This paper outlines earthquake risk in eastern Canada and the relatively low level of earthquake awareness in the region surroung the cities of Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. As a result, take up of earthquake insurance is low and should a major earthquake strike, losses will have to be shouldered by households themselves and the government. Insurance products for homeowners are readily available, and at moderate prices compared to other insurance products. For an individual household, these products can mitigate bankruptcy risk very effectively, and reduce dependency on governmental emergency funds.
To improve resilience, there needs to be better understanding of earthquake risk, particularly amongst citizens of urban centres located in seismic areas. Effort is also needed to build increased awareness of the benefits of insurance as a loss absorber in the event of major disasters. Here the insurance industry, with its capital and risk assessment know-how, can make a valuable contribution.