Residential Earthquake Retrofits in BC by Shear Seismic Retrofits

Practical EQ Insurance

Are you in good hands with earthquake insurance?
Of all imaginable reasons for putting off a seismic retrofit of one’s home, the most concerning I hear are: “I’m not worried, we have earthquake insurance” and “If it falls down, we’ll just build another one.” Maybe these folks just haven’t thought it through, after all earthquakes are one topic most would rather not think about. But the reality is, they turn lives upside down. So here are some very real questions to think about:

  1. What if you, your family, tenants -anyone – are home when it happens?  What if it’s night-time and everyone’s sleeping? What if it’s freezing cold or pouring rain outside? What if someone has mobility or health issues?  and you were forced to leave because of the damage?
  2. Could you stand the thought of possibly losing the home you’ve put your heart and hard work into creating as well as your belongings? Homes displaced from their foundations are usually ruined along with everything inside. Often, it is less expensive to tear them down and rebuild, rather than to repair.
  3. Where would you all stay?  Alternate accommodation could be a challenge to find at this time and exit routes may be blocked.
  4. How would you feel about having to move to another community or off the Island if there were insufficient options here for alternate accommodation?
  5. Are you aware that it could take a year, likely two or more to have your home restored or rebuilt?  Every possible resource, human or material, will be in desperately short supply.
  6. Would you want your house rebuilt by overworked, possibly under-skilled crews rushing to meet everyone’s needs? Anyone who can swing a hammer will be put to work if need be.
  7. Would you be able to cover the mortgage on your uninhabitable home as well as all the unexpected expenses? Often sources of employment income are interrupted and if you have tenants, that income won’t then be there.
  8. Will you be able to manage the deductible on your earthquake insurance in order to replace your losses? Earthquake deductibles are presently running at 10% of home value including contents.
  9. In the aftermath of an earthquake, there is a lot of emotion and stress to deal with for everyone. A rhetorical question for but… wouldn’t it be so much more comforting to know you, at least, could handle everything in the comfort of your own home?

Retrofits are another form of insurance, for sure. But this one additional investment can protect many others already made.