Extend Your Home Coverage with Earthquake Insurance
Earthquake insurance in Ontario is not included in standard homeowners coverage – loss or damage to your home and its contents caused by an earthquake is an add-on (extension) to your existing policy.
Earthquake insurance provides limited reimbursement for actual losses or damage to your home or its contents, that are a direct result of a documented earthquake or other earth movement. For example, if the foundation of your home is cracked, your roof shifts, or the contents of your china cabinet are destroyed due to shaking of the earth, earthquake coverage can be accessed.
- Damages or losses caused by Earthquakes, snowslides, landslides and other earth movements
- Earthquake shocks related to oil fracking or mining operations
- Repeated shocks which occur within a specified period of time, typically 168 hours by most insurers
Under most policies, the deductible on earthquake insurance is notably higher than the standard deductible applied for other perils.
What Isn’t Covered By Earthquake Insurance?
While the specific exclusions can vary slightly between insurance providers, in general earthquake insurance does not cover:
- Losses caused by perils that are either directly, or indirectly caused by an earthquake, such as damage from smoke, an explosion, flooding, or theft
- Any additional costs related to seismic upgrading or land stabilisation
- Damage resulting from a leaking sprinkler system or other safety device
To learn more about earthquake insurance in Ontario, contact us here at Mitchell & Whale. We’ll review your existing homeowners policy and help you decide if earthquake coverage is worth considering.
Weighing The Risks
While Ontario has never experienced a catastrophic earthquake, even a brief 6.5 magnitude event could cause serious damage to homes, roadways, and infrastructure.
The Southern Great Lakes Seismic Zone includes the Greater Toronto Area, Kingston, London, the Niagara Region, Grey-Bruce and Windsor. According to Natural Resources Canada, an average of two to three earthquakes registering at 2.5 magnitude or greater are recorded each year in this zone.
Eastern Ontario is within the Western Quebec Seismic Zone, a vast area that includes Ottawa-Hull, Pembroke, and Montreal. Historically, earthquakes here have been somewhat less frequent than in Southwestern Ontario, however, the ones that do occur tend to be more powerful. In June, 2010, a magnitude 5 earthquake shook the capital region, while a 6.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded along the Ontario-Quebec border in 1935.
Do You Need Earthquake Insurance?
Like all forms of insurance, whether or not you need coverage, and how much coverage you require, depends on a number of factors. Your tolerance for risk, the total value of your home and contents, and the requirements of your mortgage lender all should be considered.
Our home insurance specialists here at Mitchell & Whale can review your current coverage, explain your options, and help you choose the right protection for your family and assets