Property at risk of potential £413m subsidence damage due to climate change

Gamma Location Intelligence (Gamma LI), which provides risk assessment technology to Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance companies, is aiming to help the insurance industry save hundreds of millions of pounds in claims through its latest partnership with Terrafirma.

Together, Gamma LI and Terrafirma – a company which helps homebuyers, lenders and insurance companies to assess ground hazards and support adequate protection cover – will be delivering high-quality, up-to-date insights on subsidence and other ground-related risks. Gamma LI predicts that such information could help to identify at least £413 million per annum in potential subsidence claims by 2050.

This figure is based on an average claim of £12,500 and Gamma LI′s prediction* that a total of 10.2 million addresses in Great Britain will be at elevated risk of subsidence by 2050 as a result of climate change.

In light of the recent AR6 Climate Change 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), extreme weather events are predicted to become much more frequent moving towards the end of this century. As well as increasing the frequency and severity of storms, climate change can also impact rainfall, drought and hot weather spells – all of which contribute to subsidence.

Using location intelligence, Gamma LI and Terrafirma can help investors and regulators to more accurately quantify, inform and reduce the risk associated with subsidence and ground movement. Gamma LI, which expects to generate £5 million in UK revenue by 2025, is one of the first three resellers to bring Terrafirma′s National Ground Risk Model: Climate™ (NGRM: Climate) to the market.

This model covers all 33 million properties in Great Britain and includes risk insights relating to coastal erosion, subsidence, sinkholes and landslides, which have the potential to impact properties on an insurance company’s portfolio, or ones it could potentially underwrite or insure. NGRM: Climate is the only model to cover all ground hazards, including future spatial distribution under UKCP18 (UK Climate Projections 2018).

Richard Garry, Chief Commercial Officer, Gamma LI, said:

“Our goal is to help insurers and financial institutions understand property-based risks and give them more choice in terms of data, from flooding and subsidence to fire and crime. Increasingly, they have to consider environmental factors and climate change which could have a major impact on their business and customers. In fact, we are reaching the point where extreme years of subsidence claims, such as 1990/1991 and 1997/1998, could become the new normal. Therefore, being able to visualise and assess this ever-increasing risk properly will be vital over the years to come.

“And that’s precisely where our Perilfinder platform comes in – it gives clients the data they need to make better decisions, enhance the service they deliver and save time on risk assessment. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to do this without partners like Terrafirma. We are extremely proud to work with an organisation which not only has unrivalled expertise, but also shows such enthusiasm for helping companies to understand ground movement and its hidden hazards.”

Dr Tim Farewell, Director of Science and Communications, Terrafirma, added:

“Across the UK, many buildings and homes are or will become vulnerable to complex ground hazards. Through this partnership with Gamma LI, we are helping more people and organisations to understand these risks from subsidence, sinkholes, historic mining, landslides and coastal erosion.  Insurers now can leverage our team’s expert analysis and innovative models so they can make increasingly informed decisions backed up by reliable data. Insurers now have the potential to not only reduce their exposure to ground risks but also the costs associated with them.”


This article was submitted to be published by TerraFirma as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

Today's Conveyancer