Buying a House in Earthquake Country, Part 2: Seismic Hazard Zones

When buying a house, you’ll want to know how future earthquakes might affect you, and which of the natural hazard disclosures to read closely. This is part two of a three-part series looking at what to consider when buying a house in earthquake country.

When there’s a house you’re serious about, you’ll receive a substantial disclosure packet. In part one of this series, we looked at the earthquake fault zone disclosure. Here, we’ll explore the seismic hazard zone disclosure, which examines the risk of liquefaction and landslides for a property.

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Buying a House in Earthquake Country: Fault Zones

Finding a house to buy is whirlwind of emotions. It’s important understand how future earthquakes might affect you, and which of the natural hazard disclosures to read closely. This is part one of a three-part series looking at the importance of location, location, location when buying a house in earthquake country.

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What Affects Earthquake Shaking?

When an earthquake strikes, the intensity of earthquake shaking determines the damage severity. In turn, the main factors affecting earthquake shaking intensity are earthquake depth, proximity to the fault, the underlying soil, and building characteristics—particularly height. Let’s take a look at the latter two (soil and buildings) and how they interact.

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Which Earthquakes Trigger A Jumpstart Payment?

If you had Jumpstart earthquake insurance 40 years ago, when would you have received a payment? Over the last 40 years, 16 earthquakes would have triggered a Jumpstart payment in California.  In other words, Jumpstart makes payments in about three earthquakes per decade.

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