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Home > Insurance Policies > Premium Discounts

How to Qualify for an Earthquake Insurance Premium Discount

CEA offers earthquake insurance premium discounts for older houses that have been retrofitted to better withstand earthquakes.

What is a retrofit? A retrofit, sometimes called a seismic retrofit, involves strengthening your house to make it more resistant to earthquakes.

We also offer a discount for mobilehomes that have been reinforced or built to better withstand earthquakes.

Does your house or mobilehome qualify for a CEA premium discount?

Discounts for single-family homes:

You may be eligible to receive up to a 25% discount on your CEA earthquake insurance premium if your house:

  • Was built before 1980,
  • Is wood-frame construction,
  • Is on a raised foundation or other foundation type that is not entirely slab, and
  • Has been seismically retrofitted in accordance with California standards.*

Special documentation of your completed and verified retrofit must be sent to your residential insurer in order to receive the discount. See the chart below to learn how to get a Hazard Reduction Discount.

Homeowners: how to Get Your Policy Premium Discount

Foundation Type Year Built Required Documentation
1940 - 1979 1939 or earlier
Raised Foundation 20% discount 25% discount Complete and submit a CEA Earthquake Insurance Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form (DRV form) that has been signed by a civil or structural engineer or a licensed contractor, or provides a valid Brace + Bolt verification number.
Other
(non-slab) Foundation
10% discount 15% discount Complete and submit a CEA Earthquake Insurance Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form (DRV form) that has been signed by a civil or structural engineer or a licensed contractor, or provides a valid Brace + Bolt verification number.

If your house already has a seismic retrofit

If your house already has been properly retrofitted, work with an Inspection Professional (contractor or a structural engineer) to verify your retrofit. We have created a directory for your convenience to help you choose and hire an Inspection Professional in your area.

Work with your Inspection Professional to fill out the CEA Earthquake Insurance – Dwelling Retrofit Verification (DRV) form (PDF) and submit it to your residential insurer. The instructions below will aid your Inspection Professional in filling out the DRV form.

Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form (PDF)
Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form Instructions (PDF)

Find an Inspection Professional

If your house still needs a seismic retrofit

Still need to complete your retrofit?

Learn more about qualifying house characteristics, or learn about seismic retrofitting and how houses are vulnerable to earthquake damage.

Ready to get started?

Once you hire a retrofit contractor or engineer to complete your retrofit, share the Dwelling Retrofit Verification Instructions (PDF) with them. These guidelines will aid them in filling out the DRV form and verifying that your seismic retrofit is complete. Then, submit the form to your residential insurer to receive your discount.

Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form (PDF)
Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form Instructions (PDF)

For more information about CEA’s Hazard Reduction Discount (HRD), please call (888) 423-2322 or contact your residential insurer.

And scroll down to learn how you may be eligible for $3,000 toward a seismic retrofit!

Discounts for mobilehomes:

You may receive a 21% discount on your CEA earthquake insurance premium if your mobilehome:

If your mobilehome has already been certified with an earthquake-resistant bracing system, submit a copy of a final inspection report that verifies prior issuance of a building permit and that the system and installation meet one of the eligibility criteria above to your residential insurer to obtain your premium discount.

To obtain the necessary forms to get your bracing system certified by HCD, or to learn more about installing an earthquake-resistant bracing system on your mobilehome, please contact HCD.

Get Help to Pay for a Retrofit

A brace and bolt retrofit may cost several thousand dollars—the actual price depends on your house.

We offer two brace + bolt programs to help!

* To qualify for a premium discount, a house with a seismic retrofit must have the following elements, either as originally built or a subsequent improvement or seismic retrofit:

  • If the house has cripple walls, they all must be braced in accordance with CEBC standards, as determined by an inspection conducted in accordance with the CEA Earthquake Insurance – Dwelling Retrofit Verification Form (PDF) Requirements; or the home has a valid Brace + Bolt verification number.​
  • If a house has a post-and-pier, post-and-beam, or unreinforced masonry brick/stone foundation, the dwelling must, in compliance with CEBC standards, have foundations that are placed continuously under all exterior bearing walls, and be anchored to the perimeter foundation. In addition, all cripple walls must be braced as noted above.
  • A water heater that is properly secured to the building frame, in accordance with Guidelines for Earthquake Bracing of Residential Water Heaters (California Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect).

Calculate Your Earthquake Insurance Premium