Tsunami warning highlights Canada’s earthquake risk

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Toronto, ON (Jan. 23, 2018) – Early this morning a magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred off the coast of Alaska, 25 kilometres under water. At least three aftershocks have been reported.

A tsunami warning for the coast of British Columbia was issued but was later cancelled.

Approximately 4,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada each year. While most of them are too small to be felt, Natural Resources Canada estimates that there is a 30% chance of a significant earthquake hitting British Columbia in the next 50 years. Standard home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. However, earthquake coverage may be available as an add-on to those policies. While there is significant uptake of earthquake insurance across British Columbia, most of these add-on policies do not cover any type of flooding including tsunami.

A 2013 study by AIR Worldwide, commissioned by IBC, estimated the overall costs after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in British Columbia at almost $75 billion. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the Quebec CityMontrealOttawa corridor would cost nearly $61 billion.

“Preparing Canada for an earthquake is a priority for Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry. But we cannot do it alone,” said Craig Stewart, Vice President, Federal Affairs, IBC. “The private sector, governments, communities, and all Canadians must work together to make sure we are prepared for an earthquake.”

IBC spokespeople can speak on the current risks to Canada from an earthquake and what is covered under a typical home insurance policy.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada, which groups the majority of Canada’s P&C insurers, offers various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when purchasing car or home insurance, or making a claim.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

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