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About CEA Brace + Bolt

This program is now closed. CEA developed the CEA Brace + Bolt program (CEA BB) to help policyholders reduce the risk of damage to their older house during an earthquake with a code-compliant brace and bolt retrofit.

If you are already a participant of CEA BB, follow the steps below to complete your seismic retrofit.

Steps to a CEA BB Retrofit

After your registration is complete, and you've been accepted into the program, you will have 12 weeks to complete Phase One of the CEA BB retrofit. To stay on track, you may wish to follow this suggested timeline:



Gather the required pre-retrofit photos and documents.
Weeks 1-3 CEA BB Decide if you are going to be an owner/builder, or hire a contractor. If you are going to hire a contractor, schedule appointments.  If you are going to hire a contractor, schedule appointments
Weeks 4-6 CEA BB Meet with contractors, receive and review bids. Meet with contractors, receive and review bids.
Weeks 7-8 CEA BB Select a contractor and enter their contact information into your Policyholder Dashboard. Select a contractor and upload bid(s) to your dashboard. If you choose the higher bid, state the reason.
Weeks 9-11 CEA BB As a do-it-yourselfer, get an owner/builder permit, or have your contractor obtain a building permit (see Building Permit Required Information below). As a do-it-yourselfer get an owner/builder permit, or have your contractor obtain a building permit (see Building Permit inset for information that must be included on permit).
Week 12 CEA BB

Before your retrofit begins, you or your contractor must upload these items to your Policyholder Dashboard for approval:

  • Copy of your building permit (see below)
  • Three photos of house (one of the front and one of each side)*
  • Three photos of crawl space before retrofit*
  • Completed IRS W-9 form

*In .JPG file format and as specified in the Program Rules.

Building Permit Required Information:

  • Description of Work/Project Description that states “in accordance with” one of the following:
    • Chapter A3;
    • Standard Plan Set A;
    • Los Angeles Standard Plan Number One; or
    • Seismic retrofit per engineered plan.
  • City or County
  • Permit Number
  • Issue Date

NOTE: Building permit must be solely for the seismic retrofit work and may not include other work on the premise.

As a do-it-yourselfer get an owner/builder permit, or have your contractor obtain a building permit (see Building Permit inset for information that must be included on permit).


CEA BB will review your documents.


After you receive approval from CEA BB, your retrofit construction work may begin. You will have nine months from the day you registered for CEA BB to complete your retrofit.


After your retrofit is complete, gather final documentation and upload to your Policyholder Dashboard:
  • Three photos taken from same vantage point as ‘before’ photos of crawl space after retrofit*
  • Two photos of water heater bracing and strapping* (If water heater is tankless, two photos must show properly installed tankless water heater; no strapping necessary)
  • One photo showing access to crawl space including something to show scale*
  • Building permit with final inspection sign-off
  • If licensed contractor did the work, submit a contractor invoice that includes:
    • Business name, address, phone number and contractor license number and date work performed
    • Breakdown of costs by labor, materials, overhead and profit (see Program Rules for complete details)
  • If you are a do-it-yourselfer, provide receipts for the retrofit. Tools should be rented, not purchased, as specified in the Program Rules—the value of your labor is not a recoverable cost
*In JPG format and as specified in the Program Rules.


After your final documents are approved and your payment is issued, your CEA Earthquake Insurance Dwelling Retrofit Verification form will be available on your Policyholder Dashboard. Send it to your home insurance company to receive a discount on your earthquake insurance premium.

CEA Brace + Bolt Program FAQs

Q. Why should I retrofit my house?

A. California has two-thirds of our nation's earthquake risk. Structures that lack adequate sill plate bolting and cripple-wall bracing are more susceptible to earthquake damage.

The frames of older houses are often not bolted to their foundations, and their cripple walls may lack bracing. Houses without adequate bolting and bracing can slide or topple off their foundation during an earthquake, requiring potentially very expensive repairs. But this serious damage can be prevented with a proper seismic retrofit.

You may be eligible for financial help to pay for your house's retrofit. Learn more about our program—Earthquake Brace + Bolt—that offer grants of up to $3,000 to help pay for a seismic retrofit.

CEA policyholders with properly retrofitted houses are eligible for a discount of up to 25% off your CEA policy premium.

Q. Will a seismic retrofit ‘earthquake-proof’ my house?
A. There is no such thing as an “earthquake-proof structure.” But there are straightforward measures that will likely reduce the potential for (or severity of) earthquake damage. The California Existing Building Code (CEBC) states that its retrofit provisions are "minimum standards intended to improve the seismic performance of residential buildings; however, they will not necessarily prevent earthquake damage."
Q. How much of a discount can I get on my CEA policy premium if I’ve retrofit my house?
A. If your home has been properly retrofitted, you can receive up to 25% off of your CEA policy premium. Learn more about how to qualify for this Hazard Reduction Discount.

Calculate Your Earthquake Insurance Premium