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Subsidence, heave, landslip, settlement

Excessive ground movement can lead to distortion and damage to structures, services and infrastructure. There are four main types of movement that can affect your home.

Subsidence, heave, landslip, settlement

Subsidence, heave, landslip, settlement

Subsidence, heave, landslip, settlement

The four types, along with a very brief definition of each, is as below:

Subsidence – the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land.

Heave – a sideways displacement of an area of land.

Landslip – a small movement of soil and rocks down a slope.

Settlement – the vertical movement of the ground, generally caused be changes in stresses within the earth.

Although all differ from each other, they are all considered as types of ground movement that can cause damage to a property, and are often talked about in the same way when it comes to discussing insurance.

Settlement is generally the “odd-one-out” from the list, as it is often limited to the first couple of years when a structure is built, either from an extension to an existing building, or a completely new build. Subsidence, heave and landslip are all more likely to occur at different times, and are more heavily influenced by changes in environment and the conditions that the property is surrounded by.

How is my house damaged?

A majority of homes are built to be rigid and solid, allowing them to be kept wind and weathertight, and protect you and your family from the elements, and a typical house will usually be built with brick, stone or concrete walls, joined together with mortar. While the ground that the house is built on has the ability to move, especially in areas with clay soil, the property itself is designed to stay in place. In extreme cases, this can cause the house to be “pulled away” in the case of subsidence or heave, or “pushed in on itself” in the case of heave, until cracks begin to appear. Subsidence, heave, landslip, settlement, or any other form of ground movement are the main causes of cracks that appear in a home.

How does it affect me?

If you are in a clay soil area in particular, it is worth keeping in mind that moisture levels in the soil can have a big impact. Trees, shrubs, and damaged drainage can all be responsible for bringing about damage to houses in these areas. You may want to consider asking a tree surgeon to inspect your trees and advise as to whether they will affect you in the future, or have your drains tested by CCTV on a regular basis to make sure they aren’t damaged.

Please note that if a property has suffered from subsidence, heave, landslip, settlement or otherwise in the past, then it is a requirement to disclose the information to any potential new insurance companies as you obtain quotations from them.

As specialists in subsidence insurance, GSI Insurance Services (S0uthern) Ltd. are well positioned to assist you if your property has ever been affected by subsidence, heave, landslip or settlement, with a number of discounts agreed with specialist insurers in the market.

Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 or click Get a Quote to fill in our online form.

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Why not read one of our other subsidence insurance guides?

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