Chris Cowen, client relationship manager at Auger, tech specialists for the UK insurance sector in drainage and water mains claims, said: ”Subsidence claims are an insurance category that is subject to peaks and troughs and it is not unusual for example, for volumes to double in September, October and November following a hot summer.
“The spring and summer of 2018 has been unusually hot and dry and has resulted in a surge of subsidence claims. With volumes more than four times the average and claims seeming to peak a couple of months earlier, it has proved a challenging time for those in the industry. It is not viable for adjusters and specialist suppliers to have sufficient resource permanently in place for ‘event years’, and with the last being in 2003 the industry has lost capacity and expertise. The answer has to be flexibility and the ability to react quickly.
“At Auger, we have a background in specialist subsidence investigation dating back over 20 years. We are able to react to the surge indicators earlier in the year and employ and train additional staff and purchase vehicles and equipment necessary to provide additional capacity.
“All parties need to work together to remove any blockers and to minimise the number of visits required. Utilising technology to obtain video and photo evidence directly from the customer will continue to help screen a large number of claims.
“Loss adjusters and their supply partners need to be suitably prepared to complete their investigations in a single visit. Auger undertakes geo technical site investigations, soil and root samples and a drainage investigation during the same visit whenever possible.
“Empowering supply partners with delegated authority is a positive way to reduce claim duration. Where drains have been damaged or are the cause of the issue, they are repaired by Auger within a few days. However, it is inevitable that there will be a significant tail to the surge well into 2019 and beyond, with a number of high value claims requiring mitigation including underpinning or ground stabilisation.”