For most people, the purchase of a home is one of the biggest investments they’ll ever make, and it’s obvious that homeowners will want to protect their property with adequate insurance, both for financial reasons, as well as the wellbeing of their family.
But what happens if your home starts to suffer from subsidence, or it has had such problems in the past? Many insurance companies won’t provide cover for such liabilities – and if they do, you may be faced with expensive premiums, even if the subsidence has been properly dealt with.
Here at GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd, we specialise in non-standard insurance policies and we understand that every property is different. That’s why we work closely with our clients to find home insurance cover that suits their specific needs. We have a number of expert providers who will handle your enquiry on a case-by-case basis, ensuring you pay a fair amount.
What is subsidence?
Subsidence can mean a variety of things, depending on the location of your home and the geological factors that are present in your area, but the result is always the same: the ground under your home shrinks and lowers, causing weakened and damaged foundations.
One common cause of subsidence is large trees near your home. Their complex root structures can remove the moisture from the soil, causing the ground to contract.
Clay sub-soils can be problematic during times of drought, when all the moisture dries up. Meanwhile, in locations with sandy, gravelly or chalky soil, too much water going into the ground could potentially wash away the foundations.
In some areas, previous mining activity can lead to a subsidence problem, while old drains and collapsing culverts can also be issues.
While subsidence can seem like a homeowner’s worst nightmare, there are a number of signs to look out for in order to spot the problem early on.
These include the appearance or expansion of cracks in plasterwork and brickwork, windows and doors jamming for no apparent reason, ripples in wallpaper or warped walls not caused by damp. Although these symptoms don’t necessarily mean your home is suffering from subsidence – they are signs that experts may need to be called in.
Dealing with subsidence will depend on the cause of the problem. In some cases, the solution may be as simple as removing or cutting back trees or repairing pipework. For more serious situations, underpinning – an expensive process that involves strengthening and deepening the building’s foundations – may be necessary.
GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. have spent the last few years working hard to become a leading subsidence specialist in the industry. In order to help pass on some of our expert knowledge, we have created a Subsidence Guide, covering the basics such as what subsidence is and what causes it, right up to steps you can take to help reduce the chance of damage if you think you have a high risk property. You can view the guide by clicking HERE.
Protect your property with GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd
Many homes in the UK are considered to be at high risk for subsidence and whether your home has previously had a subsidence claim, or is simply in one of the areas considered to be at risk by insurance companies – such as Kent, London and the Midlands – you may find that you’re paying over the odds for your cover.
Indeed, if your subsidence insurance is costing you more than £400, GSI may be able to help you save money.
To find out more about the subsidence insurance available from GSI, or to discuss your situation with one of our insurance experts, get in touch or request an online quote. We’ll work with you to find subsidence insurance cover that suits your property’s requirements and we can also negotiate policies that exclude subsidence cover if you choose.