How Long Do You Have to Declare Subsidence for Insurance?
UK Property News

How Long Do You Have to Declare Subsidence for Insurance?

In the UK, there’s no time limit for telling insurers about subsidence issues. You must inform them of any past subsidence claims, even if they happened years ago. Not telling them could mean your insurance policy becomes invalid, leaving you at risk if subsidence happens again.

Insurance companies have rules for dealing with subsidence claims. They keep records of these claims for seven years. After three or four years, they might see a new claim as a new event, not part of the old one. So, it’s key to give insurers a full history of any subsidence problems.

Knowing how to handle subsidence disclosure is vital for homeowners. It affects more than just the first repair. Insurance costs depend on subsidence history, so being open about it is crucial.

Disclosing Subsidence to Prospective Homebuyers

When selling a house, it’s key to tell buyers if your property has subsidence issues. Even though buyers should check the home themselves, hiding subsidence facts is not helpful. Being open from the start builds trust, narrows down potential buyers, and lowers the chance of a property chain breaking.

Buyer’s Ability to Discover Subsidence Issues

Buyers can find subsidence problems in many ways, even if sellers don’t mention them. They can look at property searches like coal mining reports and environmental searches. Reports from Homecheck Mining and Subsidence Reports can also show risks. Plus, surveys by RICS qualified Structural Engineers can check if a property has subsidence.

Information to Disclose on Subsidence History

The Seller’s Property Information Form (TA6) says sellers must share info on any underpinning or fixes for subsidence. They must tell about insurance claims for these works. This keeps buyers informed. Insurers might up the excess and premiums if there’s a subsidence claim history, so it’s vital to share this info with insurers too.

Being honest about subsidence helps sellers gain trust, set clear expectations, and dodge legal issues later. Trying to hide these problems doesn’t help and can cause distrust, make negotiations harder, and lead to claims for wrong info.

Declaring Subsidence to Home Insurers

Declaring Subsidence to Home Insurers

If you think your property has subsidence, tell your home insurer right away. You must also tell them about any subsidence when you first get your policy and every time it renews. Most insurers will still cover your property for subsidence after a claim, if you fix the problem with their okay or approval.

Information to Provide for Historic Subsidence

If your property has had subsidence before, you’ll need to give your insurer lots of details. They want to know when it happened, why, what you did to fix it, and any insurance claims you made. Giving them all the facts helps them figure out the right coverage for your property.

Remember, each time your property has subsidence, it’s a new “material fact” you must tell your insurer. If there have been many incidents, you might need to answer questions about each one. Make sure the structural engineers you use are from a trusted professional group, like the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Insurers also want to know about trees near your building, especially if they’re over 5 metres tall and close to your property. They might ask about the trees’ type, height, and how far they are from your building. They’ll also want to know if there have been any damage to your property because of these trees and if they’re under a Preservation Order.

Key Information to Provide Details
Timing of Subsidence When the property was affected by subsidence
Cause of Subsidence The underlying reason for the subsidence
Remedial Measures The steps taken to address and fix the subsidence issue
Insurance Claims Any previous insurance claims related to the subsidence
Tree Information Details about trees near the property, including type, height, distance, and history of damage

How Long Do You Have to Declare Subsidence for Insurance?

How Long Do You Have to Declare Subsidence for Insurance?

There is no set time limit to declare subsidence for home insurance. Unlike car accidents, which you must report within 5 years, you must tell your insurer about any subsidence issues at any time. This is because you have a duty to keep your insurer informed about any subsidence problems, no matter when they happened.

Insurance companies keep records of subsidence claims for 7 years. But you must still tell them about any subsidence issues, even if they’re old. Not telling them could mean your insurance policy becomes invalid.

The reason you must always inform your insurer about subsidence is that it can affect your property for a long time. Even if you fixed a subsidence problem years ago, it’s still important to the insurer. They need to know about it to decide if they’ll cover your property.

You must tell your insurer about any subsidence issues, past or present, to both current and future insurers. This helps them understand your property’s history. They can then decide the right subsidence claim timescales and coverage options for you.

The subsidence notification periods and subsidence claim filing periods don’t have a time limit. You must always tell your insurer about any subsidence issues you know of. This keeps your home insurance policy valid.

Consequences of Failing to Disclose Subsidence

Owning a home means you must tell potential buyers and your insurer about any problems it has. Some homeowners might try to hide subsidence issues. This can lead to big problems, both legally and in terms of trust.

Loss of Trust and Legal Implications

If buyers find out a seller hid subsidence problems, trust is lost. This could mean the sale falls through. The buyer won’t trust the seller anymore. Also, not telling your insurer about subsidence could mean your insurance is invalid. You could face serious legal trouble, including fines or even criminal charges.

Dealing with subsidence can be tricky and often needs expert help. Many claims get rejected because the damage wasn’t from subsidence but from settlement. There are often delays in solving subsidence-related claims.

Key Statistic Value
Highest subsidence claim in the last 5 years Just over £30,000
Average subsidence claim size in the last 5 years £7,385
Increase in subsidence claims in 2018 due to heatwave 20%
Subsidence claims recorded in 2022 430

Not telling about subsidence can lead to big problems. It can damage trust, make insurance invalid, and lead to legal action. Homeowners must be honest about any issues, especially those that affect the property’s value or insurance. Ignoring this can result in big financial and legal issues.

Impact on Home Insurance Premiums

Impact on Home Insurance Premiums

Homeowners who have filed a subsidence claim may face big financial changes with their home insurance. The effect of a subsidence claim on insurance costs is big. Many people see their annual premiums go up a lot.

Industry data shows that homes with subsidence history see big jumps in insurance costs. For example, a homeowner with a minor subsidence issue now pays £1,330 a year for insurance. This was £840 before the claim. This shows the big financial hit from a past subsidence problem.

High premiums come from not having to tell insurers about past subsidence claims. You must tell them about any subsidence issues, no matter when they happened. This makes it hard for homeowners with subsidence history to find cheaper insurance in the future.

Policy Excess for Subsidence Provider Excess Range
Standard Excess Most Home Insurers £1,000
Lower Excess Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank (‘Select: Gold’ policies) £100 – £500 (£300 standard)
Variable Excess TSB £0 – £1,000
Higher Excess Urban Jungle £300 – £1,500 (£300 standard)

The table shows the different excess levels for subsidence claims. Most insurers charge a £1,000 excess. But, some offer lower or higher options. This affects the financial load on homeowners with subsidence issues.


This article has looked at the important times and rules for telling people about subsidence before they buy a home or when getting home insurance. It’s important to tell about any past subsidence claims, or it could lead to losing your insurance and losing trust with buyers.

It also showed how a subsidence claim can make home insurance costs go up for a long time after the issue happened. Homeowners need to be honest about any subsidence problems. This is for their own safety and to make selling their home easier.

Quickly telling insurers about subsidence, keeping detailed records, and talking well with them is key to handling a subsidence claim. Spotting early signs of subsidence, like cracks in walls or doors and windows sticking, is vital for protecting your property. In the UK, where subsidence is common because of the soil and weather, being careful and quick to deal with subsidence issues is crucial. It helps protect your investment and keeps your home fully insured.


What do I need to disclose to prospective homebuyers about subsidence?

You must tell potential buyers if your property has had or is having subsidence problems. Share details of any underpinning or fixes done and any insurance claims. Being honest helps build trust and can reduce the number of buyers. It also lowers the risk of the property sale falling through.

How can buyers discover subsidence issues, even if I don’t disclose them?

Buyers can find subsidence problems through property searches, surveys, and when trying to get insurance. Trying to hide subsidence is pointless as it will likely be found during the buying process.

What information do I need to provide my insurer if I have a history of subsidence?

When getting insurance for a property with subsidence history, give your insurer all the details. Include when the subsidence happened, its cause, the repairs done, and any claims made.

What are the consequences of failing to disclose subsidence to my insurer or prospective buyers?

Not telling your insurer or buyers about subsidence can lead to your insurance being invalid. You could face legal trouble for lying. If buyers find out you hid subsidence, they may not buy the property, damaging trust.

How can a previous subsidence claim impact my home insurance premiums?

A past subsidence claim can greatly increase your home insurance costs. For example, a homeowner with a minor subsidence issue now pays £1,330 a year for insurance, up from £840 without the claim. You must always tell insurers about past subsidence claims, making it hard to switch insurers later.


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