Delaying calling the experts increases costs, subsidence event told

I Love Claims Subsidence Surge Event

Insurance professionals attending a national subsidence event have been warned that delays in getting expert advice about subsidence claims can lead to increased costs.

The I Love Claims (ILC) Subsidence Surge specialist conference in Coventry was told some subsidence claims reported in 2018 were still open and not resolved, which caused problems for policy holders and insurers alike.

Senior managers from Catalyst Services UK attended the conference to get a better idea of the national picture on managing subsidence claims and share ideas about resolving them efficiently and effectively.

ILC called arranged the meeting, in part, to consider the impact of the 2022 heatwave which contributed to 18,000 subsidence claims, nearly 80% of all claims in that year. The Association of British Insurers says the cost of subsidence claims in 2022 is set to top £219m.

However, the conference heard that many claims submitted during a previous subsidence surge in 2018 were still open, with reports that year-on-year, the time taken to resolve subsidence claims has been lengthening.

Catalyst Managing Director Brad Jackson said: “This is not a good situation for policy holders or insurers. Property owners have to live in uncertainty, not knowing if their policy will cover all aspects of their claim.

“Meanwhile, insurers face greater costs, either through the need to manage an open claim for longer, or because the damage caused by the subsidence gets worse or spreads, increasing remediation costs.”

A key issue discussed at the ILC Subsidence Surge conference was the need to identify complex claims early enough in the process and call in specialist advice.

Brad Jackson said: “This was a telling point. Understanding the full implications of the effect of subsidence on a building, how it is caused, and the best way to put in place a permanent, cost-effective solution, is crucial.

“At Catalyst, we have expert project managers who work with the best specialist engineers across the UK to investigate subsidence causes and solutions.

“By working closely both with insurance clients and their customers, we can more quickly establish the correct course of action that resolves claims in the most timely way.”

The ILC Subsidence Surge conference also heard about the latest technologies to reduce claims life cycles. They included satellite monitoring to predict, identify and monitor subsidence hotspots.

Satellite based sensors can identify and measure land deformation and settlement from space. The conference was told the high cost of the technology was preventing its wide use, currently.

However, space-based subsidence investigation could become increasingly common if climate change increases the frequency of subsidence surges and spreads their impact across the UK, as it is expected to do.

I Love Claims is a community of more than 6,500 like-minded individuals and businesses working in the motor, home, and technology insurance claims supply chain.

ILC has published its own report feeding back on discussions during the Subsidence Surge conference. Click here to read it.

Find out more

Catalyst is a leading provider of specialist services to the insurance industry, including drainage unblocking and repairs, septic tank maintenance, subsidence investigation, water supply pipe services, and home emergency response.

Talk to Catalyst today about subsidence. Call 0800 870 8080. Email [email protected].

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