Subsidence occurs when the ground under your property collapses or sinks, which in turn makes some of the building’s foundations sink. This imbalance then puts stress on the structure of your home causing cracks to appear.
Usually if caught early, preventative measures can be put in place, most commonly in the form of underpinning or removal of cause (tree roots). Unfortunately, the severity of these means finding home insurance can be difficult, especially at a reasonable price. Luckily, we work with a panel of non-standard insurers, meaning we can deliver specialist insurance at excellent prices.
Other structural issues such as Heave have the same concept as Subsidence but in the opposite direction. The ground moves up instead of down most often caused by old tree roots.
Groundslip or Landslip is when part of the property or foundations moves down a slope or is potentially washed away.
Underpinning is essentially the process of strengthening a homes existing foundations. This process is usually undertaken when an issue such as subsidence causes a property to become unstable, causing interior and exterior wall cracks or the property rising or sinking. As you can imagine, this would be a large scale job and the cost of underpinning can be substantial. This is why subsidence excesses on home insurance are a lot higher than a stereotypical claim.
Subsidence is usually covered under home insurance however we would always recommend you confirming this with your insurer. Depending on your level of policy or if your property has recently suffered from subsidence some insurers may exclude cover. Its always worth remembering that a subsidence excess for home insurance is usually the highest, starting from £1000. This is because the costs of monitoring or repairing subsidence can be in the tens of thousands.
Due to the structural damage that subsidence can cause, most insurers will ask you if your property has ever suffered from or been monitored in connection with subsidence. Unfortunately its not like standard claims where you can stop declaring them after a certain time. The length of time between the subsidence being fixed or monitored will play a part in how insurers calculate the risk, as well as the cause and type of remedy used, such as underpinning.