The prolonged spell of hot weather in the UK could see a spike in the number of households claiming for subsidence, the AA has warned.
The hot weather has already begun to dry up some reservoirs and if soil, especially clay, dries out it can lead to an increased subsidence risk.
The insurer is now warning homeowners to check the wording of their insurance policies to make sure they have enough cover in place.
The recent hot weather spell may lead to a raft of subsidence claims, the AA has warned
The average price of a buildings insurance policy increased by 2.3 per cent in the second quarter of the year, to an average of £119.79, which is the highest for six years.
This is a rise of 5.9 per cent over the past year but the price of contents policies has remained more or less the same, falling by 1.7 per cent annually to reach £59.69 on average.
The price for a combined buildings and contents policy now sits at £163.03, a rise of 3.8 per cent over the past year, according to the AA’s ‘Shoparound Index’ which analyses insurance quotes from price comparison sites and other sources.
The prolonged cold weather we experienced at the start of the year saw a spike in insurance claims and is partly to blame for the overall rise in cost.
Janet Connor, the AA’s director of insurance, says: ‘The harsh winter seems a lifetime away as we enjoy a long hot summer but insurers are counting the cost of claims related to the freezing conditions.
‘Now there is some concern in the industry that if the hot weather continues to dry up not only our reservoirs leading to hose-pipe bans, but the soil too – particularly clay that shrinks as it dries out and can lead to increased subsidence risk and consequent damage to buildings, in some parts of the UK.
‘However, the industry is well prepared for such an eventuality. The last time there was a significant rise in subsidence claims was in 2006. Now might be a good time to check that your home is fully insured against such risk.’
The cost of car insurance premiums are continuing to fall, by 10.8 per cent in the past year to an average of £648.10. This follows an all-time high price seen at the end of the second quarter in 2017 of £726.93.
Falling prices: Car insurance premiums have been steadily falling over the past 12 months
One of the main reasons for the increase in prices last year was a change announced by the government to the way in which payouts are calculated in serious personal injury claims, also known as the Ogden rate.
However, in March the Minister of Justice confirmed plans to reverse the changes to the Ogden rate after hearing insurers’ complaints that victims were being overcompensated.
A a new civil liability bill was also unveiled and the government said it would set a fixed amount of compensation for whiplash claims and require medical evidence before such claims can be settled.
These policies still need to be passed in Parliament and won’t be enforced until 2019.