What is Subsidence?

In this video we uncover what insurers mean by ground movement and what you can do if you’ve been refused cover based on your property’s history of ground movement.

Subsidence: A guide to ground movement

 

Video transcript

Ground movement can cause quite serious damage to properties. In this video we’ll tell you what insurers mean by ground movement and what you can do if you’ve been refused cover based on your property’s history of ground movement.

Ground movement is a general term which includes; subsidence, heave and landslip.

Let me explain each of those a bit further.

Subsidence is when the earth beneath a building moves downwards meaning there’s less support underneath part or all of the foundations of a property. It can be caused by soil erosion, shrinking clay in warm weather or trees affecting the soil close to buildings. You can normally tell if there’s some subsidence going on by looking for diagonal or vertical cracks on the inside and outside of the building.

Where subsidence means the ground goes down, heave makes the ground move up. This can be caused by upwards seepage of water after a change in the water table. You can normally tell if the ground has heaved by looking at the floors to see if they’ve raised up in a particular area causing a hump. If you have a basement, bowed walls may also be a tell-tale sign.

Finally, landslip is the movement of earth down a slope. It may be that a retaining wall has given way or the result of an excavation nearby. In some cases, landslip happens very suddenly however, in many instances, it happens gradually over a period of time. If you notice trees leaning at an unusual angle or cracks in the surface of the ground, it may be a sign that you’re at risk of land slip.

As a specialist insurer, Towergate aim to cover circumstances just like these and provide cover even if your property has a history of damage caused by ground movement. If you’ve been turned away elsewhere, give us a call to see how we can help.

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