Subsidence claims increase following hot Summer

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has reported that during July, August and September of this year, claims for subsidence reached figures that have not been seen since 2006 and 2003.

More than 10,000 households made claims for subsidence during the three month period, with total claims reaching £64m. The very warm summer conditions of 2018 were the driest on record and this can lead to subsidence issues on the clay soil of the Southeast, where most of the claims have arisen. Claims during the three month period rose from 2,500 to 10,000 from the previous quarter. This is the highest quarterly jump since records began 25 years ago.

Signs of subsidence include large cracks that appear suddenly. They are usually thicker than a 10p coin and will be diagonal across the walls. These cracks may appear behind wallpaper, causing it to split. Homeowners may also find their doors and windows start to stick.

Laura Hughes, Senior Policy Advisor for Property at the ABI has pointed out that the insurance industry is helping homeowners with unprecedented levels of repairs on their homes. She points out that cracks in walls can be caused by a number of factors and may not be subsidence. She points out that this is a very complex type of claim and insurers work with construction experts to ensure the best outcomes.

Subsidence is usually covered by buildings insurance which will cover for any repairs and even for accommodation should the homeowner be unable to return to their home for a short period.

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