Earthquakes & What You Can Do As a Homeowner

Posted On: December 11, 2021
By: Matt Fuller

The What
Earthquakes!!! Earthquake insurance is available in California, and it is not required for any purchaser of a single family or residential home in San Francisco. The policies are often described as expensive (they are) and they are also generally written with a high deductible (20%-ish is common).

Earthquakes are (for a human lifespan) relatively rare and completely unpredictable. Maybe that is just a random Matt observation, but for whatever reason most Californians don’t have earthquake insurance.

The Why
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.

Earthquake insurance in a condo building is a collective HOA decision, not an individual decision. While you may be able to insure your contents and personal property with an earthquake rider to your HO-6 policy. Individuals can’t insure the structure or any portion of the structure with earthquake 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.

In single family homes, you have the individual choice as the owner if you want to get earthquake insurance. It is not required by any governmental entity, and I’ve also never heard of a bank requiring it as a condition of a loan, unlike hazard insurance which is a typical loan condition.


The Where
Single family homes are everywhere in SF, mostly on the western and southern sides. Condos are also found all over SF, with the larger buildings mostly found in the central and eastern half of the city.

Disclaimer: This list is based on a search of published building amenities. An HOA may choose to start or stop earthquake insurance 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.


Building List of known buildings/developments/condo associations that include earthquake insurance on the building structure:
It may change at anytime, so please do additional research if this amenity is important to you as you evaluate a condo building. We have pages about condo buildings for over 235, but not all, condo associations and buildings in San Francisco. We have a page that dynamically lists the larger SF condo buildings with earthquake insurance on our site, but many of the buildings in the below list are smaller condo associations with less than 40 homes:

  • 1135 Francisco St
    1380 Greenwich St
    1655 Chestnut St
    1734 Bay St
    1930 Eddy St
    195 20th Ave
    1980 Grant Ave
    2185 Bush
    2200 Pacific Ave
    30 Miller Place
    301 – 501 Crescent Way
    3065 Clay Street
    333 Bush Street
    3501 Laguna St
    3615 Buchanan St
    3701 Divisadero Street
    455 Vallejo St
    5124 Diamond Heights Blvd
    Alamo Terrace
    Amancio Ergina Village
    Bellaire Tower
    Broadway Towers
    California Court
    Church Street Gardens
    Clinton Mews
    Diamond Heights Village
    Dolores Plaza
    Four Seasons Residences
    Golden Gateway Commons
    Golden Gateway Commons II
    Golden Gateway Commons III
    Goldmine Hill
    Gramercy Towers
    Harbor View Villas
    Kimball Park
    La Galleria
    Lake Merced Hill
    Landmark Condominiums
    Mandarin Tower Association
    Marina Green Condominiums
    Marquee Lofts
    Museum Tower Residences
    Nob Hill Court
    Ocean Beach
    Ocean Plaza
    Oceanview Village
    One Hills Plaza
    Opera Plaza
    Pacific Heights Towers
    Pacific House
    Parc Telegraph
    Parkview Commons
    Portside I & II
    Potrero Court
    Red Rock
    Red Rock II
    Ritz Carlton Residences
    San Francisco Grove
    Sutter Park
    Sutter Park West
    Telegraph Terrace
    The Amelia
    The Beacon
    The Brannan
    The Grant Lombard
    The Market Place
    The Woods/Clarendon Woods
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