In the 2015 movie San Andreas, a magnitude 9 earthquake hits the entire state of California. Dwayne Johnson plays a rescue pilot who needs to fly across the state to rescue his daughter – and along the way he witnesses the devastation to communities first-hand. While this example is a hyped-up Hollywood disaster flick, earthquakes are a reality of life for us in British Columbia.
Earthquake coverage is not included in a standard or basic home insurance policy and is something you would need to add on with your broker. You might feel like this coverage is expensive or optional, since it isn't automatically included, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
What does your mortgage require?
It's important to confirm with your mortgage lender if you are required to carry earthquake coverage on your home. Since the lender has an interest in the property, they will often look to eliminate as many possibilities of losing on the investment as possible. If you were to remove coverage without confirming with the mortgage lender, it could put you in a breach of contract situation - something everyone involved would like to avoid.
What would you do if it happened to you?
You need to consider what would happen if an earthquake occurred and you did not have the coverage on your policy. It doesn't have to be "the big one"; the quakes that occur semi-regularly on Vancouver Island could be enough to damage your property. You would be responsible for paying your remaining mortgage, as well as attempting to rebuild or replace your home and belongings. This would be a daunting task for most people! Paying for the coverage means your home insurance company would deal with all the details.
You have many options for earthquake coverage to both reduce premiums and satisfy mortgage requirements. Plus, you will have personal peace of mind. You might choose to change the deductible options: the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Some insurers offer an option of only covering the building vs. the building and the contents. Your broker can discuss these solutions with you.
When reviewing your home and contents insurance, the cost of earthquake coverage may seem large; however, the knowledge that your home would be rebuilt and your belongings replaced in the event of a catastrophe like an earthquake is priceless.
Home insurance is a key requirement for your mortgage. The Auxilium Team is happy to provide you with a referral to our trusted partners for a consultation and quote.
Auxilium Mortgage Corporation is based in Victoria, BC and works with clients locally and across Canada. The Auxilium team has over 100 years of combined financial experience and access to dozens of lenders to help you meet your goals.