Insurance Bureau of Canada calls for heightened cooperation to manage earthquake risk: Quakes near Queen Charlotte Islands reminder that B.C. is vulnerable



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada today called for the
creation of an ongoing working group between the insurance industry and the
B.C. government to ensure that British Columbians are protected as best as
possible against a major earthquake.
    Two strong quakes took place south of the Queen Charlotte Islands on
Saturday. They are a stark reminder that much of the Lower Mainland and
Vancouver Island are also seismically sensitive areas.
    Mark Yakabuski, President & Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Bureau of
Canada, said: "The property and casualty insurance industry and the government
need to work more closely together to review best practices in other
earthquake-prone zones around the world on an ongoing basis to make sure that
British Columbians benefit from the latest knowledge about managing earthquake
hazards."
    He added: "Methods to protect citizens from major earthquakes have
improved substantially around the world in recent years and we need to make
sure that B.C.'s policies reflect the best that is out there."
    Lindsay Olson, IBC's Vice-President, British Columbia, Saskatchewan &
Manitoba, said: "Part of this effort needs to focus on how best to disseminate
information to the public. IBC is already committed to public education on
earthquake risk and will be accelerating these efforts in the months to come.
    "It is estimated that a major earthquake in Vancouver would result in
damages of more than $30 billion," she added. "Of that amount, about
$6 billion would be insured damages. The exposure faced by B.C. residents is
huge and the insurance industry wants to work with the government to manage
this danger in the best possible way."

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the
property and casualty insurance industry. Its member companies provide nearly
95% of the private home, car and business insurance sold in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: James Geuzebroek, (416) 362-2031 ext. 4364


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