Insurance claims

Barnsley Council is insured by Maven Public Sector – Policy No: P22CASLFG00207

Ministry of Justice Portal Reference – C00498

You can submit an insurance claim to us if one of the following has happened:

  • you've suffered personal injury
  • your property's been damaged and you consider it to be ours or Berneslai Homes' negligence.

To make a claim against the council the claimant will need to prove in civil law that we've been negligent and/or breached our statutory duty.

Even though an incident may have happened, it doesn't mean that we're liable (lawfully responsible). If we feel that we've not been negligent, we'll defend the claim.

You have the right to make a claim for compensation. This doesn't mean you have an automatic entitlement to be compensated.

Please read the details in each of the following sections before you fill in our online claim form below.

What we can't be held responsible for

Neither Barnsley Council nor Berneslai Homes can be held responsible for:

  • unavoidable damage resulting from a service we have a duty to carry out. For instance damage to decorations or floor coverings when we're installing heating systems or any other planned maintenance or refurbishment work.
  • the actions of any contractor or utility company, even if they're acting on our behalf.  You should make your claim directly to the contractor or utility company.

Claims related to Berneslai Homes properties

Some people believe that when you rent a property from Berneslai Homes, your furniture and personal contents are already insured. This isn't the case. Berneslai Homes are only responsible for providing you with an unfurnished home.

If you're a Berneslai Homes tenant, you're responsible to make sure your contents are insured. Berneslai Homes can offer you a contents insurance scheme. Check the Berneslai Homes website for more details.

You're also responsible for reporting repairs to Berneslai Homes on (01226) 787878. The claims department won't do that for you.

Council leaseholders

If you're a Berneslai Homes leaseholder and you want to make a claim under your contents insurance policy, visit the Berneslai Homes website.

Claims related to defects on roads and pavements

We're responsible for maintaining the roads in the borough as part of a planned maintenance schedule. However, the law states that we can't be held responsible for every problem that happens on our roads.  This includes the actions of independent contractors, utility companies, and third parties. Neither can we be held liable for alleged defects on roads and pavements if we weren't aware of the defect prior to your incident.

The existence of a defect doesn't in itself constitute a legal liability. The courts have accepted that we can't be on hand at all times to repair every defect. We also can't be expected to remove every piece of debris, the moment it appears on the road.  Neither are we liable if we've taken preventive measures within reason. This is outlined in Section 58 of The Highways Act 1980.

The repair of any defect is not an admission of liability. Along with Berneslai Homes, we've a statutory duty to repair/make safe any defect that's hazardous. We have to do this within a reasonable period of time, once it's been reported. It may be, however, that the defect wasn't reported until after the incident occurred. The fact that a defect has been repaired doesn't imply that it was a hazard. Many repairs are carried out purely as a precautionary measure.

We'll investigate the claims we receive about defects on roads and pavements on a case by case basis. Where we have a defence, under Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980, we won't pay compensation.

Reporting defects on roads and pavements

If your accident was a direct result of a defect on a road, footway or verge, please report the defect online. If you feel that the issue needs immediate attention to prevent another accident, please call the emergency helpline on (01226) 773555.

Time limit for making a claim

  • For personal injury claims, the time limit is three years.
  • For damage to property claims, the limit is six years.

Making an appeal against the decision about your claim

If you have new evidence or disagree with the decision on your claim, you can make an appeal. Email or write to the claims handler, stating the reasons why you want your claim to be reviewed.

Although a claim may be reviewed, this doesn't mean that the original decision will be altered.

Making a fraudulent insurance claim

If we find that you've made, or helped someone else to make, a fraudulent claim, you could be prosecuted.

If you suspect that a fraudulent claim's been made against us, please let us know. Anything you tell us will be treated in confidence.

Making a claim

If you've been involved in an incident, you can make a claim by filling in our insurance claim form below. Please read the following guidance before completing and submitting your form.

Filling in the form

You can use the form to make a claim for:

  • loss or damage to a property or building
  • damage caused to a vehicle or cycle
  • personal injury

If you're completing the form on behalf of a minor (up to 18 years old), or on behalf of someone else.  Then use their details as the claimant and select 'yes' to the question 'Have you completed on behalf of the claimant?' and fill in your details underneath.

Make sure you complete all the required sections for your type of claim.

When describing the incident that caused the loss, damage or personal injury, please include:

  • full details of your allegation - why you think the council or Berneslai Homes is at fault
  • full details of any injuries or loss
  • full details of any property defect, with measurements
  • the weather conditions when the incident took place
  • direction of travel, by foot or vehicle
  • details of any treatment at an NHS hospital (for personal injury)
  • details of your earnings if your claim involves loss of earnings
  • any other details to support your claim

Supporting documents

To support your claim, please attach the following within the form when prompted:

  • a sketch of the incident location and a photograph
  • two independent estimates for repair unless the repair had to be done straight away, such as a broken windscreen. In this case, please provide an invoice/receipt

What happens when we receive your form

Filling in the claim form is the first step in the liability and investigation process. This does not indicate acceptance of liability or that an offer of compensation will be made by us.

When we receive your completed form, depending on the nature of the claim, we may deal with it internally. If not, we may pass it to one of our external claims handlers (Topmark, Gallagher Bassett or Broadspire). The handler will acknowledge the claim and contact you within 21 days of receipt.

We'll do a preliminary investigation and write to you to advise one of the following:

  • That your claim should be directed elsewhere.
  • To confirm if your claim has been passed to external claim handlers.
  • To request extra details. It's important you provide these details quickly and completely as the investigation will be put on hold until we've received the full details from you.
  • If your claim is for damage to property and we admit liability, we'll take into account the age and condition of the damaged goods. We won't provide new for old, and you must provide receipts where available to support your claim.
  • To inform you that we're preparing a full report to enable us to decide on liability. Please be aware that the decision regarding the outcome of your claim may take up to three months. The details will have to be requested from internal teams within the council.
  • That your claim has been denied and explain the reason for the denial.

How to submit a claim

To make a claim, fill in our online insurance claim form. When we receive your claim we'll send you an email to say we've received you claim which will include your claim reference number.

If you're not able to complete the online form, please contact us.