Barnsley Council is insured by Maven Public Sector – Policy No: P21CASLFG00207
Ministry of Justice Portal Reference – C00498
If you've suffered personal injury, or your property's been damaged, due to what you consider to be ours or Berneslai Homes' negligence, you can submit an insurance claim to us.
If you make a claim, you must demonstrate, beyond reasonable doubt, how and why we've been at fault in law. Even though an incident may have happened, it doesn't necessarily 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, but this doesn't mean you have an automatic entitlement to be compensated.
Please read the information in each of the following sections before you fill in our online claim form below.
What we can't be held responsible for
Neither the 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 automatically 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, it's your responsibility to make sure your contents are insured. Berneslai Homes can offer you a contents insurance scheme. Check the Berneslai Homes website for more information.
It's also your responsibility to report repairs to Berneslai Homes on (01226) 787878; the claims department won't do that for you.
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, but the law states that we can't be held responsible for every problem that happens on our roads, including 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, or remove every piece of debris, the moment it appears on the road; neither are we liable if we've taken reasonable preventive measures (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 have a statutory duty to repair or make safe any defect that's hazardous 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 an individual 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 and emailing it to us. 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, use their details as the claimant and your details in the ‘completed by’ section at the top of the form.
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 information to support your claim
To support your claim, please attach the following to your email along with your form:
- a sketch of the incident location and a photograph
- two independent estimates for repair, unless the repair had to be done immediately, 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 initial step in the liability and investigation process, and 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 clam, we may deal with it internally or pass it to one of our external claims handlers (Topmark, Gallagher Bassett or Broadspire) who'll 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 additional information. It's important you provide this information quickly and completely as the investigations 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, as the information 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
You can fill the form in electronically by opening it in Adobe Acrobat Reader and selecting the 'Fill and Sign' option, or print it and complete it by hand.
When we receive your claim we'll send you an email acknowledgement which will include your claim reference number.