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Subsidence Threat is Increasing

London and the South East are running dry according to the Environment Agency which recently declared that the area is in drought, following the driest two-year period in 90 years.

This creates a real risk of subsidence, as many properties in London and the South East are sitting on clay soil. Clay is particularly susceptible as it shrinks and swells according to its moisture content and this can be troublesome for property owners in periods of exceptionally dry weather.

Subsidence predominantly occurs in areas with clay soil - 75% of subsidence claims are for properties built on clay soil. The main areas affected by subsidence in the UK are London and the South East, where around one in fifty properties has suffered subsidence problems over a period of 30 years, since insurance companies first began keeping records.

The Association of British Insurers confirms that 1976s drought sparked a huge increase nationally in claims for subsidence. In 1992, such claims have been running at an average of around 41,000 a year. But in 2006, for example, they jumped almost 30% on the following year following 2005s hot summer and dry winter.

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