How a heatwave can leave a home sinking with subsidence

Subsidence claims last year in July, August and September passed the 10,000 marks according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). There were pay-outs totalling £64million in comparison to £14 million in previous years.

The rise in subsidence claims is because of the record-breaking temperatures. The ABI states the number of subsidence issues was four times higher thanks to record-breaking temperatures.

The hot and dry weather causes the soil on which homes are built to shrink. Later in the year the house may sink into the ground as a result.

ABI are bracing themselves for the subsidence outcome of our current heatwave.

Symptoms of subsidence are cracks in walls that usually appears several months after the damage of summer sun. This discovery sometimes means property owners may need to seek temporary accommodation over the Christmas period

In the worst cases, subsidence takes as long as a year to put right, causing major upheaval to families.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is the movement of the ground which supports a building. While minor cracks in a structure can occur for many reasons, they can be the first sign of subsidence.

Areas with clay soil are most vulnerable to subsidence, as this type of soil dries out quickly during spells of hot weather. Home with trees located close to the property is also a high risk, as the trees draw moisture out of the soil.

A property owner’s buildings insurance policy will usually cover subsidence.

The ABI said that property owners should keep an eye out for diagonal cracks developing suddenly on a property, rather than gradually over time. Any cracks that are wider than a 10p piece need further investigation.

If cracks continue to evolve, property owners should contact their insurer immediately to conduct a full report.

Help for subsidence claim management

At Fuel Card Services, we understand that this can be a stressful time, which is why we are introducing Aspray.

An insurance claims management partner that you can turn to for expert guidance and support on property damage insurance claims. We are offering this opportunity through our online benefits portal, My Business Advantage.

Aspray can manage your commercial property impact damage claim from inception to completion. They will deal with your insurer, or appointed loss adjuster, directly to negotiate a fair and satisfactory settlement.

Upon agreement, Aspray will project manage vetted contractors to complete the reinstatement works, all the while, putting the policyholder first. Giving you further peace of mind: Aspray is a member of the British Damage Management Association (BDMA).

How can Aspray help with your Commercial Property Impact Damage Claim?

Knowing the full extent of the impact may not be completely clear at first, despite the structural damage. Calling in the experts to help identify the damage and overall cost of repair is essential.

How Aspray will handle your Commercial Impact Damage Claim:

  • Arrange a site visit usually within 24 hours of your call
  • Prepare and present a schedule of works for your insurer
  • Liaise directly with your insurance company and loss adjuster if necessary.
  • Oversee a team of vetted tradespeople.
  • Ensure your property is restored to its pre-loss condition as swiftly as possible.
  • Negotiate any business interruption settlement for home workers and business owners.
  • Help arrange alternative accommodation, where required.
  • Project manage the claim and stay in close contact throughout the process with you. The work is only complete on satisfaction with the repair.

Money off your excess for subsidence claims

There is no charge for using this service as the insurers pay Aspray directly. Please note any policy excess stated within your policy will of course still apply. If you do instruct Aspray, they are offering a £100 voucher towards your excess upon completion. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information visit My Business Advantage for domestic insurance claim management or business property insurance claim management.

< Back to My Business Advantage News