Preparing for an Earthquake: Landlord & Renter Tips

Scientist estimate that there is a 63% chance that a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake will occur in the Bay Area within the next 30 years1. However, as most Californians know, San Francisco is not the only part of the state vulnerable to earthquake damage. So, as a residential Landlord or Tenant, what can you do to ensure you are prepared for the next Earthquake in your area?

Below are some tips from San Francisco’s Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) ‘Stay Safe’ series2:


  1. Identify whether or not your tenant has Earthquake Insurance (different than a Renters policy),
  2. Get your property assessed: know your geology, and identify potential Structural and Non-Structural (e.g. pipe breaks: water damage) losses

Renters / Tenants:

  1. Identify the safest place to be in your home during an event,
  2. Build an Earthquake Kit (Minimum: Food, Water, Extra-Cash),
  3. Develop a contingency plan (How will you get in touch with family?), and
  4. Purchase a Renters and Earthquake insurance policy

For landlords and tenants, it is important to note that an Earthquake policy is different than a renters’ policy – which covers common losses such as fire and theft. An Earthquake policy, covers losses specifically associated with an Earthquake. Moreover, an Earthquake policy is important, and should be purchased in addition to your renters’ policy, because it can aid with relocation costs, and help pay for rent in the event that your home is inhabitable after a quake due to a gas leak, or other structural damage.

Finally, if you are a landlord, and would like to get your home assessed, you can visit the Structural Engineers Association of California website,, to find an engineer in your area.

These lists are not all encompassing, however, we hope that they will at least get you started in thinking about how you and your family can be better prepared for the next Earthquake in your area.

Prospect General is a Managing General Insurance Agency located in La Jolla, California that focuses on specialty insurance products. To become appointed, or to learn more about Prospect General, or their current products: please visit their website at or contact Jorge Martinez, Director of Sales & Marketing, at (619) 597-1188.

  1. Applied Technology Council (ATC). “Here Today – Here Tomorrow: The Road to Earthquake Resilience in San Francisco: Potential Earthquake Impacts.” (2010): pg. 17.
  2. Stay Safe 5: Landlord and Renters Tips.