California Earthquake Authority Board Expands Policyholder Eligibility for Retrofit Grants

July 22, 2019

The governing board of the California Earthquake Authority has voted to increase the number of policyholders eligible for a $3,000 retrofit grant.

The CEA board voted to make the grant available to roughly 30,000 CEA policyholders as part of CEA’s existing Brace + Bolt program. Previously, 12,000 CEA policyholders were eligible to apply for the retrofit grant, which was launched earlier this year.

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

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

Glenn Pomeroy, CEA’s CEO, noted that, starting July 1, premiums will be lower for about 75% of CEA policyholders, while 25 percent 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 in a statement. “All CEA policyholders benefit when an older insured house is seismically retrofitted. 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.”

The CEA is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance.

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