Buy underpinning insurance for your home online
Homes that have suffered previous subsidence can be harder to insure. This is due to how the property is classed in terms of risks by the underwriters. This page talks about how to get competitive underpinning insurance cover for your property.
Why is the property still seen as a risk?
Companies are cautious due to the costs involved fixing the damage and stopping any further problems. There are 5 key questions an insurer will be thinking about when offering a quote.
- What is the chance of the issue coming back again?
- Have the repairs worked?
- Was the work done by a qualified tradesperson?
- Have these works been checked by a qualified surveyor
- Are there any unknown long-term damage that has yet to be noticed that could lead to a claim?
Specialist cover at cheaper prices with CoverBuilder
We work with a panel of underwriters experienced in covering various types of underpinning. All our quotes are 100% online and cover a wide acceptance of subsidence options. Get your quote in under 5 minutes by clicking the button below.
- Cover for homes that have suffered from subsidence, heave or landslip & since underpinned
- Underpinning insurance designed to cover homes at competitive prices
- Our staff have the expertise to help you secure the right cover
- Calls answered on average in under 1 minute.
- No cancellation fees
- Manage your policy online
Need a little help quoting?
We have experts ready to help if you want to ask a question. Our average time to answer a call is under 1 minute 0333 358 3359. You can also chat with us online via our livechat option.
What should you look for when buying a property that has previous subsidence?
When buying any property it is a good idea to organise thorough checks by qualified surveyors. Doing these check before you buy can avoid a nasty and expensive surprise. It is more important when there is a history of subsidence in the area. Also, check for previous mining or known issues of heave/landslip. A full ‘building report‘ will provide you with all the information you need to decide whether to buy the house.
Here’s a real-life example where a couple buying a house suffered a nasty shock afterward.
In 2013 the couple purchased a barn conversion on the Somerset Levels worth £500K. The property consisted of a cottage, an annexe, and a separate block of bed-and-breakfast accommodation. Like many buyers’ they did not order their own building survey, instead, they used their lender’s property valuation. The report picked up small repairs were needed and areas also needing attention. There were no issues regarding subsidence but soon after they noticed problems. The couple ordered another survey which found serious foundation problems. Unfortunately, these problems had a ‘put right’ cost of over £165K. Read the full story here.
What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy (CSA)?
The certificate shows a repair has been completed and signed off by the authorities. When the repair has been done as a result of a claim, the insurer’s Building Surveyor would have provided a CSA. This is issued under the guidance of the Institution of Structural Engineers (1994). There is no actual legal order for one to be given, nor is it a guarantee.
Getting cover without a certificate?
It is hard to find competitive underpinning insurance without a CSA. This is because it is hard to show the problem has been properly dealt with. Our underwriters will be looking for a valid certificate in order to quote. If you have any questions please contact us before quoting.
Types of repair work to foundations
- The structure has to be converted to another function. The building now requires a stronger foundation than when it was first built.
Work is proactively carried out to stabilise the foundations before a problem occurs e.g. if;
- The current foundation is not strong or stable
- Nearby ground removal would affect the soil that supports the current footing.
- Strengthening of the foundation soil to resist against natural influences
- The building of a basement below an already existing structure
- Usage of the structure has changed.
- Construction of nearby buildings means the digging and removal of soil around the old foundation.
These works are carried out to fix problems or damage that has happened at the property e.g.
- Mistakes in the original foundation design caused subsidence of the building.
- Building works on present structure rather than building a new one.
Common underpinning methods
CoverBuilder provides underpinning insurance quotes for many types of foundation repair. We’ve listed the most common types to help you see which version your home has.
Referred to as ‘traditional underpinning’ as it has been in use for over 100 years. The method has remaining largely unchanged in that time. It strengthens a buildings older foundations by digging out certain points and pouring in concrete. The result is a new strong layer built below the level of the existing foundations.
Beam and Base
A modern and advanced option of concrete underpinning. Existing footings are either replaced or supported by a reinforced concrete beam. This beam transfers the weight of the building to concrete bases. These are constructed at strategic points around the foundations. The depth the beam is placed at can vary depending on the conditions of the site. Beam design is different depending on the layout of the building and what weight will be applied.
Mini-piling was developed in Italy in 1952 and has evolved to be adopted worldwide. This is used when ground conditions are variable and there is poor access to a structure. It is used when the loads upon existing foundations need to be transferred to stable soils at high depths in excess of 5m. When underpinning via this method, structural engineers will use specially designed rigs, operated in restricted spaces. These spaces can be narrow and difficult to access.
Mini-pile underpinning has the options of 1) pile and beam 2) cantilever pile-caps 3) piled raft systems. These piles underpin entire buildings rather than individual areas. The removal of internal floors is followed by the installation of a strong concrete raft. This is laid across a grid, a pair of piles are placed on either side of the wall and linked together using a pile cap. A strong concrete beam is then used to link these together providing good structure and support. The use of Cantilevered pile-caps avoids heavy disruption to the inside of a building. This style of underpinning requires the building of tension and compression piles to each cap.
Expanding resin injection
A glue type liquid to underpin a building and fix the foundation. It is a mix of glues and hardeners squeezed into the ground under the building. A chemical reaction then happens when this mixture enters the ground making it expand. The resin spreads out to fill gaps and cracks while hardening any loose soil in the area. This method raises the structure above, ensuring it returns to a stable level. Often the quickest and least disruptive methods of underpinning. Created 30 years ago it is now well used by many builders.
All the above options can be covered by our underpinning insurance policies. We do look for a certificate of adequacy for online quotes, therefore, if you are not sure if you qualify you can call us or livechat us.