If you know that property you own already has, or may have, subsidence issues, it might not seem to be a good time – or even possible – to switch insurers.
Since your precise needs and insurance deals are changing all of the time, this is likely to be a frustrating conclusion to draw if you have spotted a policy that better serves your purposes or is more competitively priced.
The goods news, therefore, is that certain insurers have agreed to handle claims arising from cases where you have recently switched home insurance policies.
The handling of such claims is detailed in guidelines published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in December 2017.
The insurer responsible for handling your claim and making any settlement depends on the exact timing of the switch:
Less than 8 weeks after your switch
- If you switch your subsidence insurance less than 8 weeks ago, your previous, original home insurer agrees to handle your claim and to bear the costs of any settlement;
More than 8 weeks, but less than a year
- You may make your claim either to your original insurer or the new one and each will keep the other informed about its handling and agree to share the costs of any settlement – the one insurer is obliged to make its half-share contribution to the other within 21 days;
More than one year after your switch
- Any claims on your subsidence insurance that need to be made after you have switched insurers need to be made to your new insurer.
Agreement between the respective insurers
Participating insurers agree to share with each other all the documents relating to your claim – including reports from loss adjusters, surveyors, engineers, and others, so that the necessary reserve made be made in anticipation of settling the claim or making the relevant contribution to the settlement of the claim.
The participating insurer who is obliged to contribute to the settlement agrees to abide by the way in which the insurer handling your claim investigates it and agrees to settle it.
If you raise any dispute in relation to the handling of your subsidence claim or its settlement and refer the matter to the Insurance Ombudsman, the contributing insurer agrees to be bound by the Ombudsman’s decision and to make the relevant contribution accordingly.
Arranging subsidence insurance
Even though you might have a subsidence history claim, that is no reason to put off reviewing and, if necessary, switching to an alternative insurer.
Just as your precise insurance needs and requirements change over time, so do the insurance products on offer. Rather than simply repeat last year’s policy at each renewal date, it almost certainly pays you to review your existing cover, compare the extent of protection offered by other insurers, and of course consider whether you might achieve the same level of protection at a cheaper price.
Here at UKinsuranceNET, our mission is to help you do just that. Since the insurers we are likely to recommend are also signatories to the ABI’s agreement on the handling of subsidence claims, you may rest assured that any subsidence issues that arise after you make a switch will continue to be handled either by your original insurer, your new insurer, or the two of them working together.