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Insurance and underpinning Both Mr. Bratchell and Mr. A. J. 0. Russell have expressed views on this issue, first raised by Mr. Collett (January 1979) and commented on by Mr. Park (May l979). From Mr. Bratchell: I suggest that the question of insurance of house foundations should be related to a reasonable expectation of life of the building. If a domestic house is expected to be designed and built for a life of, say, 50 years, one can hardly claim for foundation renewal at, say, 60 years. It ought to be possible to lay down guidelines which take account of expected life, and thus to allocate costs between repair and betterment. In my view, the need for underpinning should be covered by insurance only if it relates to a cause other than deterioration from age. Verulam