the individual level for those most in need. Not surprisingly, the federal government recognizes there are whole swathes of the population who either cannot afford insurance or will end up underinsured — this includes those who think they are lucky enough never to be affected by a natural disaster. This brings us to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This federal agency has the responsibility for coordinating the response to any disaster. It can be man-made like an explosion at a nuclear power plant, an erupting volcano, or a hurricane producing a major storm surge. If the scale of the resulting disaster is more than a state can reasonably be expected to deal with on its own, FEMA steps in to offer its expertise.

This includes its Individual Assistance Program, designed to help those who are uninsured or underinsured. This aims to offer practical help to move home contents into storage, provide temporary housing while reconstruction work continues, and cover the cost of any medical treatment for injuries sustained in the disaster. Note you cannot claim twice under an existing policy and then under the FEMA program. If there's overlapping cover, you have to decide which one to claim against. But if your cover is not going to be accessible because you cannot afford the high deductible or because you were underinsured in any event, the FEMA program will help bridge the gap. Indeed, the FEMA program can be the difference between having nothing and having some clothes to wear and somewhere to live while the situation is stabilized.

If you live in an area which is prone to flooding or seems to be getting more than its fair share of catastrophic weather events, you should look at the FEMA Individual Assistance Program. It may not be a substitute for conventional homeowners insurance quotes from a private insurer, but you should know what additional help is available when you getting your next homeowners insurance quotes.

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