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Our cover

Subsidence Insurance

Insuring houses with a history of subsidence

  • No subsidence in the last ten years? We can cover you!
  • Signs of historical subsidence? No problem!
  • Underwritten by AXA Insurance.
Emma Myrie

Written by

Emma Myrie

Insurance Underwriting Expert

Sophie Kamkar

Reviewed by

Sophie Kamkar

Content Marketing Manager

Less than 1 minute

Updated: 7 May 2024

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is the sinking of a building’s foundations caused by downward movement in the ground, usually after soil under the building dries and shrinks in hot weather, or when underground pipes leak and weaken the soil beneath the foundations.   

Signs of subsidence may include cracks in the walls, ceilings and around windows or door frames.  

Homeprotect can also cover landslip and heave.   

Heave is the upward or sideways movement of the site on which the buildings and outbuildings are situated. Must be caused by swelling of the ground and not due to the weight of the building or settlement  

Landslip is the sudden movement of the soil on a slope (or the gradual creep of a slope over time) on which the Buildings and Outbuildings are situated. The cause must be something other than the weight of the building or settlement.  

do i need subsidence insurance?

Subsidence can often be repaired simply by fixing drains or removing trees, without too much time or cost.  However, if subsidence were to cause significant structural damage to your home – which, unsurprisingly, can be expensive and stressful, subsidence home insurance could help cover some of these costs.  

how much does subsidence insurance cost?

Subsidence insurance premiums are calculated on the perceived risk to the provider – based on a range of factors, including the value of the home and any history of subsidence.   

This means there is no standard policy cost and premiums will reflect the value of cover provided.   

However, compared with the potential costs of repairing serious instances of subsidence, home insurance can prove valuable for homeowners and landlords.    

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What’s covered by buildings insurance?

Having buildings insurance means you won’t be out of pocket if you need to repair or rebuild your home if it’s been damaged or destroyed.

What we offer

Quick fix for uncontrollable leaks

Have a home emergency, such as electricity failure, faulty locks or vermin infestation? With the 24/7 Home Emergency cover, which we provide as standard, you can typically get an engineer at your home within four hours. And if you’re worried about an uncontrollable leak in your home, we aim to have an emergency plumber to you within two hours.

Extreme weather conditions may extend response time. Policy terms and claim limits apply.

5 star rated buildings cover

Our building insurance has been given the highest rating by independent financial research companies, Defaqto and Moneyfacts.

Repair guarantee

Any buildings work we undertake is guaranteed for 24 months following a claim.

Legal advice

We provide Legal Protection cover as standard, giving you access to telephone legal advice on any personal legal issue, under the laws of the UK, any European Union country, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Switzerland and Norway.

What isn’t included?

Damage cause gradually, or by wear and tear, or by failure to fix a known issue.

Faulty design or poor workmanship.

Damage or liability arising out of the activities of contractors.

Recommended by our customers

72% Saved money when they switched to Homeprotect*

BUILDINGS Insurance Cover Levels

Our buildings insurance is designed to protect your home against insured events such as fire, storm, flood, escape of water, theft, malicious damage, subsidence, landslip or heave.

Buildings cover

Covers the main structure of your home, including attached garages and conservatories, if you need to rebuild or repair it following an insured loss. Also covers permanent outdoor structures such as driveways, patios and boundary walls. 

£1 million

(more cover available if you need it) 

Alternative accommodation

Covers the cost of alternative accommodation for you and your pets, together with reasonable expenses (e.g. travel, food, laundry) if you can’t live in your home (or where you’ve been advised to evacuate) due to an insured loss. 

up to £75,000

Home emergency

Covers sudden, unexpected emergencies, such as uncontrollable water leaks, that require immediate corrective action to prevent or limit damage to your home, or make your home secure. Two levels of cover are available, for different types of insured loss. 

up to £500

Family legal protection

Covers legal costs following an insured loss. There must be reasonable prospects of winning and the incident must have occurred during the policy term. Two levels of cover are available, for different types of insured loss. 

up to £25,000

Trace and access

Covers the cost of detecting the source of a water or oil leak to your home or outbuildings. Includes reinstating any wall, floor, ceiling, drive, fence or path removed or damaged during the search (up to the claim limit). 

up to £10,000

Outbuildings cover

Covers rebuild or repair of your outbuildings (e.g. detached garages, greenhouses, sheds and summerhouses) that are within the boundary or a communal area you’re legally responsible for, if you need to rebuild or repair them following an insured loss. 

from £20,000

Liability cover

Covers damages and claimants’ costs and expenses for your legal liability in the event of accidental death, injury or illness to a third party, or damage to property belonging to a third party. 

up to £5 million

Accidental damage

Covers sudden, unexpected and unforeseen events around the house (e.g. spillages or breakages) that result in physical damage and which was caused by you, your guests, a third party or wild animals. Two levels of cover are available


New Customer?

If you’re deciding on whether to buy home insurance with us, you can use our latest policy booklets as a guide.

Existing Customer?

Your subsidence Questions Answered

The following situations cannot be covered by Homeprotect:   

– Where there is ongoing subsidence, heave or landslip claims or issues  

– Where existing damage has not been rectified  

– Where subsidence, heave or landslip has occurred within the last 12 months (although we may be able to offer cover, provided that the issue has been rectified, but excluding subsidence, landslip, heave damage)  

– Where the property is within 200 meters of any cliff face, or in areas where coastal erosion is a concern  

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has an agreement with all its members that if subsidence is identified within eight weeks of switching provider, your previous insurer has responsibility for handling the claim.  

No, settlement and subsidence are not the same thing, and will require different insurance solutions that reflect the unique incidents or risks facing a property. While both terms refer to the downward movement of a building, they are caused by different factors.  

Settlement is the downward movement of a property in the first 10 years of it being built, caused by the weight of the home. Subsidence, however, refers to the downward movement of a property caused by issues with the foundation under the home, such as trees growing under the property or drain leaks moistening the soil.  

Yes, if your home has experienced subsidence, you will always need to declare this on your home insurance, even if it has been over 10 years since the incident. This is because many home insurance providers will refuse policies to homes with a history of subsidence.  

Homeprotect is happy to quote for home insurance, even for properties with a history of subsidence.  

The most common cause of subsidence is the shrinkage of soils, particularly clay types, as moisture is extracted from them. This often occurs as a result of tree roots growing under the property, which becomes more likely in extended periods of hot and dry weather.  

Another common cause is drain leakage, where water escapes from underground pipes and washes away (or softens) soils so that they are no longer able to support the weight of the foundations. It can also occur as a result of a history of mining excavations beneath or around your home, so it is always worth checking for these before buying a property.  

Underpinning means a solid foundation is laid below ground level to support or strengthen a building. This may be necessary due to subsidence, for instance, when the ground under a property moves and impacts its foundations.  

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Additional Cover Options

Accidental Damage

The Homeprotect policy includes the option of Basic Accidental Damage, which covers electrical home entertainment equipment (such as desktop computers and monitors, DVD and Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, home cinema systems, sound systems and TVs) up to £1,500 per claim. An upgrade …

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Legal expenses cover

The insurance policy includes Basic Legal Expenses cover which provides up to £25,000 for legal fees you may face for disputes associated with your home; such as ownership of the insured property; and the sale or purchase of the insured property. You can upgrade to Full Legal Expenses cover.

Learn More

Home emergency cover

The insurance policy includes Basic Home Emergency cover which provides cover for common home emergencies including burst pipes; failure of the domestic power supply (gas or electricity); and removal of pests or vermin. You can upgrade to Full Home Emergency to include cover for roof …

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