Helping insurers drive down subsidence costs

30th January 2019
Stone repair for subsidence insurance claims

Last summer’s prolonged hot and dry weather may be a distant memory, as the colder weather sets in, but the legacy of 2018’s record-breaking summer, is being felt through a surge in insurance claims due to subsidence.

Rising costs for subsidence claims

An unbelievable, 10,000 homes made claims during July, August and September 2018, after the intensity of the summer’s drought lead to subsidence, this was a reported cost to the industry of £64 million, and a huge 350% up on the previous quarter.

The rise in subsidence claims is bound to have a huge effect on an already challenged insurance market.  These claims can be expensive, with insurers facing an average cost of £13,000 per subsidence claim.

Collaboration is key

However, Chris Edwards at leading repair company to the insurance market – Plastic Surgeon suggests that there are alternatives to traditional methods of dealing with claims that can help keep the cost down:

“Ensuring parties work together is key to driving down costs and increasing customer satisfaction.”

“Loss adjusters need to work with supply partners like ourselves, to assess how construction work is kept to a minimum and where possible areas are restored/repaired rather than replaced”.

He continues: “Although insurers are realising the value of a restoration approach in terms of driving down claim lifecycles and costs (Plastic Surgeon’s insurance department enjoyed significant growth during 2018) subsidence claims are quite often ignored in terms of opportunities for restoration, which avoids unnecessary replacement costs”.

These repairs include the restoration of cracked stone, and lintels, which can be incredibly expensive to replace, and particularly – in period style properties – difficult to find a perfect match

“By working closely with loss adjusters and providing a triage service we are able to advise on what items and areas are able to be restored, avoiding unnecessary work, driving down costs and claim lifecycles.”

It is estimated that the industry still hasn’t realised the true cost of the subsidence surge, as claims continue to be reported, Chris adds:

“We’d urge insurers to speak to us about our services and let us show them what we can do. We are confident we can add value to the process and reduce costs considerably.”

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