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Subsidence Insurance FAQs

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Subsidence Insurance FAQs

Subsidence Insurance FAQs

How widespread is the risk of subsidence?

There is little doubt that subsidence is one of the biggest fears of property owners in the UK – it may be difficult to detect and the cost of remedial works may be very costly.

Yet the problem is surprisingly widespread – according to the property group Landmark, subsidence gives rise to about the same number of insurance claims each year as flood damage.

What is subsidence?

At GSI Insurance, we recognise that subsidence may be caused by a number of different factors, identified in our brief guide to the problem:

  • soil shrinkage around the foundations of your property because of nearby frees and large shrubs;
  • adverse soil conditions – clay soil that shrinks during periods of drought or lighter, chalky soils which risk being washed away when rainfall is heavy;
  • old drains or culvert may have collapsed, soak and wash away foundations; or
  • past mining or excavation works in the neighbourhood may be responsible for undermining the buildings foundations.

Not only are the reasons for subsidence quite varied, but so too are the symptoms which might be apparent – cracks in walls, sticking or misshapen door or window frames, for instance.

Do I need subsidence insurance?

It might be clear that the risk of subsidence may vary from one location to another and from one property to another.

Whether you need subsidence insurance, therefore, may depend on the particular location and history of past damage to your property.

Is the risk included in my standard home insurance?

It might be or it might not – depending on your particular home insurance policy.

Where the risk is included, this is likely to be reflected in the increased premiums you may have to pay – if there is a past history of subsidence, the premiums are likely to be loaded even more heavily or your insurer might decline cover altogether.

Can I arrange home insurance with or without subsidence cover?

There may be cost implications in your choosing home insurance that covers the risk of subsidence – but not always, as some insurers include the cover as standard.

If there is little risk of your home falling prey to this risk, therefore, you may be paying for an element of cover you really might not need.

On the other hand, if there is any risk at all in your home suffering from subsidence, cover against the risk is likely to be an especially prudent precaution.

The key, therefore, rests on your being able to choose whether or not to include cover against subsidence in your home insurance policy.

How can I choose whether or not the risk is included?

This is where the guidance and advice of a specialist insurance provider might pay dividends.

If cover against the risk of subsidence is something you may be able to do without, the specialist advisor is in a position to identify those home insurance policies that exclude this risk – and so save you money by excluding such cover.

If subsidence cover is needed, however, the specialist insurer is equally well placed to quote for those policies that not only cover the risk, but also do so on the payment of price competitive premiums.

Further reading: GSI Subsidence Guide

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