Insurance claims

Barnsley Council is insured by QBE Company – Policy No: Y100199QBE0116A

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 their 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.

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, 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.

How to make a claim

If you've been involved in an incident, you can make a claim using our online form below.

Filling in the form

You can use this 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’ option at the end of the form.

Make sure you complete all the mandatory fields.

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

Supporting documents

To support your claim, please upload the following 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

You can do this right at the end of the form using the red button - 'submit and add documents'.

What we'll do

When we receive your claim, we'll send you an email acknowledgement, which will include your claim reference number.

Depending on the nature of your claim, we may deal with it ourselves, or pass it over to one of our external claims handlers - Topmark or Gallagher Bassett. 

Your claim will be investigated, based on the evidence you've provided. We may ask you for further information.

Once the investigation's complete, we'll let you know the outcome.

If your claim's 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. You must always provide receipts, where available, to support your claim.