Is subsidence covered under my policy?

Posted: 4th Jun 2014

The answer depends upon who provided your policy.

At Cover4LetProperty our policies include subsidence cover as standard.

Unfortunately, the policies offered by some other providers might not do so, therefore, it would be in your best interests to check your policy carefully if you purchased it elsewhere.

Some policyholders occasionally express surprise that subsidence isn’t automatically included in all policies. Here is a little history to explain that position.

At the risk of generalising, at one time cover for subsidence would have been typically included automatically in most if not all property cover. It is a fact though that over recent decades, subsidence claims have soared and they have proven to be a major problem for some sections of the insurance industry.

The reason for the increasing claims is not entirely clear. Some suggest:

  • it is due to climate change having a knock-on effect on the geology our properties are built on;
  • properties in the past may have been built with scant regard for foundations;
  • a greater awareness of what subsidence is may have led to an increased tendency to make claims for problems that previous generations would simply have lived with or not noticed.

Whatever the reality is, some buildings insurance providers no longer consider this to be a standard risk – and that might apply just as much to owner-occupier policies as it does to landlords insurance.

The potentially massive costs associated with subsidence might even be of the magnitude of needing to completely demolish the property and rebuild it from scratch. As a result, it might not be a good idea to take subsidence insurance lightly.

If you are not already clear, it might be advisable to check in the very near future just what your current policy is providing.