Warmer weather to increase subsidence claims?

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Recent spells of warm weather could cause subsidence insurance payouts to increase by as much as 33 per cent, one new report claims.

The study, from a UK comparison site, claims that hot weather can have a damaging effect on the foundations of your home - causing subsidence and a variety of other unwanted side-effects. And in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of claims made for subsidence - with such payouts costing insurers £302 million last year, compared to £225 in 2005.

Most subsidence claims are subject to a £1,000 excess payment, the research states.

"The most common sign of subsidence is cracks appearing in the wall, especially around the door and window frame," Richard Mason, an official from the site, commented.

"All buildings naturally experience some cracking, so homeowners or buyers needn't always panic. Any cracks wider than your thumb however, may mean there is evidence of subsidence. In this case you should alert your insurer immediately so they can assess the situation."

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