Insuring your property
When looking for appropriate subsidence cover, insurers may ask for specific details about the property. To help you prepare for getting the right insurance, we’ve listed a few example questions :
- How long ago did the property suffer from subsidence, heave or landslip?
- What was the cause of the subsidence, heave or landslip?
- How was the problem fixed?
- Has there been any movement since?
- Do you have any documentation to confirm that there have been no problems since?
- If there was a claim made, how much was this for?
When getting insurance for a building with subsidence, insurers may ask to see some of the following documents:
Structural engineer reports
There are two main types:-
- A specific structural inspection - This report provides a visual inspection of a particular structural problem or concern. Often parts of the property not related to the specific problem may not be inspected.
- General structural inspection - An engineer or surveyor will inspect the property and report on the structural condition and adequacy of all the load bearing elements of the property. The inspection will include the roof structure, floors, walls, lintels, beams and the surrounding site.
Whoever compiles the report must be part of either the Institute of Structural Engineers or the Institute of Civil Engineers.
Any engineer who has completed a report for your property must have their accreditation documented on the report.
A structural buildings survey
The surveyor will check the property, examining the soundness of the structure, its general condition as well as all major or minor faults. The report should also provide you with a list of prices for repairs and maintenance work if it is required.
A home buyer report
In a home buyer report, the surveyor rates each element of the property under three ratings:
- Green – No repair is currently needed
- Amber – Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered either serious or urgent
- Red – Defects that are serious and need to be repaired or replaced
The report should also include some appendices, which provide useful information about what you need to do next.
A certificate of structural adequacy
If you have had work done on your property to deal with subsidence, heave or landslip, you may have been issued with a certificate of structural adequacy.
This document certifies that the work was performed correctly. Providing an insurer with a copy of this can often increase the chances of obtaining home insurance, including subsidence cover.