What is HiGround™?

HiGround is CET’s full range of subsidence risk information and survey services.

HiGround™ Subsidence Risk Information Services


Subsidence profiling services

A number of studies have forecast the growth of climate related subsidence incidents by up to 50% by 2040 (Source: Swiss RE). CET’s new subsidence profiling and mitigation service, HiGround™, services the real market need for enhanced subsidence information, profiling and decision-making tools.

At the core of the HiGround™ service is the new and unique Subsidence Index. The Subsidence Index has been developed in a partnership between CET and the British Geological Survey (BGS), with the support of the European Space Agency, and details the likelihood of shrink–swell subsidence occurrence.

The Subsidence Index is generated from a combination of best available geology, soil, property and tree information (and with the ability to integrate satellite information), verified with historical insurance claims, to create a ‘property specific’ Subsidence Index presented in either basic or detailed scoring at both postcode and building level.

HiGround™ is, therefore, a fundamental requirement for insurers, re-insurers, lenders, conveyancers, housing associations, or anyone involved in property management.

Clients use HiGround™ for:

  • Insurance book risk assessment. The Subsidence Index can be applied to an insurer’s entire property book, delivering improved Solvency II adherence. This helps to ensure that an insurer’s actual book is balanced and commensurate with its intended risk appetite.
  • Intelligence-led insurance marketing and premium quoting. HiGround™ rapidly assesses the risk of a property subsiding. The Subsidence Index helps insurers to set premiums that are commensurate with this risk resulting in additional policyholders and revenue opportunities through improved profiling.
  • Insurance claims validation. HiGround™ provides rapid, desk-based validation of subsidence claims through our HiGround website. Simply type in the address and you see the Subsidence Index and it’s compenent scores.  This helps to despatch the correct resource during the first visit to the policyholder’s home, eliminating the costs associated with unnecessary appointments.
  • Lender Book Management. HiGround™ provides improved risk quantification and risk management.
  • Lender Mortgage Applications. HiGround™ instantly assesses the risk of a property subsiding and uses this to assess against lending criteria and offer, making the offer and conveyancing process significantly quicker and customer centric.
  • Housing associations. HiGround™ instantly assesses the risk of a property subsiding within the housing portfolio. Managing subsidence risk factors is significantly cheaper than dealing with subsidence itself and is crucial for reducing liability and cost within self-insured organisations.


HiGround™ Subsidence Risk Field Services

CET provides a range of field-based risk surveys:


Subsidence Risk Survey

This is a property assessment report that identifies and reviews the key triggers of subsidence and provides recommended actions and estimated costs.

The service includes:

  • Data collection and extensive video recording of the site, property, trees and vegetation
  • Information collation and review by an industry-leading drainage and ground investigation company:
    • Tree and vegetation data is reviewed by a qualified Arboriculturist
    • Property data and outputs compiled by a qualified Building Surveyor
  • Site plan illustrating the footprint of the property, the location of vegetation and visible drainage features
  • An overall risk rating with recommended remedial actions and estimated costs


Subsidence Risk Specific Defect Survey

This survey is required either where a property valuation report has identified cracking on a property, a property shows signs of historically suffering from foundation movement, or if a property has been previously repaired / underpinned because of subsidence.

  • Undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor or Engineer.
  • Where there are signs of cracking, this survey is a letter report describing concerns raised, site observation as to cracking cause, conclusions and specific investigations required (soil samples, monitoring, etc).
  • For previous subsidence this will check the Certificate of Structural Adequacy and the current state of the repairs.


Subsidence Risk Arboriculturist Survey

Full site inspection of trees and shrubs against subsidence risk and with a full plan of works required and costs.


Subsidence Risk Drainage Survey

This service reviews the drainage system on the property site and is particularly relevant where the property has glazed clay-ware drainage pipes, and includes:

  • Camera survey
  • Reports on waste and storm pipes and the drainage layout
  • Underground survey, including the identification of shared sewers, any drainage defects and the relative positions of drains.


HiGround Risk Mitigation Services

The good news is that some relatively easy and cost-effective steps can reduce the risk of subsidence – the main issue is homeowner awareness.

That is why we created our Policyholder Letter. This is designed to be sent to those properties identified as high risk and provides a straightforward guide on simple activities to manage their subsidence risk.  This can be supported by our Technical Helpline to answer policyholder questions.

In addition to the Risk profiling surveys (which include a costed management plan) we can also provide bespoke risk management services such as:

  • Tree work specification and schedules and statutory applications for management plans agreed such as pollarding.
  • Advice and installation on root barriers and other ground engineering and rebuild services.
  • Tree protection and Arboricultural reporting for planning (if groundworks near trees required).
  • Tree and Vegetation hydration systems using boreholes and watering at agreed locations and depths.