This year, after several months of below average rainfall and record breaking temperatures in July the MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit for square 161 - located in the heart of the clay soil areas of the south east - was tracking closely to the surge year of 2003 at the end of July, with early crack damaged reported and notified subsidence claim numbers rising by circa 20%.
However, with August rainfall 174% of average in the south east, 109% in central England and localised flash floods reported in some places, the onset of clay desiccation at depth was reversed, bringing many properties back from the brink of damage.
Notified claim numbers recorded by the ABI from January to June were 7483*, 18% less than the corresponding period in 2014. The ABI have confirmed that although a large insurer ceased membership in 1/1/15, they still contribute data so the figures are a like for like comparison with 2014.
If anecdotal estimates of elevated claims numbers in the 2nd half of the year prove correct, the final total could be similar to 2014, when 18,000 claims were recorded, compared to the 10 year average of 30,000 and the high of 52,000 in the surge of 2003.
*This is less than the published figure of 10,910, which the ABI have verbally confirmed is an error