Hurricane insurance: Do you have it? Need it? Six things to know.

As hurricane Irene heads for the East Coast, here are answers to six key questions about insurance.

5. Are there any resources for hurricane damage if I’m not insured?

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    In this June 29, 2011 photo, Geri Roberts, of Atlanta, a team leader with the Small Business Administration, helps flood victim Colin Nicol of Grand Isle, Vt., file paperwork related to the disaster. In some cases, repairs for hurricane damages to homes can be paid for through loans from the Small Business Administration.
    Alison Redlich / AP / File
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If the president declares a disaster, then you may qualify for help from the federal government. Most disaster assistance from the government comes in the form of federally subsidized loans from the Small Business Administration.

But, Csiszar says, it’s better to buy an insurance plan. Yes you have to pay insurance premiums up front, but “you are getting a subsidized price, I’ve always thought it was worthwhile.” And in the end, he says, you’re not left with a hefty loan to repay.

“Occasionally you see grants [from the federal government to municipalities],” he adds, “but you don’t see grants typically to homeowners.”

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