Subsidence View- July 2019
The MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit currently lies at the same position as the two significant surge years of 2003 and 2018.The current Subsidence Surge Risk is now assessed as "Rising Amber", but will 2019 develop into a full blown "double surge" event year...
Surge Risk - Rising Amber
According to the latest Met Office data, rainfall in the clay soil areas of the South East, was 152% of average in June. However, the majority of this rain fell during early June, with a return to below average rainfall for the 3 weeks since June 14th. Whilst June rainfall was above average overall, this will have had little impact in addressing the below average rainfall recorded across the winter and spring 2019.
In early June, the MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit moved downwards slightly in response to the rain, but has now stepped upwards again. It is currently lying at the same position as the two significant surge years of 2003 and 2018.
So does the elevated MORECS mean there will be another large surge of claims to follow 2018– a "double surge" similar to 1995/1996...
This is still a real possibility, but previous experience tells us that 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 does the 2nd half of the summer weather look like...
St. Swithin's Day falls on the 15th July and folk law says whatever the weather is like on that day, it will continue for the next 40 days and nights. Although the saying is not literally correct, some forecasters consider there is an element of truth in it because by this time of the year the summer weather patterns are established.
The Met Office and BBC are both continuing their recent strategies of limiting their forecasts to 30 days ahead.
The BBC forecast to 28th July indicates: "July is likely to be rather unsettled, particularly compared to last summer which was exceptionally dry and settled. However, a few dry and warm spells of weather are likely, probably with the best of those in the south."https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/outlook
The Met Office commented: "There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast through the second half of July, with a continued signal for lower than average pressure to be more likely across the north and higher pressure to the south". https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/forecast/gcx4zrw25#...date=2019-07-05
BVS consider that the subsidence surge risk is continuing to rise. The deciding factor on the size of claims uplift will be what actually happens next, another heatwave, normal summer weather or a prolonged period of rain... On this basis, the surge risk remains and is currently assessed as "Rising Amber". At this stage, our prediction for 2019 is for ABI claim numbers to be higher than the 2015/16/17 three year "business as usual" average of 16,000 and we recommend that insurers review their surge response plans and remain vigilant, as any upturn could arrive very quickly.
If you would like to talk to us about how Building Validation Solutions can help with your subsidence surge plan or improve you approach to subsidence claims generally, please contact Giles Carter on firstname.lastname@example.org