Insurance and Subsidence

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Insurance and Subsidence

    Hi all,

    I wonder if anyone can offer any experience/knowledge on this.

    I have an opportunity to purchase a house on a good sized plot at below market value being sold by the executors of an estate. Reason for the valuation is that there is a current insurance claim going through for subsidence damage on one corner - I've seen the engineer's report and it's been caused by vegetation (tree roots) rather than land slip or anything worse. The recommendation in the report is to remove the tree. I understand the owner's estate are getting their insurance company to manage and resolve the claim, which is to request removal of the tree from the Council (which may not be approved, due to a TPO) and they are injecting the brickwork/ground with whatever substance they use. It will not require underpinning. The work will be complete before any sale goes through and I expect to receive a certificate of structural adequacy.

    I've spoken to the existing insurer who are happy to continue insuring the property with me and their premium is £270 (approx. double that I can get on a standard comparison website, assuming there was no subsidence). Those costs are acceptable to me.

    However, I understand that the insurer can and likely will jack up costs in years to come, so I spoke to a separate broker today about the implications of switching to another provider and this is where it gets potentially messy. I understand that some insurers will just flatly say no. Others will require their underwriter to assess it before quoting and they'll need all the details of what the issue was, what work was done etc.

    My plan is to demolish the existing structure and build 2 new semi's on the plot (all subject to planning, of course). These new builds will have brand new pile driven footings, so structurally they will be very sound and highly unlikely to be susceptible to subsidence, if done properly. Even if the offending tree isn't removed.

    What I don't want is for me or future buyers to run into problems with being able to insure the property(ies), so was wondering if anyone had experience of this scenario and whether, with the brand new structural footings in place, gaining insurance will be a (relative) formality in the future rather than a problem?

    Many thanks

    The offending tree may be pruned rather than removed. It's a bit of a gamble but that's why you are getting a price reduction. Speak to an insurance company or two, they are the only ones who can really answer this.


      What is the difference between insuring for subsidence and movement are they classed as the same or would we need to be insured separately and why is the subsidence excess so high?


        I don't see a problem. As long as the remedies are sound. There is nothing to worry about. You should insure with the current provider, until the issues have been resolved. Yes, they will have jacked up premium, but they would have sent in their surveyor, but you will be able to get another quote. For the moment stick to them....


        Latest Activity


        • Washing Machine leak
          Hi All


          I own ground floor flat in maisonette and own share of freehold with the upstairs neighbor. we both own the share of freehold.

          There are only two flats ( ground floor and first floor)

          Last week the upstairs washing machine waste pipe break...
          05-10-2019, 10:57 AM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          There's nothing stopping you making a claim, it doesn't cost a lot and it's possible the upstairs tenant might settle or at least make an offer to avoid court.
          Same if you get a solicitor to send a letter making the claim.

          There are a whole chain of things you'd have to be able to...
          07-10-2019, 14:55 PM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          The Upstair neighbour in the letter confirmed the leakage was due to the broken washing machine waste pipe and he is sorry for decoration damage.

          Based on my discussion with my tenant which he is happy to testify in court, The upstairs washing machine was shaking the whole building every...
          07-10-2019, 13:59 PM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          If you can prove it, your chances would be very different.

          Nothing you have posted so far has indicated that you have proof, just a (strong) belief that the vibration was the cause of the problem with the pipe and that the vibration was due to the washing machine being incorrectly bala...
          07-10-2019, 12:28 PM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          I don't think it's hard to prove negligence, I'd say that it's next to impossible.

          Even though i can prove the washing machine has not been set up properly ( ie vibration and shaking ) and vibration was the reason waster pipe was broken and cause a leak

          07-10-2019, 10:45 AM
        • insurance by Ocaso through my freeholder (local authority) - is it enough?
          I let out an ex-council leasehold flat. As I understand is usual with leasehold, it is insured through the freeholder (which in this case is the London Borough of Tower Hamlets). The insurer is Ocaso and the insurance is subject to the general conditions of their Household Building Insurance for Local...
          17-03-2013, 11:19 AM
        • Reply to insurance by Ocaso through my freeholder (local authority) - is it enough?
          JamesHopeful did you ever get to a satisfactory arrangement?

          7 years later and the issue is still presenting difficulties. My wife is a Local Council Leaseholder who is subletting her flat. Her Council's Block Buidings Insurance Policy is also with Ocaso. Surprisingly it is less favourable...
          06-10-2019, 14:12 PM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          I don't think it's hard to prove negligence, I'd say that it's next to impossible.

          It's never happened before and pipes do leak.

          A solicitors letter might get the upstairs neighbour to make some kind of offer regardless....
          06-10-2019, 14:04 PM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          Normally the insurance company will only allow the named policy holder to make a claim under their insurance policy.

          So you must claim the cost of repair under your own flat's policy if the "joint freeholders" are not covered under a separate insurance policy for the entire building...
          05-10-2019, 22:03 PM
        • Reply to Washing Machine leak
          Just put the whole problem in your insurer's lap. Maybe upstairs can be persuaded to reimburse your excess if you ask politely.
          05-10-2019, 19:47 PM