Earthquake: just 8% of Quebecers think their home is at risk

This is the month of the Great ShakeOut, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada is unveiling the results of a recent poll showing that just 8% of Quebecers think their home is at risk of damage because of an earthquake.

Know the risk to be better prepared
Of concern also is that 33% of them believe, mistakenly, that they are insured for earthquake risk, while only 4% of policyholders actually have coverage for this risk.** “These results are worrying when we know that Quebec has already experienced strong magnitude quakes and that the risk of a new one is only too real. The impact would be significant for the citizens affected and for the Quebec economy”, noted Pierre Babinsky, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, at IBC.

Virtual reality to create risk awareness
IBC’s awareness activities are ongoing and it is innovating to offer a unique virtual reality experience that allows participants to experience the impact of a quake from home.

The realistic experience and emotions created will allow Quebecers to experience the very real consequences of a quake in a home. “We fine tuned this tool so that it offers a realistic immersion for the participant. It’s a way of drawing attention to personal and material safety issues resulting from a quake”, added Mr. Babinsky.

The experience will be presented to the media and the public on October 16, 2019. For more information, please check our media invitation (in French only).

Three steps to protect yourself
Drop, Cover (under solid piece of furniture) and Hold On! These are the three steps to take in case of a quake, and the virtual reality experience shows how relevant they are.

In fact, these steps are practiced during the Great ShakeOut, an international drill held every year. There is still time to register free of charge on line to take part in this simulation on October 17, at 10.17 a.m.

* SOM Inc. poll carried out for Insurance Bureau of Canada, October 2019
** Earthquake coverage is added to the home insurance policy under an endorsement.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada, which groups the majority of Canada’s P&C insurers, offers various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when purchasing car or home insurance, or making a claim. For all other information, go to our website at

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

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The Great British Columbia ShakeOut is tomorrow; are you ready?

The Great British Columbia ShakeOut is tomorrow; are you ready?

Be part of Canada’s largest earthquake drill during 2019, Great British Columbia ShakeOut.

“Drop, Cover and Hold On”

While specific earthquake hazards depend on your location, British Columbia is at a high risk of earthquake damage in relation to the rest of Canada. This event is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safe during big earthquakes and to encourage everyone to review and update emergency preparedness plans.

Following the drill, spokespeople will be available for interviews with the media.


Thursday, October 17, 2019


9:30 a.m. PDT (Media are encouraged to arrive no later than 9:15 a.m.)
Speeches begin at 9:30; Drill begins at 10:00 a.m.


Irvine Elementary School, 3862 Wellington Street, Port Coquitlam, BC


-Naomi Yamamoto, President, BC Earthquake Alliance

-Hon. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, BC

-Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Media outlets are encouraged to help British Columbians participate in the drill by airing the drill instructions found at this link at 10:17 am on October 17th.

About ShakeOut BC
ShakeOut BC earthquake drills help people at home, school and work practice how to be safe during an earthquake and provide an opportunity for everyone to improve their overall preparedness. By participating, you, your family, your co-workers and millions of others will be better prepared to survive and recover quickly following an earthquake. As of today, 61 million people worldwide are registered to participate in the October 17th drill, including more than 750,000 British Columbians. Last year over 910,000 British Columbians participated.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

If you require more information, spokespeople from IBC and the Great BC ShakeOut are available.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Steve Kee, Director, External Communications, Insurance Bureau of Canada, 416-841-5669,

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If my e-scooter hits a pedestrian, am I covered by insurance?

We got e-scooters in Calgary this summer. They’re fun, but they go faster than you think. They also get left in the middle of the sidewalk, nobody wears a helmet and I’ve seen people get out of the bar and hop on them. I’m wondering what happens if one of them hits a pedestrian. Do they have insurance? – Ian, Calgary

If you hit somebody on a shared scooter, you might be left on your own to cover the damages.

“I think there’s no question that if you’re on a scooter and you injure somebody through your own negligence, you’ll be liable for that accident and that injury,” says Fred Litwiniuk, a Calgary-based personal injury lawyer.

Several Canadian cities, including Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal, are running pilots allowing dockless e-scooters – electric scooters that you rent by-the-minute through an app and leave them when you’re done – in public spaces. In Calgary alone, there have been more than 675,000 trips so far since the pilot started in July.

When it comes to insurance coverage, Bird Canada chief executive officer Stewart Lyons said that the company is “heavily insured.” Bird, along with Lime, are the two e-scooter companies taking part in the Calgary and Edmonton pilots.

“In Canadian cities, municipal insurance requirements are five times more than the typical U.S. city,” Lyons said in an e-mail. Calgary in particular requires a minimum of $10-million in commercial liability insurance for injury, death and liability.

But that insurance doesn’t necessarily cover riders if they hurt someone – just the company and the city.

“With respect to the rider, it’s no difference if they have an accident on their personal bicycle, while on a skateboard, or even while running,” Lyons said. “If the rider is negligent, then they are negligent – and that doesn’t change just because they are on a scooter.”

By contrast, Lime said that riders and anyone they hit would be covered by its insurance, although the company also declined to comment further on the details of the policy or the amount of coverage included. The company said that anyone wanting to make a claim would have to call Lime customer service.

Lime’s user agreement, however, states: “You are responsible for any harm you cause to other people or property (unless something we did or didn’t do was the actual cause of such harm).”

So, you could be on the hook if you hit somebody, they’re badly injured and it can be proved that you were at fault.

“It’s probably going to take some legal actions in the court to figure out who’s paying for these accidents,” Litwiniuk says. “If somebody can’t work for a period of time or has a rehabilitating brain or spinal injury and you can’t pay, then they could be left in the cold.”


If your homeowner’s insurance includes liability, you may be covered if you hit someone on an e-scooter. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company to see whether you’re covered before taking a scooter out.

In the three months since the pilot launched in Calgary, there have been 541 emergency room visits involving e-scooters.

The “overwhelming” majority of those were riders and not bystanders, says Dr. Eddy Lang, a Calgary emergency-room doctor.

“We’re seeing the whole gamut of things: fractures, lacerations, head trauma,” Lang says. “It’s kind of like what we used to see when roller-blading was popular.”

Ten per cent of the injuries were serious enough to require an ambulance, Lang says.

The e-scooters have a top speed of 20-25 kilometres an hour. In Calgary, they’re allowed on sidewalks. In the other Canadian cities, they’re not. Helmets are not legally required. But e-scooters do count as motor vehicles under Canada’s Criminal Code, so you could face impaired driving charges if you’re caught riding one with a blood alcohol level above .08.

While there have been pilots on private property in Waterloo and Toronto, neither are on the scale of the proposed a five-year pilot in Ontario, which would allow e-scooters to go everywhere bikes are allowed.

But before that happens, the questions around liability need to be clearly answered, says Nick Smith, a personal injury lawyer with Oatley Vigmond in Toronto.

“Some cities are eager to get these things on the road without understanding what the fallout will be,” Smith says. “Regulations need to be in place and clearly delineated.”


The Globe and Mail

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