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Friday, 16 March 2012

Subsidence and Loss Adjusters - who knows best?

Below is a transcript from an article written in RFW Roofs, Floors & Walls - a DCE Publication. You can download the full article here.

With any subsidence claim, it is notoriously difficult for homeowners to make their Insurer pay for a proper repair. They are likely to have unsuitable, cost-cutting solutions specified by a Loss Adjuster with little or no experience in specifying specialist repairs.

Some of the Insurance Industry's delaying tactics are:
  1. Arguing that the subsidence is ‘settlement’ – One needs to ask what has caused the "settlement". Settlement is usually not covered by insurance and would only occur on relatively new properties.
  2. Crack-stitching - While this is often good practise in addition to structural repairs, crack-stitching is not a structural solution.
  3. Vegetation - Some trees, like large willow trees, will absorb a large volume of water from a clay soil, causing it to shrink. Many other trees, like holly, require very little water, even if they are quite large.
  4. Monitoring - "Let’s see why your cracked house is moving!" - What difference does it make? 99% of the time Target can just get it repaired, rather than waste a year with academic study.
After partial underpinning in 1989 to her 1930’s house, Mrs. Norman became concerned about her home. In 2005, cracks were appearing in numerous areas, so she contacted her Insurer. Her Insurer appointed a Loss Adjuster to handle the claim.

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