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Subsidence risks highlighted

Recent weeks have seen a spate of high-profile subsidence issues being highlighted across the country and this is a problem that could become more apparent over the years ahead, it has been argued.

Vanessa Banks, team leader for shallow geohazards and risks at the British Geological Survey (BGS), stated in an interview for Lloyd’s that sinkholes are extremely hard to predict and can strike in many parts of the country, but are most likely in areas where soluble rocks are eroded beneath the ground.

These include the Mendips, parts of Wales, the Peak District and the northern Pennines, as well as much of the north-east of England and parts of Dorset, Hampshire and the Chilterns. These are regions where large deposits of gypsum and other soluble minerals that can be eroded more easily are to be found.

“While sinkholes are typically the result of natural solution of rock, they can also be caused by the activities of mining or the creation of underground storage – such as the building of icehouses. Leaking drainage pipes, burst water mains and irrigation can also trigger a sinkhole,” Dr Banks stated.

Overall, the researcher stated that up to two-thirds of recent sinkholes can most likely be attributed to human activities.

Dr Banks added there is currently no solid evidence that the number of sinkholes and other subsidence issues are increasing either across the UK or indeed the rest of the world, but with an increasing likelihood for adverse weather over the coming years it is an issue that insurers and property owners will want to keep an eye on.

Subsidence can impact homes and businesses across the country and it is therefore prudent for owners to take out comprehensive subsidence insurance cover. Here at GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Limited we specialise in this kind of cover and work tirelessly to find our clients the best deals.

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