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If you’re not already aware then subsidence is simply the downward movement of the ground supporting a building. The downward movement is not caused as a result of the building’s weight, but rather because of the poor quality of the soil. Subsidence can be caused by a number of things, including leaking pipes, long periods of dry weather and natural decomposition. One major cause of subsidence that not everyone is aware of, is trees.

Why trees cause subsidence

The link between trees and subsidence might not seem obvious at first but there’s a very simple explanation. In order for soil to retain its integrity, it must contain enough moisture. Large trees also have large roots that take moisture from the surrounding soil. When there’s not enough water in the soil, it can begin to crack and therefore become unstable – resulting in subsidence.

Subsidence caused by nearby trees becomes much more likely during extended periods of dry weather. The reason being that when trees cannot take the moisture they need from the immediately surrounding soil, they will extend their roots to find it. When you consider that some fully matured trees can take more than 50,000 litres of water from the ground per year, then it’s easy to see how this can soon become a problem, especially during long dry spells. Insurance providers even have a term for years where there is an exceptionally low amount of rainfall, known as ‘event years’ – so named because of the increased number of events that lead to claims.

If you do have large trees and shrubs around your property then you shouldn’t just assume that this must be the cause of subsidence. Variables that affect whether trees cause subsidence include –

  • The type of tree
  • The size of the tree
  • The number of trees
  • The distance from the property
  • Type of foundations
  • Depth of foundations
  • Weather conditions

Modern properties are much less likely to suffer from subsidence caused by trees since the clay used for the foundations will almost certainly be designed to resist the influence of expanding tree roots.

For more information please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=225.

Get subsidence insurance quotes now

If you have a property that’s prone to subsidence then you’ll want to get a special policy to cover it. Luckily getting subsidence insurance quotes is now easier than ever. To get quotes from a panel of subsidence insurance specialist, simply click the green button below. You can have your quotes within a matter of minutes and being able to easily compare the prices means you stand to save a good deal of money.

If you have a property that has a history of subsidence then you might be worried that you won’t be able to get cover at an affordable rate. However there are specialist providers of insurance for property owners who have property that is at risk of subsidence. If you’re ready to get quotes now then you’re in the right place.

To get quotes from a panel of expert providers you simply have to fill in one quick quote form. Once you’ve provided the information required about your property and what level of cover you want, you’ll then have access to your quotes. All you have to do is compare them and choose the best one.

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Subsidence Insurance FAQ

What Causes Subsidence & What are the Signs?

Subsidence is usually caused by a combination of things. One of the most common causes of subsidence is prolonged dry spells of weather combined with having large trees and shrubs next to your property. The reason for this is that when there is no moisture in the ground, the trees will extend their roots to find it. When the roots stretch under your property they can cause the soil beneath it to crack and become unstable. When the soil is already dry this is a perfect recipe for subsidence.

Another common cause of subsidence is if there is a leaking pipe outside the property. If it leaks into the soil beneath your property, this can also cause the soil to become unstable and result in subsidence. You may already know your house has subsidence but if not, there are some common signs to look out for. These include –

  • Cracks around windows and doors
  • Windows and doors sticking
  • Rippling in wallpaper

Can you prevent property subsidence?

Some of the steps you can take to minimise the risk of subsidence include:

  • Make sure trees and plants are planted away from the property – You want to make sure that any large plants or trees are planted 5-10 metres away from the property.
  • Remove any trees that are too close – If there are any large trees or plants that are closer than this to the property then you should consider having them removed. For larger trees you might have to have this done by a professional but it’s worth it for the headaches it can prevent in the long run.
  • Make sure pipes and drainage systems are well maintained – Since leaking drains can easily cause subsidence it’s important to ensure that pipes and drainage systems are well maintained. If you’re aware of any broken or leaking pipes then you should have them fixed immediately.
  • Check for subsidence before buying a new property – Before buying a new property it’s always important to be aware if it has suffered from subsidence in the past or is at risk. The best way to find this out for sure is by checking the surveyor’s report.

What are the different types of subsidence insurance

  • Building insurance – Building insurance is the basis of any property insurance policy, including those with subsidence. Building insurance will cover your property for any structural damage, including that which results from subsidence. The increased risk of necessary repairs/rebuilds is why it’s necessary for people who have property that’s at risk of subsidence to take out specialist cover.
  • Contents insurance – Just as with a regular home insurance policy, you’re also able to cover the contents of your property with subsidence insurance.

How do I know if I need  subsidence insurance?

You may have been informed that your property has suffered from subsidence in the past when buying it. However if you’re not sure if your property is at risk then you should have it professionally surveyed in order to find out for sure. There are certain warning signs of subsidence but it’s hard to know for sure judging with the naked eye.

Land stability is a big issue with property as the repair costs for properties with subsidence can be very high.

How do I know if I need subsidence insurance?

You may have been informed that your property has suffered from subsidence in the past when buying it. However if you’re not sure if your property is at risk then you should have it professionally surveyed in order to find out for sure. There are certain warning signs of subsidence but it’s hard to know for sure judging with the naked eye.

Land stability is a big issue with property as the repair costs for properties with subsidence can be very high.

Will I have to pay more for subsidence cover?

If your property is know to be at risk of subsidence then you’ll need to get specialist cover that accounts for this increased risk. However there are specialist providers of subsidence insurance who can offer you a policy for a reasonable price.