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What to do?

Subsidence due to clay shrinkage is generally seasonally recoverable, that is to say the cracks will often close and distortions correct themselves during winter / spring season. This is indeed the most common cause of subsidence movement nationally however most other causes of subsidence are simply progressive.

If you do believe that your property may be suffering from subsidence of the site then whilst this rarely develops to a situation of threat to safety, and no matter the potential cause of the subsidence, it is important to take action promptly. This will facilitate earliest possible investigation and determination of the cause of the subsidence, and thereby whether the subsidence itself can be arrested, or whether the only appropriate solution is to deal with the damage in a way such as to be able to tolerate the ongoing subsidence of the site.

Most domestic insurance policies provide cover for the cost of the repairs needed to the home as a result of the subsidence of the site and understandably homeowners with insurance cover will generally seek reassurance that their policy will cover the costs of investigation and repair as soon as possible.
Insurance policies generally do not cover fees in respect of presenting a claim to them, however recognising the specialist advice needed to handle subsidence properly most insurers will undertake a specialist inspection at their own cost and openly share the findings. This protects homeowners against the cost of fees for unnecessary specialist’s surveys, and enables insurers to use their negotiated fee scales to manage the fees they are charged.

Insurance policies generally do provide cover for professional costs reasonably incurred provided this is with the insurers prior permission and should you wish to pursue this potential option then Subsidence Forum recommends you check this with your insurer before committing to any professional charges.  

If you do not hold insurance cover for subsidence then Subsidence Forum recommends that you make diligent enquiry regarding any potential advisor as you would in taking any other form of professional advice, perhaps seeking guidance from trusted recommendations or relevant professional or trade bodies.


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