Canadian Underwriter

Aviva Canada offers earthquake coverage in B.C. policies


April 12, 2018   by Staff


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earthquake-damage-SanfranciscoAviva Canada has introduced a new level of earthquake coverage in all B.C. homeowner and tenant insurance policies. The standard offering will be at no additional cost to new customers or current Aviva customers upon renewal.

Examples of coverage that will be included in every policy are:

  • For house and manufactured homeowners: emergency living expenses for earthquake, such as temporary accommodation, food and clothing or transportation costs associated with moving to stay with family or friends in a different province up to $25,000.
  • For condominium owners: full earthquake coverage for contents, improvements and betterments, condo loss assessment, and unit additional protection.
  • For tenants and renters: full earthquake coverage for contents.

In B.C., research shows that there is a 1 in 4 chance of another major earthquake within the next 50 years. In a B.C. homeowner survey conducted by Aviva, 75% of respondents believe that an earthquake is likely to occur in their lifetime.

Further, only about a quarter of B.C. residents consider themselves knowledgeable when it comes to earthquake insurance, while even fewer (22%) believe they are prepared to deal with the financial and practical ramifications of an earthquake.

“While all insurers in B.C. offer earthquake coverage as an endorsement, until today, no company has offered it within a standard policy,” says Phil Gibson, chief underwriting officer at Aviva Canada. “This is concerning since our survey shows that 60% of B.C. homeowners believe their policy would provide financial support in event of an earthquake.”

In fact, only Aviva Canada and two other insurers are offering earthquake coverage without restrictions in all risk zones, whereas most insurers have some form of restriction on high-risk zones like Richmond and Victoria. In addition to these market restrictions, all insurers in B.C. offer earthquake coverage only as an endorsement that must be purchased as an add-on to a home, condo or renter’s policy.

“We noticed that many customers are not buying earthquake coverage in relation to their potential risk exposure,” adds Gibson. “This could be associated with customers not understanding the implications, or mistakenly believing they are already covered for earthquake in their existing home policies.”

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.