Subsidence - stick with original Insurance provider or move to new, much cheaper company?(9 Posts)
Our house had subsidence in 1999, 5 years before we bought it in 2004. We've stayed with the same company that paid out for the work done in 1999...mainly out of fear that changing company would be almost impossible and too risky if we had a recurrence of the subsidence or if we wanted to sell the property.
The problem was caused by the roots of a large tree on the public road damaging some drains at the front of the property. The tree is still there but gets pruned severely every couple of years by the council and the problem hasn't happened again. I don't think it was a big problem because the total bill from the structural engineering co. came to 5k.
Normally we pay about £600 for buildings and contents and this year we were quoted £700 on renewal. I started searching on the internet and the price comparison sites don't find many companies offering insurance for properties with subsidence but Admiral did at a cost of £300. I phoned my current provider and by explaining the Admiral offer and stripping it back to as basic a cover as possible they were willing to reduce the premium to £450. I've since been on Axa's website and they will do the same cover for £165 (as they seem to ignore any cases which are over 10 years old).
My wife thinks we should stay with our current provider but I want to move as we'd save almost £300 on top of the £250 we've already saved.
The only concern I have is that it may be an issue if we decide to sell the house in the next few years (which we may or may not do) but surely any prospective buyer could find similarly cheap insurance as I did by searching the internet.
Our renewal is up on Thursday so any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated.
You've found, via the web, three companies prepared to insure it. If you used a broker no doubt you'd find more. You're talking about an event 17 years ago so, yes, the risk of recurrence is much lower now. Five years after the subsidence remediation you were happy to buy the place. Either go with the cheaper quote or give your money away.
What are the relative excesses? I imagine the new companies are higher?
Have you spoken to an actual human being at the new insurers and spelled out in words of one syllable about the previous subsidence?
If you are going to switch I would get a paper/email trail highlighting the fact you gave them full disclosure - for your peace of mind.
If they are fully aware and are still much cheaper then switch, if you are in any doubt stay where you are.
Call them and triple check. If they do an online chat I suggest you ask online and keep the evidence.
I am an absolute stickler for reading all of the small print and still made an error on a price comparison website. I said no burglar alarm and it filtered through to the website as having a burglar alarm (in small print of the policy ). I rang up and they agreed I must have a registered alarm serviced annually and I cancelled during the cooling off period. But screen dumps showed I filled it in correctly.
Thanks for your replies.
I have spoken to Admiral on the phone and spelled out exactly what happened. They seemed perfectly happy and the phone quote was the same as the online price.
Axa have the following line in their online quote form
"Has your home experienced subsidence, heave or landslip in the last 10 years? Yes/No ".
So basically anything over 10 years you don't have to disclose. I phoned them up to confirm that was what it meant and they said yes.
I will do another full phone quote with them today explaining again in detail my situation.
All policies have the same subsidence excess of £1000. The other excesses etc are basically the same.
Sounds like you have your bases covered.
What is your wife going to spend the extra money on?
Do I need to put 'lighthearted'?
Legal and general is another one. Read their criteria/ask them in on line chat and I believe after 15 years it doesn't count.
100% go with AXA. Our house had subsidence 20 years ago and we brought last year. The previous owner used AXA and I called them to check if I had to let them know etc. They didn't need to know and it made a huge difference on our premium.
We did eventually go with Axa though Halifax and Legal and General were very competitive as well.
Moral of my story ... subsidence isn't a life sentence, shop around and save some money. We saved over £500!
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