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How to insure a property previously affected by subsidence
It's bad enough having to deal with a property with subsidence problems, perhaps where the property has been previously underpinned; it adds insult to injury when you realise that even after the cause of the cracks has been identified and remedied, a number of insurance companies will often decline insurance for underpinned property or where there is a history of previous subsidence.
If your property has been affected by subsidence and this has been corrected professionally, insurance cover is available from specialist insurance brokers who are experts in arranging this type of buildings insurance cover.
The most common causes of subsidence:
- Clay soil drying out
- Tree roots
- Chalk soil
- Sand/gravel soil
"Our home was subject to heave, that is the buildings had effectively been pushed out of the ground. We needed to claim on our household buildings insurance policy and the claim was substantial. Once this had occurred, we found that most normal insurance companies would not offer quotes for household buildings insurance."
It is just as unfortunate for owners of commercial property with subsidence. For those who find that their commercial premises have been affected by subsidence, heave or have been underpinned, our specialist brokers can assist with the appropriate quotes and cover for commercial property.
Subsidence insurance is a highly specialised area and one where you would probably benefit from obtaining appropriate advice from insurance brokers who specialise in insuring property with subsidence problems.
Once your home has had subsidence or heave confirmed, possibly as the result of a full structural survey or maybe because some cracks in the walls are becoming more apparent, you will probably need to make a claim on your household buildings insurance. This in itself can be a stressful process but obtaining subsidence insurance cover after the property has been underpinned may also prove to be a challenging time.
With due acknowledgement to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, you can download their excellent RICS Subsidence Guide here.
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"There had been cracks in the property for years and over time, they grew wider and became more obvious. Once we realised it was being caused by subsidence, we made a claim on our home insurance cover. Although there was a big excess, it was still worth having subsidence cover included"
"Most of the insurance brokers we tried couldn't offer cover because the commercial property had been underpinned some years earlier, before we'd bought the property. The structural survey had confirmed that there was subsidence but getting cover proved to be very difficult and more expensive"