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July 22, 2019

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CEA Governing Board expands policyholder eligibility for seismic retrofit grants

Thousands of CEA policyholders eligible to receive $3,000 to strengthen houses as part of CEA’s Brace + Bolt program; receive discounts on earthquake insurance premiums

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) Governing Board voted unanimously to offer up to a $3,000 retrofit grant, to approximately 30,000 CEA policyholders as part of CEA’s existing Brace + Bolt program. Previously, 12,000 CEA policyholders were eligible to apply for this retrofit grant, launched earlier this year.

Beginning July 1, eligible CEA policyholders can receive up to a 25% discount on their CEA earthquake insurance premium when they retrofit their house to modern building codes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, represented by Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci; State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara; and State Treasurer Fiona Ma are the three voting members of the CEA Governing Board.

“Retrofitting your home is a simple step to take in making your life more disaster resilient and could save you enormous hardship,” said Director Ghilarducci. “Reducing the chance of a house sliding off its foundation during an earthquake, while at the same time lowering the cost of earthquake insurance for the homeowner, is a great outcome.”

“Californians face the reality that an earthquake could strike at any moment,” said Commissioner Lara. “Preparation and mitigation will be critical to the millions of Californians living in residences that are not built to withstand a significant quake. This successful retrofitting program will help thousands of CEA policyholders make their homes more secure and their earthquake insurance more affordable.”

Expanded eligibility criteria offers relief to CEA policyholders with premium increases

Glenn Pomeroy, CEA’s Chief Executive Officer, noted that, starting July 1, 2019, premiums will be lower for about 75% of CEA policyholders, while 25% of CEA policyholders will see a premium increase. Premium increases are a result of a number of rating factors, including recent scientific findings that show increased earthquake risk in certain areas; rising construction costs; and greater recognition of certain construction factors that contribute to damage, such as the type of roof and foundation.

“We want to help our most at-risk homeowners reduce their risk, so they can increase the safety of their home while lowering their earthquake insurance premium,” Pomeroy said.

The CEA Brace + Bolt program will provide up to $3,000 to 3,500 eligible policyholders who sign up for this program on a first-come, first-served basis and complete a code-compliant retrofit. If more policyholders sign up, CEA will seek additional funding for the program.

“All CEA policyholders benefit when an older insured house is seismically retrofitted,” said Pomeroy. “When we reduce the chance of one of our homes being completely destroyed or badly damaged in an earthquake, we reduce the risk of loss for our entire portfolio. We also reduce the risk of damage to neighboring homes that could be affected if a vulnerable house were to topple off its foundation. Everyone wins.”

About CEA

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss. Learn more at Earthquake​Authority.com​​.

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