Subsidence insurance: a guide for landlords and small businesses

Subsidence can cause serious damage to buildings, their contents, and your income. There are a number of different insurance covers you might need to protect against subsidence, so we’ve put together this guide to help you work it out.

What is subsidence insurance?

Subsidence insurance doesn’t exist as a stand-alone policy, but there are several types of insurance that could cover the costs of subsidence repairs.

For many, the main concern regarding subsidence is the damage caused to the property. This is covered under buildings insurance, but the building itself is not the only thing you may want to cover.

Severe cases of subsidence can damage items within the property, from fixtures and fittings to contents, and even less severe cases may require the building to be empty while repairs are made, which can cause loss of income.

What does subsidence insurance cover?

Insurance that covers subsidence will usually pay the cost of repairing the damages caused by subsidence. So, buildings insurance can pay for the cost of repairing the subsidence itself, while contents insurance could pay for the cost of repairing or replacing the contents if it were damaged by the subsidence. The exact coverage will depend on the type of insurance you have in place.

It’s important to check your documents carefully when you buy your insurance so that you’re clear about what is and isn’t covered. There will also be certain conditions that you need to meet to make sure you’re covered.

With subsidence insurance, you must disclose any existing structural issues with your property when you take out your cover. If you fail to do so, your insurer can refuse to pay out if you later try to make a claim.

Subsidence insurance for landlords

As a landlord, your biggest investment is your property, so to protect that in the case of subsidence it’s Landlord buildings insurance you should consider.

However, if your property is a flat, you might find that it’s the freeholder’s responsibility to have buildings insurance. If that’s the case, you might want to take out landlord fixtures and fitting insurance instead, which would cover things like a fitted kitchen or bathroom should they be damaged by extreme subsidence.

And if you offer your property furnished - either fully or just with white goods - landlord contents insurance, can pay to replace your furniture in cases like these. Even better, these covers also protect you against other disasters, like fires and floods.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that your tenants’ possessions aren’t covered under landlord contents insurance, so it’s a good idea to make them aware they’ll need to take out their own insurance for their own belongings.

Aside from the damage it causes, one of the biggest problems with subsidence is the fact that your property may need to be empty while repair works take place. For that reason, it’s worth considering loss of rent cover, which can cover your lost rent if your tenants have to move out.

All of these covers can be combined into a single landlord insurance policy through Simply Business. And if you’re a commercial landlord, you can also get many of the above covers in a specialised commercial property insurance policy.

Subsidence insurance for businesses

If you own the building where you run your business or shop, then you may want to consider business buildings insurance if subsidence is a concern. It can pay out to cover the cost of repairing your building should it begin to subside.

If you rent your business premises then you’re not usually responsible for insuring the building - that will be up to your landlord. It’s best to check, but if you don’t own the property, chances are you won’t need to worry about insuring the bricks and mortar themselves against subsidence.

However, there are still several other considerations when it comes to subsidence insurance for businesses. Business equipment and furniture can be damaged in cases of extreme subsidence, and if you have any stock on the premises, that’s at risk too. Business contents insurance can take care of the furniture and equipment, while stock cover is what you want to look into if you need to protect your stock.

Even if insuring the building and making sure it’s repaired isn’t your responsibility, you could find that you have to move out - either temporarily or permanently - if repair work needs to be done on the building. To help cover your losses during that period, you can add business interruption insurance to your policy.

Those are a lot of covers to weigh up, but once you’ve decided which ones you want you can add them all - and any other covers you need - into a single business insurance policy from Simply Business.

How to make a subsidence insurance claim

If you have an insurance policy from Simply Business and you need to make a subsidence claim, contact us as soon as possible online, by email, or over the phone on 0333 207 0560.

We’ll assign you a dedicated claims handler who will be in charge of your case. Dealing with any insurance claim can be stressful but ones that affect your building can be particularly so - your claims handler is there to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Your claims handler will go through everything you need to do, but you’ll need to provide some details about the damage as well as some supporting evidence (such as photographs). Once the claims team have all the information they need, they’ll review your claim, and if it’s successful it will be paid out within 24 hours of being settled.

If you have any more questions about subsidence insurance just ask in the comments.

Looking for self-employed insurance?

With Simply Business you can build a single self employed insurance policy combining the covers that are relevant to you. Whether it’s public liability insurance, professional indemnity or whatever else you need, we’ll run you a quick quote online, and let you decide if we’re a good fit.

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