Past structural movement and buildings insurance

(12 Posts)
msfreud Wed 13-Aug-14 11:17:58

I'm in the process of buying a Victorian terraced house. The survey found some evidence of structural movement that has caused slight cracking on an external wall, and there is an old retaining strap in place on that wall holding some of the bricks together. The surveyor would not say that the movement was definitely historic and not progressive - having spoken to him he didn't seem to think it was a massive worry but I got the sense he was covering his own back (i.e. if he had said it's fine and I go on to have a problem, he would have been liable). Vendors have never made an insurance claim and have had no problem, there's no cracks on internal walls. I'm accepting the risk as it's an old property and in an area where there is a fair bit of ground movement (SE London, an area with lots of hills and valleys) so it would be unusual to find somewhere with no cracks.

Anyway, I now need to get buildings insurance as we prepare to exchange contracts. I will need to declare the past structural movement. Has anyone been in this situation and was your insurance much more expensive than anticipated? I am avoiding online comparison websites because I know many automatically say no if there's been any past structural movement. Any recommendations for insurance brokers?

WhatKatyDidnt Wed 13-Aug-14 13:10:07

We bought a house with past structural movement. The surveyor advised us to insure with the previous owners' insurers. The policy is pretty pricey and has a £2k excess for subsidence-related claims, but otherwise no problem. With year that passes the premium goes down quite a bit (provided no claims).

Blueskies80 Wed 13-Aug-14 14:30:35

Hi. We had a similar position, we stayed with the vendors insurers for a few years and have since moved, it is a bit more pricey than normal. Try culpeck insurance, based in Peterborough, should come up on a google search. Good luck xx ps also in SE London on a hill!

meadowquark Wed 13-Aug-14 15:03:15

I also have a Victorian house with past movement. I went with the previous owner's insurer. It kept increasing every year so I switched with quotelinedirect after sending them a scanned copy of survey report which mentioned the past movement. I now pay around 400 pounds per year only for buildings (no contents). In the hindsight, and if I was a little bit braver, I should have gone with a high street insurance since the survey only mentioned "past movement" and not "subsidence".
We have a couple of cracks on external walls but we just fixed it, to be honest I am not bothered, we are in SE London too and most of Victorian houses will have cracks and movements.

WhatKatyDidnt Wed 13-Aug-14 15:10:57

Yup, south east London here too, and all our neighbours have had the same thing. Good job it's so great here grin

msfreud Wed 13-Aug-14 18:48:06

Did some ringing around and got a quote for £365 even with a note added on to the policy about the past issues. Hurrah!

In SE18, by the way. Apparently the sub soil there is particularly unsteady...

NoPlanYet Tue 17-May-16 11:42:20

Hi,
I'm resurrecting the zombie as I'm having similar issues and need the name of an insurance company please!
We've had past structural movement, also just got a structural engineer report stating the movement is historic and no longer happening. Apparently this is no use for the high street insurers.
Anyone got any suggestions for companies who will insure us please? Happy for the premium to be any amount, just need the excess to stay at £1k as a mortgage offer condition.

We're also in lovely SE London the problems this has caused us selling and now renting out I would not recommend any 1st time buyer buys here ever! So sick of it

NoPlanYet Tue 17-May-16 13:23:10

Zombie bump!

mrsmortis Tue 17-May-16 14:15:16

I think you need to find a broker. They should be more equipped to help you.

Pufflemum Tue 17-May-16 15:37:14

I have had the same issue. My mortgage company were charging £900 a year due to historic movement. I went through a London broker who a friend recommended and it came down to £450. I subsequently had to claim for a broken drain and they paid out no problem. So try jessica.jones@rossgower.co.uk or Richard OBrien, he is the owners son. They are London based but cover UK and international.

NoPlanYet Tue 17-May-16 17:45:47

Thank you puffle, that's really good to have a recommendation

seven201 Tue 17-May-16 20:29:29

We used intelligent insurance as our house has historic subsidence.

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