British insurers are massively over-spending on subsidence claims, according to new research commissioned by the ABI.

Last year, insurers paid out £375 million to repair subsidence cracks.

The new research compares the subsidence and heave practices in the UK, Australia, South Africa and the USA.

Loss adjusters and risk consultants Resolve International conducted the study. Resolve says that because household policies in other countries tend not to include subsidence, the homeowners' tolerance of the problem is greater, bringing the overall cost down significantly.

Paul Radevsky, who is author of the report and technical director of Resolve International, said: "Pouring concrete into the ground is a very unproductive activity.

"It is disruptive and expensive – and often the real reason it is done is to assuage the homeowners' anxiety over the saleability."