Finding subsidence insurance, article by Quoteline Direct
Finding subsidence insurance is difficult but with a specialist broker the job is much, much easier.
That's because brokers will have a panel of insurers in place that understand subsidence issues and are more likely to offer the cover you need.
Finding the right home insurance is complicated because the cost of rectifying subsidence problems is expensive.
Subsidence is all or part of a home sinking into the ground. The causes vary, but generally involve shrinkage as the water held in the soil soaks away.
Homes in areas with clay soil are particularly vulnerable.
Hot summers and large trees are danger signals as they can drain the water from soil quickly.
Leaking drains or water pipes can also wash away soil under a home as well, leaving a void or weakened area for the house to sink into.
Most standard building insurance policies will pay for the cost of underpinning due to land slipping away or subsidence. The problem comes at renewal, when the premium and excess costs will leap up.
Policies for subsidence insurance vary greatly, but will cover work like covering up cracks that appear in walls and repairs expected to last a reasonable length of time.
Indeed, subsidence insurance cover is so complicated that the Financial Ombudsman Service says this is the source of a large proportion of the insurance complaints they receive. They are also the cases which take the longest to resolve.
There are also issues with changing insurers because the new insurer may say that the damage claimed for predates their insurance cover. If a former insurer also claims they are not liable for subsidence costs then homeowners will have a real problem to resolve.
This means that most insurance companies will not quote for subsidence cover.
However, a number of specialist firms will take on the risk - at a price.
Rooting out these specialists can take time, which is why approaching a broker to take on the search is often a good idea.