Earthquake insurance: protect your home and business

Like many Canadians, your home is probably your most valued asset and you want to protect everything you’ve worked hard to achieve. If you’re also a business owner, you have twice as many reasons to make sure you’re adequately insured against risk.

If you live or operate a business in an earthquake-prone area like BC or Southern Quebec, adding coverage for earthquake damage is highly recommended as it’s not included in basic insurance policies.

Here are some factors to consider:

How much coverage do you need to protect your home?

We recommend buying enough earthquake insurance to cover the costs of rebuilding your house and replacing your damaged contents. It’s important to base this amount on the replacement cost and not the resale value of your home.

Protecting your business

Earthquake damage coverage can also be purchased for your business. Just like the coverage for your home, it protects you from losses due to damaged property and its contents. The Co-operators also offers loss of income insurance to ensure there’s no interruption in the operation of your business due to earthquake damage. Speak to one of our Financial Advisors to see which coverage is best for you.

What factors impact earthquake coverage premiums?

Earthquake coverage premiums are impacted by a variety of factors including the likelihood of an earthquake in your area, construction of your home, number of floors, coverage limits and deductibles. In some higher-risk areas, consumers are seeing increased premiums, deductible changes and even a reduced ability to obtain earthquake coverage. Below are several factors that have contributed to the increase:

  • Advances in technology have provided detailed information about the severity of risks and the extent of damage that an earthquake can cause, which can help put a price to a risk.
  • Recent earthquakes in other regions have demonstrated that the cost to rebuild communities and reestablish local infrastructure has escalated substantially and is higher than previously anticipated.
  • Changes to regulatory guidelines, and significant increases to reinsurance expense, have increased the cost for insurers to manage this type of risk.

Ways to help manage your premiums

Insurance premiums are constantly changing across Canada. There are many ways you can manage premiums.

  • Review your coverage and limits to ensure you have the right amount of insurance.
  • Increase your deductible to help reduce your premium.
  • Keep an inventory of personal possessions so that, if you have a claim, you’ll have a record of all belongings to ensure they are properly replaced.
  • Improve your security by installing a monitored burglar or fire alarm. This will not only protect your family but can also save you up to 10% on your home insurance premium.
  • Consider insuring multiple lines of business with The Co-operators, to maximize your discounts.

Be prepared and stay safe

Protecting your family is what’s most important. You can’t prevent an earthquake, but you can be prepared to avoid injuries and minimize damage to your home or business. For safety tips to help you and your family before, during and after an earthquake, check out the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) brochure titled Be Prepared – Earthquake Preparations.

Keep your policy updated

Always keep your Financial Advisor informed of any upgrades and changes you make to your home, whether you’re installing a monitored alarm system or finishing your basement. Keeping your files updated ensures you have the right coverage at the right price.

If you have questions about our earthquake coverage or any other insurance or financial needs, contact your Financial Advisor.