Obtaining insurance on a property after a subsidence claim

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    Obtaining insurance on a property after a subsidence claim

    This query is only peripherally related to property rental, but I'm hoping to tap into the expertise and experience of the forum members...

    My partner has moved in to my home and has been trying to sell her own house. Cutting a long story short, last year she put in an insurance claim for possible subsidence (having commissioned a structural engineer's report, which was equivocal). The insurers decided the problem was collapsed drains and paid out a £3k claim to fix this. Monitoring work was also carried out for several months, and a certificate was issued to confirm the work had been done and completed successfully.

    Fast forward a few months, and a prospective buyer - who had been made aware of the issue, and had had her own survey carried out - very reluctantly pulled out of the sale at the last minute because she was unable to find an insurance company who would sell her an insurance policy. She had also been given the (correct) advice that under these circumstances it's best practice to use the same insurer as the seller, so there's no potential for a future subsidence claim to fall between the cracks (no pun intended), however the current insurers - a big name - flatly refused to countenance that. We have also tried to find new cover ourselves, both via online companies and brokers, and had similar experiences, so you can't really blame the buyer. We have been advised by insurers that this will persist for 15 years.

    My partner decided that the best way forward might be to rent out the property instead for a few years (here's the relevance to this forum!), however on making enquiries with her current insurer she was advised they don't do landlord cover, so that option is also out of the question. They have agreed to renew the policy in her name only, so currently the only option being made available to my partner is literally that she remains in the house herself indefinitely.

    My only personal experience of anything similar was when attempting to buy an investment property about 10 years ago... that turned out to have had corrected subsidence, and I experienced the exact same insurance issue as the prospective buyer of my partner's property, and I pulled out too.

    There must be plenty of properties in this country which have suffered from this, so surely to God this can't be insurmountable. Does anyone here have any experience of this?

    #2
    Have you tried NFU Mutual? They provide my landlord's cover after subsidence.

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      #3
      Never ever claim for subsidence.

      Comment


        #4
        When we are approached by a customer looking for property insurance with a previous subsidence claim, getting cover for the property is not normally a problem but it is highly likely subsidence would be excluded by the insurer. Getting subsidence cover included is where the problems start and is why staying with the current insurer is the best option (albeit not an option in your case).

        All I can recommend is contacting several brokers and getting them to do the work for you to get the cover you need.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the responses.
          We've finally found a new insurer who is prepared to take on the property as a rental, so that's the route my partner's going to go with. (Premium's about double what you'd expect had the subsidence work not been done, which is not unexpected).

          Originally posted by JK0 View Post
          Have you tried NFU Mutual? They provide my landlord's cover after subsidence.
          Thanks - she put them on the list and they would in principal have provided cover but only after a named tenant had been fully signed up and was actually living in the property; and then there would have been an hour-long phone interview before issuing any policy, Very odd. And obviously inappropriate for the current scenario.

          Originally posted by ashburnham View Post
          Getting subsidence cover included is where the problems start and is why staying with the current insurer is the best option (albeit not an option in your case).
          Yeah. I simply don't understand why there isn't at least a code of practice that insurers should continue to offer insurance to a new owner, on a property which they have paid out on to fix. This property in question was perilously close to being totally blighted because of this; and the subsidence wasn't even a serious case.

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