I'm looking for some wise advice from those more experienced than I with insurance and subsidence claims.
Our house (circa 1890 semi-detached) is on a small slope and had some evidence of small "historical" movements when we bought it 20 years ago. Very little has changed since, and a structural engineer didn't mention subsidence in an inspection 4 years ago. However, it seems the neighbour's house has developed cracks near the party wall in the last few years, and they seem to suspect OUR house is to blame as we are further down the (small) incline. They say they have inspection reports from the last 6 months, but we haven't seen anything yet.
To complicate matters slightly, we are changing from our current landlord's insurance policy to a homeowner's policy in a couple weeks, as we will be moving into the house ourselves.
We are worried about
1) raising the issue of subsidence on our current landlord's policy, as this might make our new (already agreed and paid for) homeowner's insurance invalid.
2) waiting until we move in to raise the topic, as our new insurance might balk at a subsidence claim if we make it shortly after the policy starts.
3) being stuck in a no-man's zone between the two policies, with neither willing to cover...if indeed there is subsidence.
4）the neighbours will take some sort of legal action and find a structural engineer that will pin all blame on us.
Both our policies are with the same company, which will hopefully help.
We don't even know if there is subsidence of course, but it does seem possible. Any advice from those who know more about how insurance companies would treat such things would be most appreciated.
What is the best course of action?
1) Raise the issue immediately?
2) Raise it later?
3) Do our own inspection first and only then contact the company? (this will likely push us into the new policy period)
Thanks in advance for any information or advice!