Allianz Commercial in the UK recorded a 140% increase in subsidence claims for September.
Citing one of England’s hottest and driest summers, the insurance unit called the year-on-year change a “significant surge” and noted that parched clay soils were the main culprit when it comes to subsidence. Drain or sewer leaks, which wash out granular soils, followed at number two.
“Subsidence is different from other perils in that claims require more time and expertise to resolve,” explained Allianz Commercial property claims head Rebecca Rogers.
“Investigations are often complex, involving many parties, but they are crucial in establishing the cause of the damage to then remove it, stabilise the building, and finally repair the property. Since the whole process can be time-consuming, early notification is crucial.”
Allianz highlighted that a specialist loss adjuster normally does the following when investigating a claim’s cause: check the property’s foundation and sub-soil; retrieve roots to identify the trees or shrubs that may be absorbing moisture; test or survey the water pressure in local drains or water mains; and monitor cracks and levels.
Identifying the source of subsidence, said the insurer, will help determine the best remedy, with the loss adjuster advising on the most suitable repair to return an impacted building’s structural integrity.