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Subsidence View - June 2017

With the MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit at a similar level to the last major subsidence surge of 2006, does this mean the insurance industry is heading for a significant and costly surge of subsidence claims in 2017

 

Following the driest autumn/winter/spring for 20 years, rainfall in the clay soil areas of the south east was 134% of average – only the 2nd time in 11 months that the long term monthly average has been exceeded. As a result, the MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit is high for the time of year, currently lying between the two significant surge years of 2003 and 2006.

 

 

However, 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 is the outlook?

 

As usual the "tabloid press" are keen to talk up the prospect of a hot dry summer, with The Express first to the table recently headlining "THREE MONTHS of roasting sunshine on the way", based on sources including:

  • James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, who said the next three months will bring a succession of "major" heat blasts. Heat surges and Spanish pluming from the near Continent will be part and parcel of the upcoming summer 2017

  • period.Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, who said: "There will be some very warm periods over the summer thanks to warm air coming up from Africa. There will some also be cooler periods and this is mainly due to the jet stream once again showing some wild deviations over the next three months. The largely dry conditions are expected to continue and this is likely to mean there could be water shortages."

  • http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/806870/Summer-UK-weather-forecast-2017-long-range-hottest-hot-summer-heat

 

More followed on 13th June, with headlines including "Britain to roast in 30c tropical heatwave" (Star), "Britain Braces for a month long heatwave" (Mail).

 

The Weather Outlook (TWO) summer forecast has now been published and notes the following:

 

The latest Met Office 30 day forecast appears to support the TWO view that the first part of summer at least will be changeable:

  • Monday 12 June—Sunday 18 June: A northwest/southeast split, and warming up.

  • Monday 19 June—Sunday 25 June: Warm and dry for most

  • Monday 26 June—Sunday 9 July: An uncertain picture for late June and early July.

     

Although the likelihood of an early start to any upturn (similar to 2006) now appears to have reduced, the surge risk remains and is currently assessed as Rising Amber.  At this stage, our prediction for 2017 is for ABI claim numbers to be higher than the previous 3 year average of 17,000 and we recommend that insurers review their surge response plans and remain vigilant.

 

 

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 g.carter@bv-solutions.co.uk