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Damage to houses and commercial buildings, and their contents, by downward movement of the subsoil - SUBSIDENCE.
Statistical evidence suggests that in the UK well over 20000 claims for subsidence damage or destruction are submitted to insurers in an average year. Following long dry spells, claim numbers can increase due to the moisture content of the subsoil. In the last 5 years Hundred of Millions have been paid by Insurers in the U.K for Subsidence damage
Within the insurance industry subsidence damage is defined as a progressive downward movement of the subsoil beneath a building causing cracking and structural failure of the building itself. It is typically characterized by radial fractures in plasterwork and brickwork of walls around door and window openings and cracking of solid floor slabs. Subsidence damage to a property may initially appear minor but the damage can progressively worsen and ultimately affect the structural integrity or performance of a building.
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Clay type sub soils are typically prone to subsidence movement. The most common causes of subsidence include the drying out and shrinkage of the soil following prolonged warm dry weather, extraction of moisture due to large tree roots, and leakage of underground drains causing undermining of the soil beneath.
In the event that you discover what appears to be structural cracking and subsidence damage to your property, whether this be to a house or other domestic building, a business, retail unit, a factory, a warehouse or office, then it is essential that you immediately seek the advice Premier Property Claims. We have extensive expertise in the handling and management of subsidence insurance claims and can help you with the arrangement of emergency repairs to make the building temporarily safe if this is required. We can arrange for appropriate monitoring of the structural failure and cracks and we ultimately assist all our clients by preparing a schedule of the loss and by negotiating settlement with insurers or their loss adjusters on your behalf. We will also guide you in obtaining appropriate contractors repair estimates to support the subsidence claim.
Premier Property Claims will act as your expert claims consultants and advisors with your subsidence claim and offer you guidance and assistance. Where appropriate we engage associated structural engineers to comment on the cause and extent of damage and offer their expert opinion on remedial works required. It is common for insurers to initially suggest that only superficial repairs are required in order to minimize their outlay but it is often that our involvement has shown that more extensive work in the way of underpinning of the foundations has been the necessary long term solution.
Your insurance company is likely to appoint a Loss Adjuster or claims handler to deal with your claim but this is to protect their own interests. These representatives operate under heavy workloads and your claim may not be given the focus it deserves. Adjusters and Insurance Claims Inspectors do not prepare your claim, they adjust the claim you submit. Other expenses may be recoverable of which you are unaware. If you prematurely agree a claim with insurers it may be too late for them to subsequently reconsider additional items.
Insurance policy wordings can be difficult for a policyholder to understand. An insurer or their representative have the advantage and will often attempt to construe the wording in their favour. Premier Property Claims understand policy wordings and have the expert knowledge and subsidence claims handling experience to redress the balance and ensure that the policyholders claim is given the fullest and fairest consideration by insurers that it deserves.
It is therefore essential that you are suitably (FCA Regulated ) represented by your own professional Loss Assessor as soon as a subsidence event is discovered to ensure the claim is properly and accurately presented and you receive the maximum benefit under the policy.