What is subsidence?


When the ground under a property falls in level, it causes the foundations to shift. As a result, there is pressure on the building’s structure, which is when cracks appear.

The most common chain of events is that the soil shrinks, tree roots absorb too much water and drains and pipes start leaking, causing the ground surrounding the property to become softer. This weakens the foundations’ ability to bear weight, with the resulting movement of the foundations. Owners face severe financial consequences if their homes are affected by subsidence or heave.

Subsidence can happen anywhere, but in some places it’s more likely because of certain soil types like clay, silt, sand and gravel.
Clay and silt are ‘cohesive’ soils, meaning the volume varies depending on the moisture content – these soils expand when moist or wet and shrink when dry. 75% of UK ground subsidence cases are caused by soil shrinkage, so if you live in an area of cohesive soil then you are at greater risk.
On the other hand, sand and gravel are ‘non-cohesive’ soils – they don’t vary in size depending on water content, but they can be at risk of being washed away by water flow. Hence, properties in areas with this type of soil may be in danger during and after heavy rain or flooding, or if they are situated near a lake or the coast.
With changes in climate causing more extreme weather, be it drought or flooding, this situation is only likely to be exacerbated in the future.
The most searched insurance questions answered


Insurance can feel like opening doors behind doors behind doors. Unlike almost every other product you buy, you don’t feel the benefit of insurance until something bad happens. And while we all need insurance, we buy it hoping we don’t have to use it.

When something bad happens, we immediately question our cover. Was it all explained? Did you ask the right questions? Are you covered? We might find ourselves hastily searching for an answer to a complex question or trying to find out if our policy excludes your circumstance.

Below, we look at the most Googled insurance questions and answer them for you.

Is inherited jewellery included in my home and contents cover?

We have many clients with expensive or luxurious possessions but what about those whose relative left a piece of jewellery or item which you don’t know the value of? Well, a standard home and contents insurance policy has a cap on how much you are covered for. These vary so it’s worth checking your existing policy, but it’s unlikely it will cover too much. You can arrange valuations where you can have jewellery and other inherited possessions valued by a professional. Specialist items require specialist insurance. It doesn’t make sense risking something so precious, does it?

What is not included in home insurance?

Together with high-value goods, there are other things not covered which might surprise you. For instance, if pests such as rats enter your home and damage appliances, you may not be covered since you could have prevented the pest from entering your home. General wear and tear isn’t usually covered, nor is a build-up of mould.

Some policies also exclude things like floods, burst pipes, poor workmanship. If you are a business working from home and don’t have the right home business insurance, standard home insurance won’t cover injury or damage to your goods, either. It’s essential you are proactive in protecting your home.

Got a question not answered here? Pick up the phone, we’ll be happy to answer it for you. We may also be able to get you a policy that’s cheaper and better than an existing policy.


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