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Home > Insurance Policies > Condominium

California Condo-Unit Owners Earthquake Insurance Policies

young couple in condo facing each otherCEA’s condo unit earthquake insurance provides affordable and flexible earthquake coverage. Earthquake damage to the inside of your home is not covered by your residential insurance policy. To protect your investment in your condo unit and belongings, you need a separate earthquake policy.

With our not-for-profit mission, we set rates based on the best available science and research, not profit. Choose deductibles from 5%-25%.

Talk to your home insurance agent about CEA earthquake coverage choices to fit your needs and budget.

How to Buy a Policy

Does Condo-Unit Insurance Cover Earthquakes?

Your earthquake loss isn’t covered by standard condo-unit or HOA insurance.

In California, your condo-unit policy does not cover damages from the shaking by an earthquake. A separate condo-unit earthquake insurance policy is required to cover the effects of a quake.

Without an earthquake policy, you will be responsible to replace and repair the damage to the inside of your unit including appliances, flooring, walls, electronics, furniture, clothing and sporting equipment.

You will also be responsible for additional expenses if you need to move to temporary housing while your building or unit is under repair. Purchase condo unit earthquake insurance protection today!

CEA condo-unit coverage options*

Select among our coverage and deductible options. Consider your condo unit earthquake insurance needs and budget. Our rates are set by the latest science and research, not profit. More than 1 million homeowners have chosen CEA’s California earthquake policies.

Building Property -

Building Property

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If your HOA has earthquake insurance, it covers only the outside of your condominium building and common areas. Individual condo-unit owners earthquake policies cover the contents inside the condo unit, not the structure itself. Building Property coverage helps you repair interior walls, flooring, fixtures and windows when the inside of your condo unit is damaged by an earthquake.
Personal Property -

Personal Property

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Personal property coverage protects your belongings inside your condo unit. This includes furniture, appliances, clothing, sporting goods, and electronics that are damaged or destroyed in the event of an earthquake. Household items damaged in an earthquake may be repaired or replaced under this coverage.
Loss of Use -

Loss of Use

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When there is quake damage to your condominium building or condo unit, a civil authority may restrict access to your building or condo unit. Loss of Use covers the cost for additional living expenses if you must live outside your home. Keep in mind you may be still paying your mortgage while in temporary rental housing.
Loss of Use not only covers temporary rent but also food, moving, and storage expenses. Our coverage never has a deductible or time limit.
Loss Assessment -

Loss Assessment

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Loss Assessment coverage helps pay your share of certain additional assessments levied by your HOA on its members for earthquake-damage repairs or to pay a master-earthquake policy deductible. This coverage can help with charges for repairs to the exterior of your condo development or certain common areas, as well as building code upgrades.
Building Code Upgrades -

Building Code Upgrades

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Older condo units that are damaged by an earthquake may need upgraded components such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems to pass local and state building inspections. Rebuilding after a devastating earthquake generally must be done to current building-code standards.
Emergency Repairs -

Emergency Repairs

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Emergency and necessary repairs may be needed after an earthquake to help protect your condo unit and your family’s safety following earthquakes or aftershocks, or to prevent rain damage that may occur after a major earthquake. This could include labor and materials needed to board up damaged windows or remove broken glass from furniture.
Breakables -

Breakables

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This optional coverage helps you replace your wedding china, glassware, crystal, china, ceramic, pottery, porcelain, or marble items that are broken because of an earthquake.

learn more about condominium Policy Coverage

Get more details about our condo policy coverages and deductibles.

Download a ​Condo Unit Owners Earthquake Insurance Brochure​ (PDF) or order policy brochures​ online​.

Do I Need Earthquake Insurance?

Your condo unit may be one of your largest financial assets. Your HOA may have a policy that only covers the outside of your building’s structures and windows. You will be responsible for replacing and repairing damage to the interior of your unit, your appliances, and valuables without separate condo unit earthquake insurance.

Guard your nest egg against a devastating shaking event with CEA condo unit earthquake insurance. Get earthquake coverage today!

How Expensive is Earthquake Insurance?

We have a variety of options that allow you to select the CEA coverage that fits your budget. Our rates are based on science, not profit. For the best choice of earthquake policies for condo units, choose CEA deductibles that range from 5%-25%.

Where to Buy Earthquake Insurance

Contact your home insurance agent today to discuss adding a separate CEA earthquake policy to your condo unit residential policy.

We work with 25 participating residential insurers in California to make buying earthquake coverage easy. Add a policy today. You don’t need to wait until your homeowner policy comes up for renewal.

Read Your CEA Policy Carefully

*We encourage you to read your entire CEA policy—and its policy declarations page—to understand your coverages and how they work. Exclusions and special limits apply. All terms and conditions of CEA insurance coverage are found in the CEA insurance-policy form. Refer to a sample policy, below. 

Condo Unit Policy Sample (PDF)
Optional Endorsement - Coverage For Breakables (PDF)

Condo-Unit Owners Insurance FAQs

We’ve gathered some frequently asked questions from condo-unit owners to help you understand how a CEA policy can help you recover from the next damaging earthquake.
Q. Why do I need earthquake insurance?
A. In California, your residential insurance policy doesn’t cover your home or your belongings against earthquakes. If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you’re not covered for earthquake damage or any additional costs needed to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Contact your residential insurer today to get the earthquake insurance you need.
Q. How much does a CEA earthquake insurance policy cost?
A. The cost of your policy depends on many factors such as the earthquake risk where you live and the coverages and deductibles you choose. CEA offers expanded coverage choices as well as more deductible options to help you find a policy that best meets your needs and budget. Use our Premium Calculator for a free estimate.
Q. How does CEA’s deductible work? Do I have to pay the deductible before receiving a payment?
A. You do not pay your deductible out-of-pocket. The deductible is subtracted from your covered damage so you don’t have to pay any of the deductible up front to receive a claim payment. 
Q. Where can I buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy?
A. You can buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy through one of our participating residential insurance companies. CEA does not offer stand-alone policies. Learn more about how to buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy.
Q: I don't have earthquake insurance. Can I buy a new CEA policy after an earthquake?

A: Yes. CEA has never imposed a moratorium on selling new earthquake insurance policies following any earthquake, even in the areas directly affected by the earthquake.*

If you do choose to purchase a new CEA earthquake insurance policy shortly after the occurrence of an earthquake in your area, and if there are aftershocks or other quakes that are related to that same earthquake, then you should be aware that your new CEA policy will not cover losses from these aftershocks or other related ground-shaking that occurs within 15 days (360 hours) after that earthquake, though would cover damage from completely unrelated earthquakes that may occur immediately after you purchase your policy. That original earthquake, together with all related shaking that occurs within 15 days, are collectively referred to as the "seismic event" in the CEA policy. In other words, the "seismic event" commences upon the initial earthquake, and all earthquakes or aftershocks that occur within the 360 hours (15 days) immediately following the initial earthquake are considered for purposes of this policy to be part of the same "seismic event."

For a loss to be covered under a CEA policy, both the original earthquake that caused the loss (to your property or belongings) and the 15-day "seismic event" that the earthquake is part of must commence during the policy period.

If, however, another earthquake occurs after the new policy goes into effect, and that earthquake is not seismically related to the earlier earthquake (not part of the earlier “seismic event”), then your losses from this new earthquake would be covered, even if they occurred immediately after the effective date of the policy, because those losses would arise from a different seismic event.

If you are a current policyholder and have experienced damage from a covered seismic event, and another quake occurs as part of the same event (for example, with the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck and the next day a 7.1 magnitude struck, as part of the same seismic event), our 360-hour definition allows our policyholders to combine all the damage to meet their deductible. In other words, you do not need to meet your deductible each time; you only need to meet it once.

*It is possible, however, that one or more CEA participating insurers (who sell and service our policies), as well as other insurance companies, may declare a moratorium on new sales of their own insurance policies (e.g., homeowners, condominium owners, or renters insurance that covers the risk of fire) in the affected area after an earthquake or other disaster, so if you reside in an area that has been affected by a recent earthquake and are interested in purchasing homeowners or other property insurance, we recommend you contact the property insurer to see if they have issued a moratorium on the policy types they offer.

Q. What are my deductible options?
A. You can choose coverage deductibles of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25%. 
Q. How does a Condo policy pay out for building and loss of use?

A. Building Property, an optional coverage, covers earthquake damage to built-in features of the dwelling such as appliances, fixtures, and wall-to-wall carpeting, and the policyholder can select a limit of up to $100,000 for that coverage. Optional Loss Assessment coverage, on the other hand, helps pay your share of certain assessments levied by your HOA on its members for earthquake-damage repairs or to pay a master-policy deductible, and you may select a limit of up to $100,000 for that coverage as well. Both coverages are subject to the chosen deductible of 5% - 25% of the coverage limit.

Loss of Use coverage—optional coverage that is combined with Personal Property coverage as a package—pays for additional living expenses if you must live outside of your home because of earthquake damage to your home or as directed by a civil authority following an earthquake. This coverage never has a deductible.

Q. What happens if somebody lives in a condo, and after a large quake the HOA does not have the funds to rebuild the structures they are responsible for (walls/roof....)?

A. It is important for HOAs to have earthquake insurance for the Association. If they do not, however, and the HOA decides not to rebuild after an earthquake, if you are a CEA policyholder, you can still receive a claim settlement for your covered losses.

For CEA condo policyholders who purchase optional Loss Assessment and whose HOA either cannot afford to or chooses not to repair damage to common property, rendering the policyholder’s dwelling uninhabitable, the policy covers the reduction in value of the policyholder’s interest in the condo, up to the policy limits and subject to the deductible for Loss Assessment. (Loss Assessment coverage is subject to exclusions for certain categories of property and losses, so it is important to read and understand that coverage.)

 And remember that Loss of Use, which covers additional living expenses if you must live outside of your home because of earthquake damage or as directed by a civil authority, never has a deductible. This coverage can be purchased with limits as high as $100,000.

Calculate Your Earthquake Insurance Premium