5th December 2018

ABI survey indicates major rise in subsidence claims

More than 10,000 households made claims worth a total of £64m to deal with the impact of subsidence in just three months of this year, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is revealing today.
The figures for July, August and September are the highest level of subsidence claims since the record-breaking heatwaves of 2006 and 2003. The hot weather of 2018 saw some UK regions experience the driest months on record, particularly in the South East which is also well-known for building on subsidence-prone clay soil.
From the previous quarter, the number of claims jumped from 2,500 to 10,000–rising in value from £14m to £64m. This increase of 350% is the highest quarter-on-quarter jump since records began more than 25 years ago.
The ABI’s senior Policy adviser for Property, Laura Hughes, comments “Thousands of people across the UK are now suffering because we experienced such an unprecedented period of dryness this summer. Insurers understand that this is a stressful time for affected homeowners and are providing widespread support to help with repairs.
Our advice is don’t panic if you spot a crack in your home– there are many other reasons why these may have occurred. Get in touch with your insurer if you believe your home is experiencing subsidence and they’ll be on hand with the best expertise and the best technology. Insurers and their appointed loss adjusters are very well equipped to deal with these types of complex claim.”
Subsidence usually occurs when the ground beneath a building loses moisture and shrinks. This can be caused by a number of things including prolonged dry spells which cause soil to lose water and trees and shrubs which can absorb significant volumes of water from the soil.
The ABI has provided advice on how to tell the difference between subsidence and general wear and tear.

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