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A Guide for Homeowners: Preparing for Natural Disasters

A house surrounded by water is shielded by a large black umbrella, symbolizing protection.

Floods. Hurricanes. Fires. Earthquakes. Last year, Canada reached more than $3.1 billion in insured losses due to catastrophic events1. With climate change, natural disasters and extreme weather events a reality facing all Canadians, you may be wondering if you have the right insurance coverage in place to make sure you are well protected. 

What does your property insurance policy include?

Do you know what you’re covered for under your home insurance in the case of various types of natural disasters? Which perils or risks does it address? Are there exclusions?

Most property insurance policies exclude certain natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, so it’s important to make sure you understand what your current policy includes and excludes. If you live in an area at risk of disasters not covered by your current policy, having the right coverage in place can help protect you from potential loss. Review your insurance policy and speak with your insurance professional to determine if additional insurance coverage is available in your region and if purchasing it is the right move for you. A licensed insurance professional can provide you with expertise and advice in helping to ensure you have risk protection for what matters most.   

Remember, if you're working with an insurance agent or company, they must be licensed with the Commission, even if the business is done over the phone or the company or salesperson is located in a different province. Individual agents also need to be sponsored by a licensed insurance company.

Check to see if your insurance professional is licensed

When reviewing the details of additional coverage, make sure you know exactly what types of damage it covers. For example, additional coverage for an earthquake may include damages directly caused by the earthquake itself, like the collapse of a house. However, you may need another additional coverage to cover fire or flood damages that occur as a result of the earthquake. 

For tips on questions to ask your insurance professional when discussing your coverage, check out Natural Disasters – are you covered?

Understanding your insurance coverage, assessing risks, and making necessary preparations can all help increase resiliency in the face of a natural disaster. Visit the Government of Canada’s website to learn more about how to prepare for an emergency and create a household emergency plan. The Record Keeper is also a great tool to help you keep track of important information. 

 1 “Canadian Insured Losses From Catastrophic Events Exceed CAN $3 Billion In 2023.” CatIQ, 2024.