Insurance Service -

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:

  1. We will acknowledge your claim within one working day from the day it is logged on our system and then begin our investigation
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. Fraudulent claims will be prosecuted and could result in imprisonment
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.

Tenants contents insurance

The London Borough of Sutton administers a tenants 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 Tenants Home Contents Insurance Application Form.

A copy of your policy booklet can be easily download 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.

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 insurance@sutton.gov.uk.

Feedback

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.