An earthquake is an intense shaking of the earth’s surface caused by movement surrounding fractures in the earth’s outermost layer (also known as fault lines). Earthquakes can do serious structural damage to homes and businesses, especially those located near or on fault lines. In Canada, the coast of British Columbia is most at risk of experiencing earthquakes, but other areas prone to earthquakes include the St. Lawrence and Ottawa River valleys, as well as parts of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon. If your property is damaged in an earthquake, you’ll need earthquake insurance to cover the damage.
Do most home and tenant insurance policies cover earthquakes?
No, earthquakes generally aren’t covered by regular home and tenant insurance policies — but the good news is earthquake coverage is often available as an add-on. If you live in an area at risk for earthquakes, you should consider adding this coverage to your home or tenant policy to make sure you’ll be protected in case your home or property sustains damage.
What is earthquake insurance?
Earthquake insurance covers damage to your home and belongings caused by earthquakes. It also covers additional living expenses you may encounter because of an earthquake, like alternate living arrangements or food if you are unable to cook.
What’s covered by earthquake insurance?
Earthquake insurance usually includes coverage for the following:
- Repairs for damage to your home and any extended structures, like swimming pools or attached garages.
- Repairs or replacement of your belongings if they are damaged because of an earthquake.
- Additional living expenses you encounter because of an earthquake (like a place to stay if you have to leave your home while repairs are completed).
Every insurance policy will list its own specific coverages, and some may suit your needs better than others. Your licensed home insurance broker can walk you through the types of coverage that are available and help you find the best policy for your situation.
What’s not covered by earthquake insurance?
There are a few things earthquake insurance usually won’t cover, including sinkholes, floods, tsunamis, rain or snow entering your home because of an earthquake, or damage to your vehicle caused by an earthquake. Review your policy or talk to your broker to find out if there are any other exclusions you should know about.
What’s the average deductible for earthquake insurance?
Deductiblesopens a pop-up with definition of Deductibles for earthquake insurance are generally quite high — often somewhere between 15 and 20 per cent of your total coverage limit for damage to your home (also known as dwelling coverage). This means if your dwelling coverage limit was $450,000, your deductible for earthquake insurance could be around $76,000. Homes built closer to (or directly on) fault lines are likely to have higher deductibles than those that are farther away, as their risk of experiencing severe earthquake damage is much higher.
Who should get earthquake insurance?
While earthquake insurance isn’t mandatory, you should get earthquake insurance if your home is in an area that is known to be at risk of earthquakes. Most people think an earthquake will never happen, but the reality is that they do happen. If you don’t have enough savings to cover the costs that could result from an earthquake (repairs to your home, replacing damaged belongings, or additional living expenses), you should consider adding earthquake insurance to your policy.
To find out what earthquake insurance options are available to you, contact your licensed home insurance broker today.
Share this article on Facebook or Twitter to help your neighbours protect their properties against earthquakes, too.