Construction business owner Peter engaged an engineer to design a basement level excavation.

The design presumed the geology could support near vertical sides to the excavation without needing any retention. But after rain, that was normal for that time of the year in that area, one side of the near-complete excavation collapsed almost along its entire length.

To rectify the situation, the excavation was temporarily stabilised using gravel to refill the excavation, then “bored and poured” piling was installed in the area of collapse. Afterwards, the gravel was re-excavated. Stockpiled soil that was intended for back-filling then had to be dried before it could be used.

As a result, Peter was left with $585,000 in additional costs.


After the special excess of $25,000 was paid, Peter’s Earthworks Advantage Insurance covered the costs of:

  • gravel infill ($100,000 to supply and remove)
  • retention piles ($450,000)
  • soil-drying operations ($10,000)
  • consultant’s fees and extra plant hire costs

Click here to download Earthwork Advantage Fact Sheet.

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