If your property has been affected by subsidence or has already been underpinned you may find it very difficult to obtain competitive insurance. This problem can be even worse if you are trying to sell your house especially in today’s market. Your existing insurer may not offer to cover your prospective buyer and if your buyer struggles to find alternative cover the sale will fall through. Leaving you with a property that is increasingly harder to sell
Many properties face issues over subsidence or landslip caused usually by poor soil such as London clay or mining areas or perhaps just badly laid foundations such as a property that has been extended or even has bay windows fitted without adequate building control so for example, one of 2 things can happen either the extension has weak foundations so the extra weight of the extension makes the house subside or that the foundation of the house were not strengthened so the weight of the extension affects the house. Also in times of poor weather or dry spells tree roots can either weaken the foundations or break drain pipes so the house will fall over. This is easily repaired with underpinning. Not forgetting older houses that can settle with age producing cracks. Often fixed with stay bars through the property those metal X’s or circular plates on the side of older houses are in fact a huge nut and bolt working like a corset.
One of the most ridiculous scenarios that can occur is problems with garages that are often on a separate piece of land away from the home often these were jerry built on spare land without foundations and they do subside but if this happens you may be able to get insurance.
The mainstream insurers take a very panicky approach as soon as you mention any subsidence or cracking even if you are not thinking of selling you make struggle getting cover please remember even if you don’t think you have been asked you must notify the insurer otherwise any claim will be rejected as insurers do share claims information. It is best that seek an insurance broker who understands the complexities of this type of property especially one that does not demand additional and costly survey reports and can turnaround quotations within day or less Don’t panic you will be pleasantly surprised to find that specialist cover should not be expensive. In an ideal world if you already have cover in force on an underpinned property it should be a straight process to pass this to the buyer sadly this does not happen so the sale falls through, a true specialist can pick up the pieces at the last possible moment offer a sensible premium that automatically passes to any future buyer no one else can make that promise It is very unethical for insurers not to do so but sadly insurance has become blighted by the “COMPUTER SAYS NO” mentality.