WITH the news that Buckinghamshire teenager Zoe SmithÂs car was swallowed by a sinkhole at the family home comes the question, who deals with this sort of loss and are you covered with insurance?
In the case of the car, this is an insured item that has suffered a loss so the first thing will be to speak with the car insurance provider. Comprehensive cover should ensure loss recovery. The more pertinent question is over the damage to the property however. A massive 30-foot wide, 60-foot deep hole is certainly cause for concern.
A sinkhole is relatively rare in the UK so is not often quoted on policy schedules or documents. Subsidence however, is quoted on just about every home insurance policy document. I would expect property insurers to treat a sinkhole as extreme subsidence as these problems come from the same family.
Subsidence insurance is a specialist area of property insurance. If you have ever suffered a sinkhole or subsidence in the past then you may find it difficult to get cover in the future Â or find it more expensive. The fact is though, that remedied correctly by expert engineers, the sinkhole or subsidence has perhaps less chance of occurring again at the same property.
A subsidence insurance specialist will understand the work that has been carried out and what it means for the property. They will understand the risk and rate the price of the insurance cover accordingly. A specialist subsidence insurance provider should be your first port of call if you have ever suffered a claim in the past or any properties around you are displaying sinkhole or subsidence problems.
If you have never suffered previously, then check your own home insurance documents. YouÂll probably need to delve into the small print at some stage to see exactly how your current provider deals with subsidence and sinkholes. Generally a standard home policy will cover against subsidence but there will be a high excess of Â£1000 or maybe more. If this is the case, then you are covered but will need to make a hefty excess payment to get the work carried out and property fixed.
The secret is to check your property insurance policy if you are worried. If you have bought from some price comparison sites at the lowest price possible, then the provider may have removed subsidence cover to reduce the price. That could be a real false economy. So check as a matter of urgency before it is too late.