Earthquake Insurance For Condos

While all condo buildings are required to have general hazard/liability insurance, no condo association is required to have earthquake insurance. However, many buildings in San Francisco do offer it, and below are the buildings we know that pay for insurance that insures against earthquakes.

Disclaimer: This list is based on a search of published building amenities and doesn’t include smaller buildings that don’t have a page on our site. The HOA may choose to adjust their insurance coverages at any time based upon a vote of the building owners. This map is not definitive, is subject to errors or omissions, and you should not rely on it without doing additional research. But we hope you enjoy it. 

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Earthquakes!

Insurance of any type in a condo building is a collective HOA decision, not an individual decision. Your HO-6 policy will insure your contents and personal property, and you may be able to add an earthquake and additional riders to your policy. Remember that HO-6 policies only insure your “walls-in”ownership.

Individuals can’t insure the structure or any portion of the structure with any type of insurance! It’s an all or nothing HOA decision, and because of the impact on monthly dues, most HOAs in SF choose not to insure against earthquakes.

While it is generally affordable and commonplace/required to insure against the hazards of fire, flood, hurricane or tornado damage, earthquake insurance is not a required insurance in California. While it is available in California, it is also commonly described as expensive with a high deductible. Earthquakes are (for a human lifespan) relatively rare and completely unpredictable. I don’t know if that alters the risk calculation or the cost, but for whatever reason most Californians choose not to insure for this hazard.

In condo buildings, individual owners pay dues into a Homeowner’s Operation Association (HOA) account, a portion of which are used to cover the hazard/liability/fire insurance on everything the HOA owns and is responsible for: the building structure, common areas, and everything but the “walls-in” portion of the condominium which is individually owned. Condo building policies are commercial policies issued to a commercial entity, in this case the HOA.

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