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5 facts about earthquakes and insurance

Published on January 23, 2019


Even though most earthquakes in Quebec don’t cause any property damage, we can still experience significant aftershocks. Would you know what to do in this type of situation? Do you know which types of damage would be covered by your home insurance? The L'Unique General Insurance team has put together a few facts for you on the subject!

1. Quebec experiences some 450 earthquakes every year

Even though most of them don’t cause any property damage, the risk of significant aftershocks is real. According to the ministère de la Sécurité publique, Quebec has experienced several earthquakes with a magnitude of 6 to 7 on the Richter scale.

2. Earthquake prone areas in Quebec

Even though they can occur anywhere in the province, three specific areas are considered hot spots for earthquakes: the area from the Lower Saint Lawrence to the North Shore, the Charlevoix-Kamouraska area, and Western Quebec from Montreal to the Témiscamingue region, including the Eastern Townships and Eastern Ontario.

3. Three things to do in the event of an earthquake

The annual prevention event called “La Grande Secousse” (the Great ShakeOut), organized by the Association de sécurité civile du Québec (ASCQ) and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), educates people about three easy but important measures to take during an earthquake:

  • Drop to the ground to reduce the risk of falls caused by shocks.
  • Take cover under a table or solid piece of furniture. Nothing solid nearby? Stay close to the ground, and move away from windows or objects that could fall on you, and protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • Hold on tightly to the furniture sheltering you until the shaking ceases.

4. Certain types of damage resulting from an earthquake may be covered by adding an additional coverage to your home insurance

These are damage caused by smoke, fire or an explosion as a result of an earthquake.

5. Damage to the structure of the building and personal property may also be covered by taking out additional coverage

Damage to the structure of your home or to your personal property by an earthquake is never covered under basic home insurance. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you can take out additional coverage for this specific type of damage. Ask your insurance broker for advice!

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!