Good Practice Guide
17 October 2019
16 October 2019
Practical guidance on how to approach and provide effective coverage in the event of subsidence.
Subsidence occurs when there is a downward movement of ground underneath a property, causing the foundations to become unstable. The result of this is structural damage such as cracks in the walls, floors and ceilings. It is an issue known to increase when there are long spells of dry and hot weather.
Subsidence was first added to UK home insurance policies during the 1970s. This was in reaction to the subsidence surge in 1976, where coverage was previously only available as an optional extra peril. Since then there have been two more major subsidence surges, occurring in 2003 and 2018. During this time subsidence has become offered as a standard peril on most domestic properties (and now included on some commercial properties).
With temperatures rising in the UK, more hot summers are expected. This will also have an impact on more properties as well as existing claimants. There will be a greater need to investigate and action cases of subsidence, as well as preventing subsidence from reoccurring.
To help underwriting professionals provide subsidence coverage, this Good Practice Guide examines the following:
- what causes subsidence
- how to identify subsidence
- how subsidence is covered
- how to underwrite subsidence
- how subsidence claims are investigated
This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), Society of Claims Professionals or Chartered Insurance Institute, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the Society or Chartered Insurance Institute.