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Subsidence Insurance & Certificates of Structural Adequacy

As specialists in providing subsidence insurance, we see a wealth of documentation that can help an insurer decide whether or not to provide cover in the future.

These can include Home Buyers Reports, Full Structural Surveys, Certificates of Completion or a Guarantee of Works to name a few.

One of the most common, and also most useful documents is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy, or COSA.

What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

This is a document that is typically issued following the conclusion of an insurance claim, and will be provided by the loss adjuster that handled it at the time.

Please note – If the subsidence, heave, landslip or settlement was dealt with privately, and did not involve an insurance claim, it is unlikely that there will be a Certificate of Structural Adequacy.

The COSA provides a lot of useful information, and summarises an occurrence of subsidence in just a few pages. Some key details include the date of inspection, the date the certificate was issued, the cause, the preventative measures that were taken, and the contractors who carried out that work.

It does not offer any assurances that the property is unlikely to move again, or provide any guarantees to the work.

How does it help me?

A Certificate of Structural Adequacy is a widely accepted document within the insurance industry, and is useful to a number of the specialist insurers that we work with. It is worth getting hold of a digital copy if you can, so you can easily forward it to the companies you contact for quotations.

There may be times when further documentation is required, if the property has suffered several cases of damage, or if the movement was within the last couple of years, but it is a great starting point to obtain terms from specialist companies.

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

There may be occasions where you don’t have the document. Maybe you have just bought the property, and the current owner did not give you their copy, or the movement that was so long ago that it has been lost over the years. You have a few options available to you:

  • If you know the insurer or the loss adjuster that dealt with the claim you could try contacting them to see if they can send you a new copy from their records
  • If the subsidence, heave or landslip occurred over 10 years ago there may be some companies that can offer you quotations anyway. You may find even more options available if it was over 15 years, or over 25 years. This can change from year-to-year however, so it is worth getting hold of the relevant paperwork if you can.
  • You could have a surveyor visit the property and provide you a report, but keep in mind there are a number of different reports available, with a vast difference in cost. It is worth getting advice from insurance companies on what documentation they are likely to accept before you commit to anything
  • Arrange a policy with subsidence cover excluded if you feel confident enough in the stability of the property that you don’t mind being without the cover. Please remember that if you have a mortgage, it is often a requirement that you do have this cover, so be sure not to fall foul of them before you arrange any cover.
  • Get in touch with a specialist insurance company as you may have something in your pack of documents that might be useful. Talking through the situation with an experienced advisor can help you get to the bottom of any document issues.

How can we help you?

As a specialist in non-standard household insurance, properties that have suffered previous subsidence are something that we are very familiar with. Even if you don’t have a COSA, we may be able to find you the cover that you require with the documentation that we do have. If this isn’t the case, we can point you in the right direction, so you can work towards getting the information that will get you the right cover at the right price.

Our advisors deal with properties that have suffered subsidence every day, and have the knowledge 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!

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