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A tidal wave of subsidence claims


Property owners may be hoping they made the very most of the 2018’s summer heatwave, suggested the Telegraph newspaper on the 5th of December – since those scorching temperatures may be responsible for the current tidal wave of subsidence insurance claims. 

On the same day, the BBC echoed the insurance industry’s concerns about the effects of sustained hot, dry weather by citing the record level of subsidence claims which have so far been made during the three months from July to September – and this when problems with subsidence may themselves take several years to become apparent.

So far, some 10,000 homes have been the subject of subsidence claims and insurers face a bill of an estimated £64 million. This compares with just 2,500 subsidence claims made during the same period last year, when insurers paid out an estimated £14 million.

The current surge in subsidence claims is unlikely to be over any time soon, warned the Insurance Times on the 5th of December, predicting that they will continue well into 2019 “and beyond”. 

The BBC points out that the beastly, extreme weather of last winter also took its toll on home insurance, with a total pay-out for insurers estimated to have been £194 million in burst waterpipe claims.

Meanwhile, the upsurge in subsidence claims is taking place against a background of economic austerity and depleted council budgets for the effective management of urban trees to mitigate the risk of subsidence in buildings close to such growth.

On the 13th of November 2018, we published a story outlining some of the effects of that austerity on the growing incidence of subsidence.


Further reading: Insurance disputes involving subsidence