DAILY NEWS Mar 12, 2014 10:54 AM - 0 comments

IBC applauds BC government's initiative to prepare for "catastrophic seismic event"

Insurance industry suggests supply chain could suffer from lack of preparation

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VANCOUVER, B. C.--The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has applauded today's announcement by the Government of British Columbia for initiating a consultation and public education campaign on all aspects of earthquake preparedness and response.

"The Property & Casualty insurance industry agrees that it's time for regional and national conversations on how to prepare for a mega-earthquake, which could happen at any time," said Bill Adams, IBC's Vice President, Western and Pacific. "We look forward to participating in and supporting this important initiative," he added.

Last October, IBC released the results of a study it commissioned on the impact of two possible major seismic events, one in British Columbia and the other in eastern Canada. The western scenario shows the potential effect of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the west coast. Overall economic losses in that scenario could total almost $75 billion.

"Events of this magnitude have a domino effect on the economy triggered by property damage, supply chain interruption, loss of services, infrastructure failure and business interruption," Adams said. "If a mega-earthquake should strike in a densely populated area, the insurance industry would play a key role in the recovery. That's why the industry has made preparing Canada for an earthquake one of its strategic priorities."

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