building contractor with experienceQuestion: I own an older home in Torrance and have been considering getting earthquake insurance. A friend told me that if I was to retro-fit my home I could get earthquake insurance at a discounted premium. What is this all about?

Answer: Here we are dealing with the subject of: Earthquake Retrofitting which includes house bolting, Foundation bolting and wall bracing.

 Retrofit:  It means, to install, fit, or adapt (a device or system) for use with something older…Like an older home.

The primary purpose of earthquake retrofitting is to keep your home from being displaced from its concrete foundation — making the building safer and less prone to major structural damage during an earthquake. Existing homes need to be retrofitted because our understanding of the effects of earthquakes as well as construction techniques have improved after the homes were built.

Your friend is correct, most earthquake insurance companies offers a discount of up to 20 percent on your premium, for a properly retrofitted older home.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) provides most earthquake insurance in California. You cannot buy earthquake insurance directly from the CEA. But you can buy it from insurance companies that are members of CEA. Starting January 1, 2016, policyholders owning houses built before 1979 can qualify for a premium discount of up to 20 percent.

The average cost for retrofitting is between $3000 to $7000 depending on existing conditions of your home.

Hope that helps!

Dave Silva/GC

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