Properties with Subsidence History
If you live in or are considering buying a property that has had repairs carried out on the foundations due to historic subsidence, ground heave or landslip, you will need to consider the insurance implications carefully as many insurers will not offer cover.
However, we can provide cover for most buildings:
If the repair works are ongoing:
We can offer full perils cover including subsidence, but damage that occurred before cover commenced will not be included. Once the works have been completed, a certificate of structural adequacy and/or a structural survey will be required to include subsidence cover.
Previous underpinning or repairs less than 15 years ago:
We can offer full perils cover subject to an acceptable certificate of structural adequacy and/or structural survey.
Previous underpinning over 15 years ago:
Whilst many insurers may refuse to provide cover for subsidence, if the damage occurred over 15 years ago, this can often be considered without the need for supporting certificates or surveys.
So whether your home has ongoing problems or has been previously underpinned (PUP) at some point in the past, we can offer you a carefully considered bespoke insurance solution.
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All buildings move and settle over the years, sometimes leaving hairline cracks, but there are rarely cause for concern and are only cosmetic. The difference with subsidence is that large cracks appear both inside and outside the property in a very short period of time.
Common symptoms of subsidence include:
– Doors and windows getting ‘stuck’ and becoming harder to open or close.
– Wallpaper buckling in the corners of rooms.
– Cracks appearing in plaster inside the house, often next to doors and windows.
– Cracks appearing in brickwork outside the house.
– Sudden cracks that are wider than 1mm and wider at the top than the bottom.
– Diagonal cracks that are wider than 1mm and wider at the top than the bottom.
Contact your home buildings insurance provider who will guide you through the best course of action to take. Usually, a surveyor or engineer will be dispatched to make an assessment. Often cases of subsidence can be handled quickly and effectively without requiring foundation repairs, but where foundation work does become necessary it can be costly and disruptive.
To give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding underpinning (or similar repairs) then it is in your interest to contact your insurer as soon as you notice a potential problem.
Assuming that subsidence damage has been properly repaired there shouldn’t be a significant impact on the value of your property, however, many buyers will perceived the risk of subsidence recurring as a deterrent. It can also be harder to insure a property with a history of subsidence, unless you use a specialist insurer.