While many in the market may be soothed and relieved by the ABI's spokesperson's complete lack of concern over subsidence claims (Heatwave fuels subsidence concerns, 14 August, Insurance Times), there are far too many ominous signs emerging for complacency.

From the immediate experience of our clients, the hot, dry summer is already producing a marked increase in claims. Conditions in many parts of the country have been very similar to 1995, the last subsidence 'event' year, when drought conditions followed a wet mild winter and claims started to take off in August.

The peak came in the months of September, October and November when an average whole year's instructions were received.

In other words the next couple of months will reveal whether the industry faces a serious hit from subsidence claims or not.

Certainly many insurers are far less well equipped to deal with a crisis outcome than they were in 1995.

So, whatever the outcome, rather than 'don't be alarmed', the mantra must surely be 'be prepared'.

Paul Stanley
InFront Solutions Ltd

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