Surge in subsidence insurance payouts following last summer’s heatwave

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ecord-breaking temperatures last summer have pushed the total value of subsidence claims to a 16-year high, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Around 18,000 subsidence claims were made during the second half of 2022 – the equivalent of one new claim being made about every 15 minutes, the ABI said.

While the final insurance bill has not been fully settled due to ongoing monitoring of some homes, the ABI said its members expect to pay out £219 million for subsidence claims made in 2022.

This will be the highest annual subsidence payout in 16 years, since 2006, when the total was £301 million.

Thousands of homeowners felt the impact of last summer’s record-breaking heatwave long after temperatures returned to normal

Subsidence happens when the ground beneath a building sinks, pulling the foundations down with it. It can be caused when the ground loses moisture and shrinks due to prolonged dry spells. Trees and shrubs can also cause soil to lose moisture.

The average cost of a subsidence claim made last year was £9,600, the ABI said.

The UK endured several bouts of exceptionally hot weather last summer, with temperatures reaching a high of 40.3C, at Coningsby in Lincolnshire, on July 19.

Laura Hughes, ABI’s manager, general insurance, said: “Thousands of homeowners felt the impact of last summer’s record-breaking heatwave long after temperatures returned to normal.

“Insurers understand that suffering subsidence is worrying and stressful. They have, and will continue to, support their customers during any monitoring period to ascertain the extent of the damage, and what repairs or work will be needed for a long-term solution.”

The ABI has more information about subsidence and insurance at abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/home-insurance/subsidence.



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