UK home insurers may be flooded with claims this autumn as the summer heatwave has increased the likelihood of subsidence, according to Barclays Insurance.

Barclays Insurance has warned homeowners to be on the lookout for the early signs of subsidence as the costs could run into the thousands of pounds. Subsidence is a result of the soil under a property drying out, reducing its load-bearing capabilities and causing buildings to shift.

Mark Till, marketing director for Barclays Insurance, said: Last year we saw a sudden peak in subsidence notifications around August and September time and we predict that this figure could be even higher this year given the unusually dry year we have experienced.

There are some things that homeowners can do to try and minimize the risk of subsidence such as pruning trees that are close to the house and regularly clearing gutters and drains.

Early signs of subsidence include any new or expanding cracks in walls and doors or windows that become stuck, both of which can be signs of shifting walls and foundations, Barclays said.