What is subsidence?

Subsidence is the downward movement of a surface, causing the ground beneath the foundations of a building to become unstable.
Common reasons for subsidence are:
· The shrinking of soil beneath a property
· Previous mining activity on the site
· Ground vibrations
Soil shrinkage can be caused by a number of factors, such as
water leaking into the soil under the property, as this can
wash away the soil from the foundations. This is most common in soils with a high sand or gravel content.
Clay soils are particularly vulnerable to shrinking, and as the soil shrinks, it pulls the foundations which may
result in structural movement. Clay soil shrinkage can also occur following a dry spell of weather.
Tree roots surrounding a property can significantly influence the likelihood of subsidence occurring – as they
can cause the shrinkage or reduction of the soil beneath the foundations by extracting water. Tree roots
removing moisture from the soil is the most common reason for subsidence in properties.
Evidence of subsidence
There are many noticeable signs on the inside and outside of a house which will signal you towards the
existence of subsidence.
The usual indications of subsidence are:

  • Cracks in the walls, ceilings and outside brickwork
  • Expanding of existing cracks
  • Cracks appearing after a long phase of dry weather
  • Rippling of wallpaper that isn’t caused by damp
  • Sticking of doors and windows


Due to the costs involved in dealing with a subsidence claim, many Insurers shy away from offering terms to homeowners whose properties have suffered from any form of movement in the past whether it has been repaired or not
Subsidence Claims Advisory Bureau put together a scheme called PUP’s (Previously Underpinned Properties) after long negotiations with Insurers, in an attempt to solve the problems of uninsurable and therefore unsaleable houses.
The Bureau has extensive knowledge of subsidence and subsidence related problems and works closely with government bodies in expanding knowledge and understanding of this geological hazardous subject.

Each risk is individually assessed by the Bureau (cost £250), an inspection will be made and a report prepared for the Insurers, who will then offer insurance terms to include subsidence cover.
Prevention is something we promote and we will advise Insurers of any concerns we may have about the possibility to future problems and you may be asked to take preventative measures to ensure a full and valid Insurance policy.
For instance, maintaining any vegetation within the grounds of the property on a regular basis, having your drains tested by way of CCTV, or placing a neighbour or local council on notice about their responsibility to maintain any trees or vegetation in their ownership, and increased excess for any future subsidence claims.

In return our partner broker will offer you a comprehensive Insurance policy at a competitive price with a well-known and trusted Insurance company.
The scheme is designed to cover any property that has suffered any form of movement, whether underpinned or not, so if you would like an indication of premium or advice on Insurance why not contact us through either cover@prminsurance.co.uk or rob@subsidencebureau.com alternatively  you can call us on 07596 695651 or 07770598712



Call us on 07596 695651 or 07770 598 712
Contact us contact us

Subsidence Claims Advisory Bureau
9 Clevedon Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex
TN39 4EL