Cracks on the wall of a house with SatSense logo on the bottom left corner

How InSAR can help close insurance claims quickly

How InSAR can help close insurance claims quickly

Domestic property damage from ground movement is estimated to exceed £140 million per year in the UK alone. Once damage such as cracks in walls are observed (Figure 1), it can be difficult to distinguish if movement is related to subsidence, heave or shrink/swell movement without a costly site visit or an observation period with ground instruments during which damage may continue. 

Cracks on a brick wall
Property of interest and associated damage.

Alternatively, SatSense's processed InSAR data can quickly identify the direction, amount and timespan of the movement (Figure 2). In this case, past subsidence and heave can be observed in the timeseries with the most recent and dominant signal of 40 mm of heave across 2.5 years. Immediately identifying the ground movement signal responsible for damage assists engineers and surveyors to focus their inspection.

Timeseries of 2 ascending InSAR velocity data points show a velocity of 4 to 6 mm/yr
Timeseries of 2 ascending InSAR velocity data points located on the client's site. The two data points of the property experiencing damage show a velocity of 4 to 6 mm/yr. Further analysis demonstrates the property has undergone successive heave and subsidence cycles: 20 mm over 2 years, -30 mm over 1 year, and 40 mm over 2.5 years. Insight into past ground movement is a significant advantage of SatSense's InSAR data record.

In addition to rapidly identifying symptomatic damage causing ground movement, SatSense can perform pre-emptive analysis to highlight areas most at risk of damage. Bespoke shrink/swell indices identify areas which have experienced repeated changes in ground movement direction across our 8-year dataset.

This enables our clients to intervene before symptoms of ground movement occur, limiting repair and insurance costs. As a result of climate change, ground movement claims will increase. After the 2018 summer heatwave, more than 10,000 UK households made claims worth a total of £64m in 3 months. By 2070, 1 in 10 properties could experience problems, posing a massive issue for a £9.2 trillion industry. ‚ÄčTo overcome this, rapid and pre-emptive analysis such as this one conducted by SatSense are critical to limit financial costs.

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