Housing liability insurance claims
If you are considering making a claim against Caerphilly County Borough Council for damage or injury sustained within your council house, as a result of a trip, slip or fall within the boundary of your property or for damage caused to your personal property by council staff you will need to ensure that you can prove the council have been negligent. Just because you have suffered damage or an injury as a result of an incident does not give you an automatic right to compensation.
To make a successful claim you will need to prove that we have been negligent.
You will need to provide evidence that, at the time of the incident:
- We owed you a duty of care
- We have breached that duty of care
- The breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of the incident, and that you have suffered an injury, loss or damage as a direct result
If you can prove any of the above, we will then need to investigate if the breach of duty was because of our failure to adhere to our statutory duties. Just because we investigate does not mean that a claim will be successful or a payment made.
Appointing a representative
You have the right to seek independent professional or legal advice at any stage of your claim. However, we deal with all compensation claims in the same way, and instructing a solicitor or legal representative will not progress your claim any quicker.
If you choose to appoint a third party to act on your behalf, we will correspond with them directly.
If you are acting on behalf of another adult, we will require a signed written statement from the claimant, confirming they are happy for you to do so.
Insurance fraud can take many forms, from exaggeration of the value of genuine claims to completely made up incidents or losses to attempt to obtain money.
We take ALL insurance fraud very seriously indeed, and we will check all claims against various databases to prevent fraud. You will be asked to provide evidence for all claims made. By submitting a claim to us you are agreeing that your details may be shared with other organisations to carry out further checks.
Any fraudulent claim will be referred to the police for criminal action to be considered.
Repairing property damage
If you have made a claim for property damage you must keep your losses to a minimum and arrange for any repairs to be completed as soon as possible.
You should take photographs of the damage on every claim.
You must keep copies of all estimates and invoices for repair work as these we will be needed if your claim is successful.
Making a claim
Before you make a claim, if you have tenants contents insurance, consider whether a claim against this policy would be more suitable. For damage only liability claims, damages are paid on an Indemnity Basis only, which means that you will be compensated to put you back into the position you were in prior to the loss, without betterment. THIS IS NOT A NEW FOR OLD SETTLEMENT, and you will receive a current second hand market value for a damaged item. Some incidents, such as burst pipes etc are covered under your tenants contents insurance and the settlement there is more than likely to be a new for old settlement, so this may be more beneficial to you. In addition, claims through tenants contents insurance are generally dealt with much more quickly.
- The claim form is currently being translated and will be available to download soon. In the meanwhile, please contact us for a form.
What happens next?
All claims are decided on a case by case basis.
Your claim will be investigated by Caerphilly County Borough Council directly. We will:
- consider the information that you’ve provided
- request and consider reports that have been made regarding the defect/damage caused
- request and consider the inspection and maintenance records of the property
We will use this information to determine whether the defect or incident was as a direct result of any negligence by, or on behalf of Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Ultimately, only a court can decide whether or not Caerphilly County Borough Council has been negligent.
If we believe that your claim would not be successful in court, we will reject the claim and inform you of our reasons in writing.
How long will it take?
The time it takes to complete a case depends on the type and complexity of the claim, however you will normally receive a liability decision within 40 working days of your claim being submitted in the case of a damage only claim.
Once your claim has been allocated to a claims handler, we will write to you and confirm the maximum time in which you can expect to receive your decision. Further questions may be asked at this time, and answering these as fully as possible will avoid delays in the investigations.
Challenging a decision
Only a court can decide whether Caerphilly County Borough Council has been negligent. It is for this reason that unfortunately our corporate complaints procedure does not apply to insurance claims. Any queries or challenges to our liability decision must be made in writing and sent to:
Insurance & Risk Management Department
Or by email to Insurance@caerphilly.gov.uk
Upon receipt of your correspondence we will review your claim and confirm the outcome in writing. However if our decision is not accepted then we recommend you seek independent legal advice before commencing any legal action, to ensure that you are given professional advice on the prospects of your claim succeeding in court, and to avoid you being responsible for legal costs that you cannot recover.
Claims by third party solicitors and other legal professionals
Personal Injury claims for accidents occurring from 31 July 2013 must be submitted using the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims.
Please ensure that all claims against Caerphilly County borough Council are submitted to us directly. We are a registered compensator on the Portal and can be found by searching ‘Caerphilly County Council’ within the compensator details, or by entering our Portal ID: G00281.
For Personal Liability claims, the defendant details must be entered as follows:
Caerphilly County Borough Council
Who to contact
Should you have any questions relating to a claim, or if your claim does not relate to any of the more common claims listed above, please call the insurance department on 01443 863259.