Is your property at risk of damage from earthquakes?
On average, the Geological Survey of Canada reports over 4,000 earthquakes in Canada each year, or about 11 each day. Many are too small to be felt, but others could potentially cause serious damage to homes and other property.
According to Earthquake Model for Canada1, a report produced by AIR Worldwide for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the risk of a major earthquake is highest in Vancouver, Victoria, Montréal, Ottawa and Québec City.
While the most anticipated damage is due to ground shaking, fires, explosions and smoke in the aftermath of an earthquake can also contribute to property loss. In extreme cases, earthquakes can also cause landslides and tsunamis.
The impact on property could range from minor damage to more serious consequences, such as cracked foundations or even the complete destruction of the building. Structural damage to buildings can be substantial; in rare cases, the buildings may completely collapse. Older buildings constructed from unreinforced masonry are at the highest risk.
The base residential policy we offer covers damage caused by a fire, explosion and smoke following an earthquake. It’s important to know that the base policy excludes any other damage caused by an earthquake.
In addition to your base policy, you can purchase additional coverage (also known as an endorsement). This earthquake endorsement covers all direct physical losses or damage to your property caused by an earthquake, except those caused by tidal waves, floods, surface water or waterborne objects, whether or not they are attributable to an earthquake The earthquake endorsement also covers living expenses, such as accommodation rental, additional cost of food and transportation for you and your family while your home is being repaired (some eligibility rules may apply).
Regardless of the type of home you live in, you should have earthquake coverage for the contents of your property and to pay for your living expenses while your home is being repaired.
After British Columbia, Québec is the region in Canada at the next highest risk of experiencing earthquakes strong enough to cause serious damage. If you are a homeowner in Québec, it’s important to understand the risks to your home and ensure that you have the insurance coverage you need to cover the losses caused by a major earthquake.
Many people are not aware of the risk of property damage from earthquakes in Québec, which is home to four active earthquake regions that can experience up to over one hundred small earthquakes per year.
The base residential policy we offer in Québec now covers damage caused by a fire, explosion and smoke following an earthquake. However, as the base policy excludes any other damage caused by an earthquake, you may want to consider adding an earthquake endorsement to your base policy.
If you want to know more about earthquake insurance, we’re here to help.Here’s how to get in touch with us:
To add an earthquake optional coverage to your base home insurance policy, simply call one of our insurance advisors at: 1-855-533-1344.
1AIR Earthquake Model for Canada(July 15,2014). Air Worldwide.