Last week, I was at home when the earthquake struck and rattled Ontario, Quebec and parts of New York. I was about 30 kilometers away from the epicenter, so the house got a good shake.
The experience was surreal. If the quake had seriously damaged my house, the lives of my family would have been turned upside down, in an instant. Home insurance policies typically exclude earthquake protection. You have to pay extra premiums to get it.
This got me to thinking about adding earthquake insurance. I called around and was told it would cost about another $10 to $13 a month to add earthquake insuranceto a policyin Ontario. But that was with a 10% deductible on the houses value. In other words, if your house was worth $350,000, you would pay the first $35,000 of damages caused by an earthquake.
A policy with a 5% deductible was available. The monthly premiums for it in Ontario were approximately$14 to $17.
The premiums are higher in areas with greater odds of earthquakes. In B.C., the monthly premiums would average about $85, for total annual cost around $1000. The high price of B.C. housing may have something to do with this too.
I decided not to get earthquake insurance. The premiums are not that big in Ontario, but one would need a really big earthquake to subsantially damage a house before collecting benefits after the deductible. Those odds seems rather miniscule.