Insurance Claims – Earthquake Damage, Subsidence, heave and landslip

In previous years, BSNZ surveyors have handled hundreds of insurance claims for earthquake damaged properties in New Zealand and subsidence, heave and landslip within the north of England. The experience gained by our Surveyors has developed expertise about the cause of such damage and the most appropriate repair solutions.

BSNZ are able to provide a professional service as private consultants. We have gained knowledge about abnormal seismic related issues, and ground conditions which often exist in certain areas. This information is valuable when making an initial diagnosis about the cause of property defects and can substantially reduce the duration of an insurance claim

Our claims handling philosophy is to carefully consider each individual situation before deciding the most appropriate procurement route to achieve stability of the property.

The general process which we adopt is as follows:

1. Initial site survey to establish the mechanism of structural damage and movement and potential causes of damage such as the location of stress and underground drainage

2. Desktop study taking into consideration our knowledge about the causes of damage to similar properties in the geographical area

3. When necessary we organise a detailed site investigation to identify the cause of damage. This work is undertaken by specialist contractors and can include trial pits, boreholes, subsoil analysis and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) on concrete floors and walls and CCTV surveys of underground drainage systems

4. Once the cause of damage has been correctly established, we organise mitigation work to prevent progressive structural problems. On straightforward claims, this usually includes measures such as tree removal or drainage repairs

5. On some occasions, monitoring is required to ensure that the mitigation has been successful. This is usually required when we have concerns about weak ground conditions which can often result in ongoing movement due to progressive consolidation

6. When the property has regained stability, we work with the geotechnical engineers and design remedial works which usually consist of comprehensive repairs. If difficult ground conditions exist, a substructure repair scheme such as underpinning may be required to achieve stability

7. BSNZ surveyors are registered project managers (MAPM) and organise and project manage the repair process using experienced contractors who are selected from our list of approved specialists

8. On completion of the repair process, our CPEng consultants produce a Certificate of Structural Adequacy for the owner. This is an important document to assist with the future saleability of the property