I've read the thread above about slight subsidence problems.
I'd like to know how far you go with being honest to insurance companies -
the place I am currently rennovating suffered some movement about 15-20
years ago and it was mentioned in the survey report that it was long
standing. However I have had a couple of insurance companies refuse to
insure me as soon as I mention the word subsidence.
The same goes with selling the property which I plan to do later in the
year - do I tell the potential buyers on the solicitors questionaire that I
know there has been subsidence a long time ago, or just deny all knowledge?
Anyone done similar?
I have a flat in a converted regency property (c1830) and we had some
cracking this year during the dry summer.
We (the other flats and I) took the view that it was better to come clean.
The insurance company visited and did a
proper survey and report, which confirmed it was seasonal and nothing too
serious. We now have this report to show
any prospective buyers, rather than the prospect of the buyer's surveyor
finding cracks and having to go through a similar
process prior to the sale. I personally think that's the way to go.
You need to be straight - otherwise the insurance company will not be there
when you need them. If you sell the house the buyer is entitled to rely upon
your answers to enquiries and can sue if you mislead.
Regarding insurance, we had this problem. It took 13 attempts before we
could get insurance but it was competitive and comprehensive. Go to a good
broker who knows their stuff - they will do the leg work for you. They may
want to see the survey report so take this along too - this could satisfy
them about the risk.
Good luck - it is manageable.
I agree, insurance comapanies try to rip you off whenever they can. I was
asked recently if there were any trees more than 2m high within 25m of the
building...............er yes, aren't most places in rural England?
So I dare say my premiums are bumped up because of it....they'll be asking
if any neighbours have looked at the property in a suggestive way
On 18 Feb 2004 18:31:04 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Huge) wrote:
Eagle Star were very nice to me too in similar circumstances. There was no
real argument about properly fixing up other cracks that were clearly
historic but had been poorly bodged over. That said, I do have this
slightly uncomfortable feeling that my knackers are surrounded by an iron
fist belonging to them. (I.e. I doubt I'll ever be able to reinsure
If you can't laugh at yourself, I'll do it for you!
On 18 Feb 2004 22:22:04 GMT, email@example.com (Huge) wrote:
You forgot the "amen".
My real difficulty lies in the fact I (stupidly) arranged the insurance
through the mortgage lenders. So far, I have tried twice before renewal
time to disengage the two. Almost time to try again for 2004/5.
Long standing movement is not subsidence and the fact that you have a
survey stating this means that it is not an issue which should concern
you or your insurers.
To take a belt and braces approach, you could arrange for a structural
engineers report. This will make some conclusions which, assuming
nothing is ongoing, will say something about longstanding movement, or
differential settlement, or similar, and you can provide a copy to your
buyers and their surveyor.
In addition, any questions which refer to this type of thing can be
answered by referring to the report of which they have a copy. In this
way, you are not answering the question, but allowing them to draw their
On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 22:41:16 +0000, a particular chimpanzee named
keyboard and produced:
Not your existing ones maybe, but very few others will quote you.
Oft repeated story, but pertinent:
About 10 years ago, I lived in a traditional late Victorian terraced
house. There were a few hairline cracks when I bought it, but
IMProfessionalO nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, I thought it
prudent to monitor these cracks to be able to say to any future
purchaser that they were non-progressive and/or seasonal. To this end
I contacted my insurance company to make a 'claim' so that they would
monitor any movement. After 12 months of monitoring, they wrote back
to confirm that the cracking was not progressive and did not impair
the stability of the house, and that the cost of any pointing,
decoration, etc, was less than the excess on my policy. Fine, I
thought, any future buyer can now be assured that the house is stable.
When I came to sell my house a couple of years later, one sale was
scuppered, and another nearly so, by the fact that several insurance
companies wouldn't give quotes, as "we don't insure properties where
there has been a claim for movement".
"The fact that no-one on the internet wants a piece of this
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