Agent

Putting a price on seismic retrofits

Contractor's $4,000 estimate raises red flag

Q: I'd like to ask if it's worth the money to do an earthquake upgrade on my 1953 ranch house. I've lost earthquake insurance coverage with two companies, and wonder if I should just do without, switch insurance again to a company that will cover my house for earthquakes as is, or bite the bullet and do the upgrade for about $2,800 for the insurance standard, up to more than $4,000 for extras. I'm not sure how long I'll be in the house, though I have no plans to move at this time. I have invested in many upgrades including new kitchen, bathrooms, roof, deck and windows. The house is my main asset, and safety in an earthquake is another issue. By the way, only one contractor of three went under the house to look around before making up a bid. --Amy R. A: There are two things to consider with improvements such as seismic retrofits. The first is safety. I think anything homeowners do to make their home a safer place to live for themselves and their family, and for the benefi...