Don’t despair - shop around

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QWe want to buy a house that was the subject of a subsidence claim. But the seller has specialist over-50s insurance – so we can’t continue it. Help!

AAt first glance, your predicament seems to have something of a Catch 22 about it!

As I wrote not so very long ago, simple logic would suggest that a property that has been properly underpinned should actually be a safer bet than the one next door which hasn’t – not least from the point of view of subsidence insurance.

Sadly, that’s not the way things tend to work where insurance is concerned. Admittedly, there is an industry agreement in place, designed to ensure continuity of cover for homes that have had to be underpinned.

But what this tends to mean in practice is that many companies will only continue to insure such properties if the original claim was made under one of their own policies – and since you are obviously under 50 yourselves, that is not an option as far as you are concerned.

However, this is hardly a completely intractable problem.

The simple answer is that all you need to do is shop around for insurance cover.

Admittedly, this won’t be easy.

Indeed, ironically, the more recent the claim, the more challenging this task may be – which again seems fairly counter-intuitive.

After all, the newer the underpinning, the more reliable you might expect it to be!

But while finding new subsidence cover won’t be easy, it shouldn’t be completely impossible either.

Of course, as with any type of insurance, the existence of a recent claim is likely to bump up both the premiums and the excess you will be expected to pay.

Nevertheless, if you go to a really good all-market broker, you can be confident that they will find you the best deal available.

So, my advice is, don’t despair.

If you’ve really set your heart on this property, then all the extra effort you have to put into securing insurance cover will only make it even more satisfying when you finally get hold of the keys!