Is your province prone to natural disasters?

Most home insurance policies look similar across the country – unlike auto insurance policies that are more regulated. But there are some extra coverages you might want to consider depending on where you live. Most provinces have comprehensive coverage that protects you in the event of things like wind or fire damage. However, let’s take a look at which provinces should consider coverage for hail, sewer backup, overland water, and earthquake coverage.

Earthquake Coverage

We had to get the obvious one out of the way – earthquake coverage is basically a must if you live in B.C., as it’s located on a fault line. Based on a study done by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in B.C. would cost around $75 billion in damages.

The good news is, some companies are actually starting to add this as a standard coverage in your home policy, instead of it being an add-on.1

Did you know? Wildfires are also common in B.C. but you’re already covered by your policy – learn more about being prepared and how you’re protected.

Hail coverage

Alberta is home to “Hailstorm Alley” that runs from the south of Calgary to central/northern Alberta. It has seen hundreds of hailstorms over the years, some costing millions of dollars in damage. Hail coverage might be included in your home policy with some companies, but if you live in this area, it’s important to double check and make sure you’re protected. It could be useful to invest in things like tent protection, to help prepare for hailstorms and minimize costs and damage.

Overland water coverage and Sewer backup coverage

Alberta can also be considered a flood-prone province. They experienced catastrophic floods in 2013 costing the province (including homeowners and insurers) upwards of $6 billion. (estimated average sewer backup and overland water claim cost.)

Did you know that Ontario is one of most prone-to-flooding provinces in Canada? In 2013, Toronto saw a record rainfall (100 millimeters in two hours) that cost the province more than $940 million to repair2. Then, in 2016, the Windsor area had a similar flood that damaged over 1,700 homes. In the case of these floods, you want to make sure you’re protected with sewer backup and/or overland water coverage (water from rain storms or melting snow flooding your windows and doors at ground level). We recommend installing a sump pump and/or using water-resistant materials in your basement to prevent as much damage as you can. Purchasing overland water coverage will give you that added protection in the event of a flood this severe!

Alberta can also be considered a flood-prone province. They experienced catastrophic floods in 2013 costing the province (including homeowners and insurers) upwards of $6 billion. (estimated average sewer backup and overland water claim cost.)

Nova Scotia is another province that has areas that are prone to massive flooding. In 2016, Sydney (in Cape Breton) had a record rainfall of 225 millimetres in one day, causing sewer backup (meaning there was so much rain there was excess water in the sewer system and overflow through your pipes). Sump pumps and backwater valves are your best bet for preventing sewer backup when you live in a flood-prone area, and adding sewer backup coverage to your home policy to help cover the costs of any damage.

Did you know? Ontario’s 2018 windstorm left thousands of homes without power, and caused expensive damage to property. Wind damage is covered under your home policy, but it doesn’t hurt to learn more about how you can prepare for a windstorm.

Earthquake Coverage


Certain cities in Quebec (like Montreal and Quebec City) are located in the St. Lawrence Valley, which is an area that’s prone to earthquakes. However, only around 3% of Quebecers (based on a survey of 1000 people) are protected with added earthquake coverage3. It might seem like an unlikely event, but Quebec’s last earthquake was in Mont Laurier on April 18, 2018!

In the same survey IBC conducted for earthquakes in B.C., they surveyed how much a 7.1 magnitude earthquake would cost in Quebec, and the result was $65 billion.

Protect your home and the things you love most. http://www.ibc.ca/ns/resources/studies/air-study https://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/associations/understanding-quake-protective-measures-insurance-coverage-faulty-quebec-1004122298/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-hailstorm-alley-1.3682989 https://www.wawanesa.com/canada/news/Hail-season-has-started https://www.insurancehotline.com/resources/what-happens-with-sewer-back-up-your-insurance-coverage/ https://uwaterloo.ca/partners-for-action/sites/ca.partners-for-action/files/uploads/files/canadian_voices_on_changing_flood_risk_fnl.pdf http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Studies/IBC-EQ-Study-Full.pdf https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/small-earthquake-felt-near-mont-laurier https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/insurance-flood-coverage-damage-1.3801943 https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/05/04/ontario-wind-storm-power-outages-flights_a_23427542/