My husband and I survived the Northridge earthquake in 1994, but we had to move out of our house for repairs. We had earthquake insurance, which helped a lot. Here are a few more things to think about when making the decision for your house:
SBA disaster loans will be available in the event of a federal disaster declaration. However, these have credit qualifying requirements. So if you have a bad FICO score, a heavy debt load, poor work history, etc. you probably won’t qualify for a loan. We were able to get a loan which covered the insurance deductible, and all the out of pocket costs that seem to add up despite having insurance. The loan was secured by a second trust deed on our house.
Your ordinary homeowners insurance will cover things like broken dishes, food loss, and temporary housing. We didn’t have any vehicle damage, but I think your vehicle policy will cover damage to cars (which will happen if the cars are in the garage).
The earthquake insurance covers the structure of the house, so the architectural integrity issues, the broken stucco, and the splintered 4X4’s in the attic are covered by earthquake insurance.
FEMA does NOT do a whole lot for you. FEMA’s purpose is to handle the immediate crisis…they want you to have a mattress, one TV for the house, one chair per person, and essentially be safe and secure for the short term. FEMA does not do anything to help you rebuild your house. We received around $2,000 from them.
Stay safe everyone.