Being abt 200years old there are certain "features" associated with settlem ent/ subsidence (gasp) that for at least the last 50 years have been "stabl e" and are no worse than then.
e.g. a couple of stone window cills are no longer horizontal but "drop" lef t to right by say 2" over their 3ft 6" width.
being an old building the (old soft) brickwork has accomodated these events and as your gaze travels up above these windows there are increasingly min or deflections in courses for say 8ft until all is straight and true again and the coursing is fine after. There are no cracks through bricks or crack s at all visible. Pointing is 95+% intact allover - last done early 1980s.
e.g.2. There is a curious 2" "belly" on a large gable end, where a slightly later rear addition is butted to the original building & projects by 2" ou t from the original building's side wall - when intuitively you would have thought it should be flush. It is however perfectly in line at the top and the bottom of the vertical joint where old and newer 1/2s meet. and only wh en sighting down the wall from one end of the gable is it obvious what is g oing on. this too is unchanged for at least 50 years.
Cue insurance broker & company who appear to be using a "subsidence scare s cam" to extort increasingly large premiums from my aunt as a long while ago , being honest, she had a surveyor round to look at these a while back to s et her mind at ease. She subsequently sent a copy of the report to the insu rers to satisfy them that all was OK - his report used phrases like "old mo vement" not "subsidence" and he was of the (verbal) opinion the building wa s "old but sound" but recommended to add some simple metal corner "straps" to the interior corner where the 2" "belly" is evident - this was done at t he time.
Since then every year the broker claims they are unable to switch companies as no-one else will cover her and she has to pay whatever they ask or she won;t have any cover....
If I put the house details (except cracks/subsidence/movement detail) into insurance websites I get quotes of £250 - 350, less than 1/2 what she is being told to pay...
What do we do about this? Is the broker right? trying it on? Anyone any sim ilar experiences?