If you are like most of our insurance clients, you want tested and proven evidence to support your pricing models. You are committed to growing your business, but not through uninformed risk-taking.
For over 30 years, scientists at Cranfield University have helped insurers, reinsurers, utilities and government bodies identify and mitigate environmental geohazards like subsidence and flooding.
Identify properties built on subsidence prone soils, in dry regions and in the presence of trees
Most insurers still price at postcode level. By using our higher resolution data you can identify low risk properties within Postcodes.
Our climate is changing. See where subsidence will increase under extreme weather or future climates.
10+ UK insurers and reinsurers
The majority of UK water utilities
Local and national government
Cranfield University developed our understanding of root causes for pipeline failure. Cranfield's industry leading model determines baseline performance from changes caused by soils and weather. Detailed predictive modelling enables proactive infrastructure management and reduced unplanned interruptions to customers.
Tim Acland - Anglian Water
We are here to help your business!
If you think that that soils and subsidence are complex, you're right! There are over 1,000 soil types in the UK, and each responds in a different way to our increasingly volatile weather.
As established research scientists at Cranfield University, we study how soil and weather impacts on buildings and infrastructure. We've helped hundreds of companies cut through the complexity of soils and identify the risks that affect them.
By offering cheaper premiums on low risk properties in high risk regions, you can undercut your competition. You can increase the number of policies on your book without unnecessary additional exposure to geohazards.
We'd be pleased to help you gain a clear view of current and potential subsidence and ground movement risks too.
Here's how to get our help:
Cranfield University's Natural Perils Directory (NPD) uses the best available spatial data on soils, weather and trees to models subsidence and six other geohazards. We've been working with the insurance industry for almost 25 years, but we're not resting on our laurels.Recently published research behind NPD by Cranfield scientist Professor Stephen Hallett was shortlisted for the 2015 Lloyd's Science of Risk Prize.
The dominant form of subsidence in the UK is clay related shrinkage and swelling. Most clay soils shrink when they dry out, which can cause subsidence. When soils do not dry out evenly, this can lead to even more damaging differential ground movement.
Our tested and proven subsidence maps are based on the answers to 3 key questions:
Clay related shrinkage and swelling is the dominant form of subsidence in the UK, but other threats exist as well. We also provide geohazard potential maps for:
Perhaps because we spend a good amount of time assessing our students' work, we want you to be able to assess our work. We don't like black-box systems, so we try to clearly explain to you how we have modelled each risk.
Here is an example of one of the matrices we use to assess clay related ground movement. Our subsidence hazard score (1-9) results from the answer to two questions: 1) can the soil shrink? and 2) how dry do we expect this part of the country to be in the summer?
In ourLloyd's Science of Risk Prize shortlisted paper we describe how future climates will increase subsidence hazard across some of the UK. Here's a simplified overview:
Here's a flavour of some of the NPD data layers which our insurance clients commonly use. Many can be customised to your individual requirements.
We would be poleased to discuss with you the tools you need to write subsidence insurance informed by our data. Like our other clients, you too can better serve your customers and increase profits.
If you would like us to send you additional free information on subsidence and how we help organisations like yours avoid risk, or set up a meeting with us, please provide us with your name and email address below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon - Fri: 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM (UK time)
Frequently Asked Questions
England, Scotland & Wales
Almost certainly yes! We've always succeeded so far in integrating our data with insurance companies systems. Some take more input than others, but we get there!
We have a flexible, annual pricing scheme to ensure that insurance companies, large and small can benefit from our data. We also offer different resolutions of data (postcode lookup tables, address point lookups & full GIS spatial layers). Additional charges apply for the tree-enhanced subsidence models.
If you would like a quote for the Natural Perils Directory, please provide us with an approximate number of policies you wrote last year so that we can offer you the best price.
The NPD® dataset is developed by staff of the Cranfield University Soil and Agrifood Institure, building on some 80 years of national soil survey and soils expertise. The datasets in NPD are held within our Land Information System, LandIS, one of the largest land and soil information systems of its kind in Europe.