Insurance Bureau of Canada calls for heightened cooperation to manage earthquake risk

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Quakes near Queen Charlotte Islands reminder that B.C. is vulnerable

VANCOUVER, Jan. 8, 2008 – Insurance Bureau of Canada has called for the creation of an ongoing working group between the insurance industry and the B.C. government to ensure that British Columbians are protected as well as possible against a major earthquake.

Two strong quakes took place south of the Queen Charlotte Islands on Saturday. They are a stark reminder that much of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are also seismically sensitive areas.

Mark Yakabuski, President & Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Bureau of Canada, says: “The property and casualty insurance industry and the government need to work more closely together to review best practices in other earthquake-prone zones around the world on an ongoing basis to make sure that British Columbians benefit from the latest knowledge about managing earthquake hazards. Methods to protect citizens from major earthquakes have improved substantially around the world in recent years and we need to make sure that B.C.’s policies reflect the best that is out there.”

Lindsay Olson, IBC’s Vice-President, British Columbia, Saskatchewan & Manitoba, says: “Part of this effort needs to focus on how best to disseminate information to the public. IBC is already committed to public education on earthquake risk and will be accelerating these efforts in the months to come.

“It is estimated that a major earthquake in Vancouver would result in damages of more than $30 billion,” she adds. “Of that amount, about $6 billion would be insured damages. The exposure faced by B.C. residents is huge and the insurance industry wants to work with the government to manage this danger in the best possible way.”

About Insurance Bureau of Canada:

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. For more information, visit