A new report from EuroTempest, the leading provider of European storm and weather risk management services to the (re)insurance market, has found that despite the UK experiencing its driest summer since 1976, and fifth driest on record, the current surge in subsidence claims is expected to drop back to more normal levels for the remainder of this year.

Nevertheless, 2022 is likely to see the highest levels of subsidence claims recorded over the last 20 years. The report emphasised that the high rainfall levels experienced during mid-August, coupled with shorter daylight and lower temperatures, are expected to lead to an overall reduction in subsidence-causing dry ground conditions.

Whilst longer term forecasts do not indicate above average rainfall amounts for the remainder of the autumn months, an exceptionally dry period is not expected.

According to ABI statistics, the hot and dry summer of 2003 saw 55,000 subsidence insurance claims in the UK, significantly above the average of around 19,500 claims annually between 2016 – 2020. Of concern to insurers will be the fact that the summer of 2003 saw 326mm of rainfall between January and August, higher than this year, which saw only 279mm fall over the same period.

EuroTempest’s Commercial Director Nick Wood said: “While it is difficult to draw direct comparisons and make predictions on the number of subsidence claims UK insurers will see following this exceptionally dry summer, claims are likely to reach levels not seen in the last 20 years.  However there are some crumbs of comfort in the way the dry-spell ended.

“Certainly, total rainfall levels do not give the full picture. If you compare the last two particularly dry summers of 2003 and 2005 for example, while they saw similar levels of January to August rainfall, insurers saw 30% fewer subsidence claims in 2005.

“What we do know is this long hot summer ended abruptly with higher levels of rain than in 2003 and 2005.”

For more information please email nick.wood@eurotempest.com.