Headstone Subsidence & Insurance

Looking after your headstone once it has been erected in any cemetery/churchyard is paramount to ensuring it stays in its best new condition for as long as possible. In this case study we are going to highlight and address a very important issue that can happen to any headstone at any point.

First of all, you should make sure the stonemason you have chosen to produce and erect the tribute to a loving family member or friend should be accredited BRAMM (British Registered Accredited Monumental Masons) & NAMM (National Accredited Monumental Masons). The reason is, they must adhere to stringent rules and regulations to ensure a long lasting and SAFE headstone has been erected. Certain checks and workmanship are carried out, to ensure the joints of the headstone are all doweled together rather than just cemented or stuck, the foundations meet right requirements to be able to support the headstone itself and so on.

However, you may find the headstone was erected years ago when the health and safety regulations of erecting a headstone was not as strict as today. Therefore, you may have unsuitable foundations, or the joints of the headstone have come apart. This can be rectified by an on-site visit where the headstone can be re-levelled, or the joints de-assembled, dowelled and re-cemented in the correct position to hold the structure of the headstone together.

Topple Test

From time to time cemetery staff carry out a ‘Topple Test’ where they measure the firmness of the structure. If the headstone is deemed unsafe and a hazard due to subsidence or imbalance, they will lay the headstone flat. This is to prevent the headstone from falling causing damage to itself and others around it or a visitor to the cemetery/churchyard.

Above are just a few examples of a local cemetery authority after they have completed a ‘headstone topple test’.


Subsidence is caused due to ground movement underneath the headstone. The soil and earth is constantly moving whether this is marginally or substantially due to many different factors of the surrounding area, this may cause the headstone to subside in any direction.

Important note: Once the headstone has been erected to BRAMM & NAMM specifications there is no guarantee the headstone will not subside.

There are ways to try and prevent this from happening as we mentioned previously with an accredited BRAMM & NAMM Stonemason. To renovate any headstone can be a costly exercise but there are solutions you may wish to consider like our headstone insurance.

Headstone Insurance:

Our Stoneguard Headstone Insurance covers a whole range of impracticalities you may face with a headstone including:

  • Subsidence
  • Accidental Damage
  • Damage From Falling Trees
  • Vandalism
  • Storm Damage
  • Graffiti
  • Impact Damage
  • Theft or Attempted Theft

Headstone insurance premium can start from as little as £25 for a 5-year premium. If you have any questions relating to our case study or would like to speak to us about headstone insurance or an existing headstone please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help.