WINTER brings cold, deep frosts that can contribute to ground heave insurance claims.
Normally ground heave is associated with tree roots pushing up but in the winter it can also be the result of water freezing hard underground, expanding and pushing up.
When this happens, pockets of ice underground expand when frozen, pushing upwards. It means that parts of the ground will exert pressure on your property in some, if not all areas.
When the pressure is strong enough, it can cause the property to buckle and walls to crack under the enormous forces. This is a bit like looking at the pavement where tree roots have grown underneath but forced the stones or Tarmac up and split it. Indeed tree induced ground heave is perhaps more common than that caused by frost.
Ground heave is similar to subsidence in that it can damage the structure of your building and in most cases will come under the same terms and conditions as well as excess payment.
The excess for subsidence and ground heave is typically high – a minimum of £1000 is common. It is high because the cost of fixing the problem and the damage it causes is usually very high. If the excess were to be any lower, then the cost of everyone’s insurance would be higher.
Subsidence is normally caused by water underneath a property wearing away layers of rock. Once worn away, the property can slump into the cavity and this puts enormous pressure on the structure of the house, often leading to wall cracks and splits.
Trees near houses are not necessarily the bad guys here either. They are soaking up and drinking/using a lot of water that is then not running through the ground causing damage. So if you take down a tree or two, you might end up with more of a problem than keeping them.
If you have ever had ground heave or subsidence in the past you will need to buy specialist subsidence insurance. It will be tailored to your exact requirements and specialist brokers will understand what remedial steps have been taken. In some cases the chance of recurrence is less because of preventative measures, so you may not be penalised.
Talk to specialist subsidence and ground heave insurance experts here at www.thepropertyinsurer.co.uk and have three of the UK’s best brokers provide prices for you to compare and buy as required.