Halifax: Subsistence claims soar in summer heat

12 April 2007
Homeowners preparing for a long, hot summer should take stock of their home's risk level where subsistence is concerned, Halifax Home Insurance has advised.

With a 50 per cent increase in the number of subsistence claims registered over the last five years, homeowners who fail to check their homes could lose out on insurance payments, it warns.

Payments to the tune of £302 million were awarded to customers making subsidence claims in 2006.

But "there are ways homeowners can help to reduce the risk of such damage," said Neil Curling, senior structural claims manager.

When buying a property, would-be homeowners should keep their eyes peeled for information in the survey on mining activity in the area, since around 15 per cent of subsidence claims relate to the destabilisation of earth caused by prior mining nearby, he explained.

Meanwhile, tall trees in the vicinity can destabilise homes, although the impact of each tree will depend on its size and species.

And as an added incentive to check out the subsistence status of your home, it is worth bearing in mind that as summer approaches, trees soak up more water from the soil and could cause earth to crack, Mr Curling noted.

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