Retrofitting to Reduce Earthquake Insurance

earthquake insurance

Probable maximum loss (PML) or now known as SEL and SUL is an important metric if you live or work in an earthquake zone. It’s a number that matters to insurance companies because it reflects the amount of damage a building might suffer from an earthquake. Here are reasons why a seismic retrofit to a commercial structure can help make earthquake insurance more affordable.

Assessing Your Building’s Safety

Regardless of the type of insurance policy your company holds, you can never lose sight of the fact that safety comes before costs when you are responsible for other lives. By getting a seismic retrofit you can make your building safer for all occupants, as well as lower insurance costs. In fact, you can see a return on investment from your retrofit project within six years. This strategy will lower the building’s PML, which insurers will recognize.

Buildings that require the most attention are those built in the twentieth century without as much concern about safety or adherence to structural codes. Sometimes it takes adding roof to wall connections for stronger support. Other strengthening systems added to retrofit a building include applying materials such as tube steel, gunite and column fiber wrapping.

Why a Seismic Retrofit Helps

Getting a seismic retrofit means you will be increasing the value of your building. Saunders Construction has plenty of experience renovating and rehabilitating a wide variety of structures. An old building can get a complete seismic retrofit and at the same time a full renovation could take placs which includes new mechanical and plumbing equipment. Adding fire sprinklers, skylights, windows and other building improvements can help make a big warehouse more prepared for a natural disaster.

Specialists will help you every step of the way from conceptualizing your retrofit to actual construction. Our experienced contractors will assess your property and point out what needs repairs or enhancements. Our team has worked on concrete structures, non-ductile concrete, soft story buildings, historical buildings and multi-family apartments as well as parking garages. The company has been in business for nearly four decades and has installed thousands of retrofits.

The key to seismic retrofitting is that once completed the building will be more resistant to seismic activity that occurs during earthquakes. Not only will it make employees feel more secure, it will reduce the risks of lawsuits, injuries and property damage.

Future Insurance Considerations

The future of earthquake insurance is uncertain, although overall costs will likely increase over the next decade. There may come a time when only buildings with low PML are even considered for earthquake insurance. Furthermore, lower PML values will attract more lenders to your business or buyers of your building. Contact us at Saunders Commercial Seismic Retrofit at our California, Washington or Oregon location to learn more about protecting your home as much as possible from earthquake damage.