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What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

One of the most commonly requested documents by insurers dealing with subsidence insurance is the Certificate of Structural Adequacy (COSA)

What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

The Certificate of Structural Adequacy is a document that is issued after an insurance claim has finished, and is produced by the loss adjuster that handled the claim on behalf of the insurance company.

This means that if the subsidence, heave, landslip or settlement was dealt with away from an insurance claim, it is unlikely that there will be a Certificate of Structural Adequacy available.

It is a summary of the events that took place following a bout of subsidence, condensed into usually one to four pages. Some of the main details that you can expect to see is the date of inspection, the issue date of the certificate itself, the cause of the movement, what repairs were carried out, and who did the work.

It does not guarantee any work, or offer any assurances that the property isn’t going to move again in future.

Is it useful to me?

In short – Yes. It is a widely accepted document, and is likely to help you obtain terms from a large number of specialist subsidence insurers. If you are buying a property with previous subsidence, it is worth asking your agent to obtain a copy if there is one, and getting a digital copy ready to go will make it easy to forward to insurers who will try to offer quotes for you in the future.

The Certificate of Structural Adequacy is not the be-all-and-end-all and further documentation may be required depending on the individual situation of the building. If the property has suffered more than once, or if the movement was recent, such as within the last three years, then it may not be enough in itself, but is a great starting point when you’re talking about potential quotations.

What if I don’t have a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

There may be times when a Certificate of Structural Adequacy is not available, if a previous owner didn’t give it to you, or the movement was long enough ago that any relevant documentation may have been misplaced or destroyed. There are other options available if this is the case:

  • If you know the name of the insurance company or the loss adjuster involved you could contact them and ask for a new copy
  • If the subsidence, heave or landslip occurred over 10 years ago you may still be able to get terms. If it is over 15 years ago, or 25 years ago, it may open up even more options. Please note that insurers change their criteria on a regular basis, so it’s worth getting as many documents as you can for future.
  • You could have a surveyor carry out a survey but please note there are different reports available, with a vast difference in cost. Before committing to anything, it is worth getting advice from an insurer before you pay out on something that won’t help you.
  • Arrange a policy with a subsidence exclusion if you feel confident in the property, and don’t mind going without cover. It is normally a requirement to cover the subsidence peril if you have a mortgage, so please check with them before doing this.
  • Speak to a specialist insurance company who may be able to help you navigate your stack of documents to find something that will help you

GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd

We are a subsidence insurance specialist with a wealth of experience in dealing with properties that have suffered previous subsidence. Whether you have a Certificate of Structural Adequacy or not, we have the expertise to find you appropriate cover at an affordable cost. We can also point you in the right direction in respect of your documentation so that we can approach as many of our options as possible.

Our advisors deal with subsidence insurance every day, and will be on hand to assist you.

Give us a call on 0800 612 9376, or fill in an online quote on our website to get the ball rolling!

Need some more information?

Why not read one of our other subsidence insurance guides?

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