Competitive cover for previously underpinned homes
We specialise in covering homes that have been underpinned to correct subsidence issues. Our fully online quote system offers a straightforward way to quote for underpinned property insurance and provides an instant competitive premium – without lengthy referrals.
- Cover for homes that have suffered from subsidence, heave or landslip & since underpinned*
- Policies designed to cover underpinned homes at competitive prices
- Buildings cover up to £1.5million
- Contents cover up to £150,000
- Trace & access cover as standard
- Accidental damage options
- Legal cover included
- Manage your policy online
- Our staff have the expertise to help you secure the right cover
- Calls answered on average in under 1 minute.
*If your property has previously suffered subsidence then as part of our requirements to be able to offer you the best premium we can, there will need to be a Certificate of Structural Adequacy for the underpinning work done.
Need a little help quoting?
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MORE ABOUT UNDERPINNED PROPERTY HOME INSURANCE
Why do most insurers avoid cover for underpinned properties?
As underpinning is linked with subsidence at the property, it can lead to the home being classed as higher risk due to the generally increased chance the subsidence could reoccur and therefore leading to a claim. Why are we different? We work with a panel of top UK insurers who specialise in covering this type of property. This means not only can we cover such homes but our premiums are reasonable whilst offering great levels of cover.
Underpinned house insurance cost
CoverBuilder is one of only a few insurance companies that can quote for home insurance where the property has suffered some form of subsidence and later underpinned. Unlike most companies, you can get an instant price and offer of acceptance with us. We cover most types of underpinning types and subsidence causes.
Is my previously underpinned property covered by insurance?
The previous underpinning can often cause reluctance from standard insurers, as it is an indicator that the property has experienced previous subsidence.
What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?
If your property has previously suffered subsidence then as part of our requirements to be able to offer you the best premium we can, there will need to be a Certificate of Structural Adequacy for the underpinning work previously done.
When the repair has been organised as a result of an insurance claim, the insurer appointed Building Surveyor would have provided a Certificate of Structural Adequacy. This is issued under the guidance of the Institution of Structural Engineers (1994) although there is no actual contractual or legal requirement for one to be provided, nor is this a form of guarantee.
Types of underpinning work to existing foundations
- The structure has to be converted to another function, which requires stronger foundation compared to existing requirements.
Work is proactively carried out to stabilise the foundations before a problem occurs e.g. if;
- The existing foundation is not strong or stable
- Nearby excavation would affect the soil that supports existing footing.
- Stabilization of the foundation soil to resist against natural influences
- Building of a basement below an already existing structure
- The usage of the structure has changed.
- The construction of nearby structures necessitates the excavation of soil supporting existing foundations.
Carried out to rectify issues or damage that has occurred at the property e.g.
- Mistakes in initial foundation design caused subsidence of the structure
- Work on present structure rather than building a new one
Common methods of underpinning
Mass Concrete Underpinning
This method can often be referred to as ‘traditional underpinning’ as it has been in use for nearly 100 years, with the method remaining largely unchanged. This method works by strengthening a structure’s existing foundations by digging out boxes at strategic points and pouring concrete into these subsequent holes. This results in what are effectively new foundations built below the level of the existing foundations.
This method is generally most effective when the existing foundations are shallow but can be used on foundations that are as deep as fifteen metres. The method has hardly changed since its first use, with traditional tools still being favoured over heavy machinery due to the small size of the boxes that are dug out. It is still a very popular method due to the numerous advantages that it brings. The engineering involved is very simple, limiting the risk of something going wrong, the cost of labour for such work is comparably cheap and you can continue to live in the building while these remedial works are carried out.
Beam and Base Underpinning
This method is essentially a more modern and technologically advanced version of traditional mass concrete underpinning. The existing footings are either replaced with, or supported above or below by, a reinforced concrete beam. This beam transfers the load of the building to mass concrete bases, which are constructed at strategic points around the foundations. The depth that the beam is placed at can vary greatly depending on the ground conditions of the site while the beam design is dependent on the layout of the building and what loads will be applied.
The underpinning technique of mini-piling was first developed in Italy in 1952 and since then has undergone a number of name changes as it was slowly adopted worldwide.
When ground conditions are variable and there is poor access to a structure, mini-piles can be incredibly useful. It is most commonly used when the loads upon existing foundations need to be transferred to stable soils that are at high depths in excess of five metres. When underpinning using this method, structural engineers will use specially designed rigs, which can be operated in spaces that do not have much room and which can be narrow and difficult to access.
This method of underpinning is more complex than traditional mass concrete underpinning and involved the application of complex engineering mechanics to ensure they are able to work under both tension and compression. It is distinctive in its style due to the small diameter of its pins and the frequent use of tiebacks to attach the mini-piles to existing rock. Conventional drilling methods are usually employed to carry out the preparatory work.
Mini-piled underpinning schemes
Mini-pile underpinning can be divided even further into different subcategories, including pile and beam, cantilever pile-caps and piled raft systems. Piled raft underpinning systems are relatively common and are most frequently used to underpin entire buildings, rather than individual areas. It requires all internal floors to be removed and the installation of a reinforced concrete raft which is laid across a grid of piles. In pile and beam systems, pairs of piles are usually placed on either side of the wall that requires support and then linked together using a pile cap. A reinforced concrete beam is most commonly used to link these together providing optimum structure and support. The use of Cantilevered pile-caps can usually mean that you avoid too much heavy disruption to the inside of a building. This style of underpinning requires the construction of tension and compression piles to each cap.
Underpinning by expanding resin injection
When using resin to underpin a property, a mix of structural resins and hardeners are injected into the ground beneath the property’s original footings. A chemical reaction then occurs when this mixture enters the ground, causing expansion, which spreads out to fill any gaps and crevices. This in turn compacts any loose soil in the area, stabilising the structure. This method can even be used to raise the structure above to ensure that it returns to a stable level. This is known to be one of the quickest and least disruptive methods of underpinning, although it is relatively new, with the process only being introduced in the past 30 years. However, during this time its use has grown substantially.
Costs of underpinning?
Since the projects continuously vary depending on the customer, underpinning cost does vary, therefore a surveyor must first assess the extent of the problem to value accordingly. All projects are different, but a good reputable surveyor will survey and inspect the building thoroughly before recommending a solution. Works can be carried out no matter how big or small your problem but like everything, early action can prevent even larger repair bills in the future.
What is underpinning of a house?
Underpinning is the process of restoring and repairing the foundations of a property that have been comprised. This could be for various reasons including damage by tree roots, soil movement or even substandard materials used.
Underpinning foundations are laid due to the movement of homes and other buildings as a result of subsidence and other forms of property movement. It is a common form of corrective repair to foundations. A telltale sign that your home is suffering from subsidence is the visibility of cracks in the brickwork or plasterwork of your home, in particular, cracks that exceed 3mm in width or that are wider at the top than the bottom.
Buying a property with underpinning
In the event that previous subsidence has been identified and underpinning has been carried out on the property you are looking to purchase. You should look to obtain the Completion Certificate issued by the Local Authority and Certificate of Structural Adequacy. These should be obtained from the current property owner.
House underpinned 30 years ago?
We are able to quote on properties where underpinning has been carried out over 30 years ago. This can often be an issue for many insurers.