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The Earthquake in Canada: Be Ready for the Next One

Lorne Marr

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South eastern Ontario and parts of Quebec were struck by an earthquake earlier this year. Did you experience it?

The damage by good fortune wasn't too bad even though it hit 5 on the Richter Scale according to the US Geological Survey. The centre of the earthquake was 61 km north of Ottawa.

As accounts came in, many people spoke of a gradual rumbling which increased in intensity, a bit like building work going off below or around you. The vibrations could be felt as high up as the 9th floor of office and apartment blocks according to eye witnesses. The vibrating sensation may have been small, but I clearly felt the earthquake.

The quake puts in perspective just how exposed we are in Canada to natural disaster, even though one of this size only takes place once a decade. It undoubtedly makes me wonder what I can do to protect my family and myself should another disaster hit us. Life insurance should be part of any provisions you make to cope with natural disasters such as an earthquake.

When looking at the expenditure involved when a natural disaster takes place, earthquakes are up at the top along with floods. When looking at figures for damage arising from natural disasters, from 1950 to 2001, 30% of this was connected to earthquakes. Although, they account for only 9% of the human cost, paling in comparison to famine, which killed 42% of people, but accounts for only 4% of the total devastation over those years.

People losing their lives decreased in the 90's from 86,328 per year in the 80's to 75,252; but those hit by natural disaster climbed from 147 million in the 80s to 211 million people a year in the 90's. These are very grim numbers. Compared to 1960's, natural disasters occur 3 times more often and the monetary impact has climbed dramatically as well.

With the prevalence of natural disasters increasing significantly, along with the amount of lives influenced, one can't help but think of how to guard their family's future in case they find themselves caught in nature's fury.

Searching for life insurance that covers these types of disasters is crucial, so always read the small print in your insurance contract. Fortunately, all the five major Canadian insurance companies we looked at do. The one caveat is, the natural disaster must not take place in an area that already has a travel exclusion, such as a war zone.

You can learn more about Canadian insurance companies on our website. We provide basic information on Manulife Financial , AXA Life Insurance and many more.

Article written by Lorne Marr, president of LSM Insurance Canada.


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