Is Earthquake Insurance available in a condominium?

By:
Eric Castongia
Broker Associate

Is earthquake insurance the right thing for you?

The anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake is coming up this Saturday, May 17th, 2015.  It’s a time of heightened awareness regarding earthquakes and usually pushes people to consider earthquake insurance and whether it makes sense for them.  Getting it for your home is a pretty easy thing to do, but what if you want it for your condo?  That’s the dilema for many condo owners.  Most (in San Francisco at least) home owners associations do not have earthquake insurance covering the condo common areas and buildings because it’s expensive, which would reflect itself in higher monthly home owners association fees.

I have had clients in the past who, at least initially, refused to look at condo buildings that did not have earthquake insurance-unfortunately, that limits the pool of available buildings.  In the end, you can 1) accept the buildings there are with earthquake insurance; 2) not buy a condo; 3) buy in a newer construction building up to current code and hope for the best; or 4) get over it and take a chance.  The following article was written in May of 2010, but it’s timeless in it’s message-I’ve had this same conversation with clients since I got into real estate in the mid-90’s.

Condo owners on shaky ground-San Francisco Chronicle