The Insurance Service supports the council and its customers by managing their respective insurance policies, handling claims in-house and providing risk management advice.
Making a liability claim
Important information before making a claim
In order for a liability claim to be successfully it will be necessary for you to prove negligence or breach of statutory duty on the part of the council.
As the claimant, you must establish three requirements in order to prove negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant was in breach of that duty
- That breach of duty caused the damage/injury
If you wish to make a motor claim it is necessary to prove that the council is at fault for your loss.
Often events occur that are unfortunate but not due to any party's negligence. As such, there is no automatic entitlement to compensation or any guarantee that making a claim against the council will result in the claim being successful.
The onus is on you as the claimant to prove your claim, which includes providing full details of the incident including accurate dates, locations and details of the incident to enable us to investigate the claim properly.
You also have a duty to take all reasonable steps to minimise the value and extent of any loss. Do not dispose or transfer ownership of any damaged property without the prior agreement of the council, as this may affect your claim.
How to make a claim
There are two ways in which you can proceed with a claim. One option is to claim through your own insurer and the other option is to claim directly against the council. Both of these options are explained below. You should read both options carefully and decide which is best for you.
Claiming through your own insurers
If you make a claim through your own insurer, your insurer will most likely cover your loss on a 'new for old basis' and then seek to recover the costs from the council. If the council is proven to have been legally liable for your loss then your insurer should recover both their costs and any excess payment you have made to them. Your premium payments should not be affected if the council is found to be legally liable for your loss.
Claiming directly to the council
If you wish to make a claim for compensation directly against the council, you can use our online claim form.
There are some important points to note if you wish to make a claim directly against the council:
- We will acknowledge your claim within one working day from the day it is logged on our system and then begin our investigation
- Once we have acknowledged your claim an Insurance Officer will be appointed to investigate your claim. The period of investigation will depend on the type of claim. Please see the table below for the maximum period of investigation for each type of claim, however, we endeavour to make a decision on liability as soon as possible.
Type of claim Investigation period Public liability 40 working days Motor 30 working days Employers’ liability 30 working days
- If the council is found to be legally liable for your loss, the council's liability is limited to the value of the loss immediately prior to your incident. In other words, any payments made will not be on a 'new for old basis', as would likely be the case through your own insurer
- If you claim benefits, any payment made to settle your claim might affect benefits payments and any settlement that is paid to you must be declared
- The council may explore an option to use the payment of a claim to recover any current debt that you may owe the council (such as any council tax arrears)
- Fraudulent claims will be prosecuted and could result in imprisonment
As of 1 April 2017, it should be noted that Sutton Council is no longer responsible for refuse and street cleansing vehicles. If you wish to report a motor incident which occurred on or after this date, please contact Veolia's Claims Management Service, Gallagher Bassett, on 0333 7008023.
Repairing damaged property
As the owner of the damaged property, you are entitled to repair the damage before a liability decision has been reached. Any repairs carried out should be under the assumption that the council will not be reimbursing you for these costs, as liability will not yet have been decided. If liability is then admitted, we will require images of the damage and you will still need to obtain at least two repair estimates before commencing the work.
Alternatively, you may wish to speak with your own insurers or seek legal advice regarding the options that they can provide.
If liability is admitted, we will require you to provide two like-for-like repair estimates. These estimates will be reviewed to ensure they are reasonable and proportionate to the loss.
Alternatively, if the damage is to your vehicle, then Sutton Council is willing to arrange for the damage to your vehicle to be assessed and repaired via our approved repairer, Nationwide Accident Repair Services.
We would like to point out that the council do not cover betterment and may minus a percentage of the cost of wear and tear.
We would like to remind you that you are under a duty to mitigate your loss, we kindly request that you carefully consider the above options when making a claim against the council.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council's Highway Trees
As of 1st April 2017, trees along the Highway in the Borough of Epsom and Ewell are no longer under the responsibility of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and have been transferred back into the ownership of Surrey County Council to maintain and inspect. Therefore, any claims where damage has occurred after this date should be submitted to Surrey County Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe the claim should be dealt with by Epsom and Ewell's Insurers, please inform the London Borough of Sutton by completing our online claim form.
Limitation Act 1980
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is a timescale within which a liability claim must be made:
- the time limit for property damage claims is currently 6 years from the date of the incident or knowledge of the damage (if later)
- the time limit for personal injury claims is currently 3 years from the date of the incident or knowledge of the injury (if later).
If we are unable to agree settlement within this period, you must issue proceedings before this period has expired and serve the court proceedings against the council.
A full copy of the Limitation Act 1980 can be found here.
Help and advice
A liability claim is a legal claim and can be very complicated. You may wish to seek independent legal advice either before you make a claim or if you disagree with any decision reached. Before appointing a solicitor we advise you check how much any legal service will cost and how they will be funded. Alternatively, the Citizens Advice Bureau can give guidance on making a claim. To get details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau office please visit their website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
Claims Portal information (for solicitors only)
The London Borough of Sutton is registered on the Claims Portal and claims can be submitted directly by selecting us as the relevant defendant/compensator. Our Portal ID is G00302.
If you wish to make a portal claim against Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Surrey Heath Borough Council or Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, please submit it using the Portal ID above.
Tenant's contents insurance
The London Borough of Sutton administers a tenant's contents insurance scheme that is open to Sutton Housing Partnership tenants.
Some of the benefits include:
- Premiums are paid weekly with your rent
- No excess
- Cover for fire, theft, water damage & other household risks
- Covers freezer content, theft & loss of keys
- No minimum security requirements
- No long term commitment - you literally 'pay as you go'
- Optional extensions available, for example:
- extended accidental damage
- wheelchair/mobility scooters
- hearing aids
- personal possessions (away from home)
- sheds, garages and greenhouses.
If you are a Sutton Housing Partnership tenant and would like to apply for the tenants contents insurance scheme please fill in the Tenant's home contents insurance application form. For further information regarding appllying for tenant's home contents insurance, please read the prospectus.
A copy of your policy booklet can be easily downloaded from the link below:
If you would like to make a claim on your tenants contents insurance policy, please contact Allianz Insurance's claims division directly on 0844 871 2230.
Leasehold buildings insurance
If you are a right-to-buy leaseholder and would like a copy of your policy and schedule, these can be downloaded by clicking on the below links.
If you would like to make a claim on your leasehold buildings insurance policy, please contact Zurich Municipal on 08000 159 329, quoting the policy number 10/006460/05500379.
Equality and diversity
The London Borough of Sutton is committed to promoting diversity and ensuring that we recognise and celebrate difference within the context of fairness and equality. If you have an impairment which may affect your communication with us please let us know so that we can make reasonable adjustments.
For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Data Controller in relation to any personal data you supply is the London Borough of Sutton.
We are under a duty to protect the public funds we administer, and we may use the information you have provided for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.
We are also under a duty to ensure all personal information we hold is accurate and, where necessary, up-to-date. Therefore, be grateful if you could notify us if your details change.
The information supplied to us may also be passed to other council departments and agencies (such as insurers, loss adjusters and investigators) for underwriting, claims and crime prevention purposes.
General insurance enquiries
Any general council insurance enquiries can be made by calling the Insurance Service on 020 8770 5353 or send an email to email@example.com.
We are committed to improving the way we work and as such welcome your comments on your experience of our service. If you would like to provide feedback, you can do so by completing our online survey which can be found here. Please note that this survey relates solely to your experience of our service and not decisions on liability.