According to IBC, there are 4000 recorded earthquakes in Canada each year. As earthquake coverage is generally not covered by a standard home insurance policy, you may want to consider purchasing an earthquake endorsement if you live in an earthquake-prone area. This includes BC which is expected to have a significant quake within the next 50 years as well as areas in Ontario and Quebec.
What is earthquake coverage?
Earthquake coverage protects your home outbuildings (like a shed garage or deck) and personal belongings should an earthquake occur. This includes all associated shocks within a certain time period (usually a few days but it depends on the insurance company) as well as snowslides landslides volcanic eruptions and other earth movements occurring as a result of or at the same time as the earthquake.
It does not cover tsunamis, waves, flood or other types of water damage and will only cover destruction from wind, hail, rain or snow if an earthquake first creates a hole in your home.
This endorsement is purchased separately as an add-on to your home insurance policy and also comes with a separate (and usually a higher) deductible. The premium while generally quite affordable is based on risk. The higher likelihood of an earthquake, the higher the premium.
Should I get earthquake coverage?
Earthquakes can cause massive amounts of damage and can occur at any time. While they’re not common in many areas, if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes or other earth movements, the cost may be worthwhile. Talk to your insurance broker as they’ll be able to advise you about the risk in your area and how the endorsement covers your property.