Subsidence View - July 2015
Subsidence View: Issue 2 July 2015
The recent heatwave saw the hottest July day on record, with temperatures hitting 36.7C (98F). So what does this mean for subsidence claim numbers later this summer?
Rainfall is continuing below average in the clay soil areas of the south east and central England, with 3 of the last 4 months experiencing significantly lower than average rainfall.
The MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit is currently slightly ahead of the last significant surge year of 2003 and most closely tracking 2010.
In 2003 when the last surge occurred from a low MORECS start, hot dry weather lasted through August into September.
As we know from previous experience, whilst an extended period of dry weather before summer can prime and increase the amplitude of summer claim numbers, the primary cause of a surge is an extended period of exceptionally hot and dry weather between June and September. So what is the outlook?
After the recent heatwave finished in spectacular fashion with violent thunderstorms, the UK press have turned their attention to what the rest of the summer has in store. On 7th July the Daily Telegraph reported that a "Second British heatwave could bring hottest ever temperature", whilst the Daily Mirror reported "frazzled bookies have slashed the odds on Britain basking in the hottest summer in history this year".
Forecasting website TheWeatherOutlook also think that temperature records could be challenged in the UK during the next month and explained that "one of the keys to the weather will be whether the exceptional heat which has built over the continent is able to back east into the UK again like it did at the start of the month… (via) what is known as a Spanish Plume".
The Met Office is somewhat more reserved, but is predicting warmer and drier than average over the next 30 days in the major clay soil areas:
UK Outlook for Saturday 11 Jul 2015 to Monday 20 Jul 2015: It will stay dry and warm across much of the south through the weekend, but further north and west it will be more unsettled with some spells of rain… Temperatures will be generally close to or a little above normal, perhaps cooler at times in the northwest and rather warm at times in the southeast at first.
UK Outlook for Tuesday 21 Jul 2015 to Tuesday 4 Aug 2015: A two way split in the weather seems most likely through this period, with southern and central parts staying generally dry, with fine and often warm conditions…Temperatures are likely to be close to or a little below normal in the north, with the south and southeast often being warm for the time of year".
At this stage for 2015, our prediction is for ABI claim numbers to be higher than the previous 3 year average of 20,000. Whilst we are not predicting a full blown surge at this stage, the surge risk is currently assessed as Rising Amber and we recommend that insurers review their surge response plans.
Building Validation Solutions are developing a new and innovative approach to handling subsidence claims. If you would like to talk to us about how we could make a difference for you and your customers, please contact:
Giles Carter on firstname.lastname@example.org