How do I make a vehicle damage claim?
If you wish to submit a vehicle damage claim and the highway defect that caused the damage is still present, start at step A.
If you know the defect has been repaired / there is no longer a highway safety issue, go to step C.
Reporting the Defect / Issue
A) Use our online reporting system to see if the defect has already been reported.
If there is no current record of the defect:
- describe the fault in as much detail as possible – include the location in the highway, size and shape
- briefly outline the nature of the incident – include the time, date, weather conditions and damage sustained
- identify the exact location of the incident on the map – use the map tools to find the general area and then it is essential that you zoom in sufficiently to accurately mark the map. This is vital information that will be used to investigate your claim.
- Please note when you submit your claim (see below) you will additionally need to provide your own map clearly identifying the location of the incident/defect
If the defect is showing on the map as an existing problem you should add your details to the existing record by clicking on the defect icon and selecting ‘Add me to this defect’.
B) Complete the contact details in full and submit the form.
- Note the reference number the system provides.
- If you are claiming for multiple incidents you must create multiple online logs and use multiple claim forms.
Before completing the claim form please ensure that the email notification you receive in connection with your report, after it has been assessed, has identified the pothole as being a safety defect. Once you have this confirmed, you can use the reference number for your claim form.
Making a Claim
C) Download a copy of the claim form for vehicle damage
- Insert the reference number given when you reported the defect in the space provided at the top of the form (unless you know the defect has been repaired / is no longer an issue, in which case leave the reference number field blank)
- Read the form carefully and complete all relevant information.
Please ensure you enclose all the documents we request, as listed below. Failure to do so will result in your claim being delayed.
For all vehicle damage claims we require the following (Please do not send us original documents – these will not be returned and the originals will not be retained by us):
- A report of a pothole on our report a problem webpage (unless you are aware it has been repaired or there is no longer an issue). Please ensure you mark the correct location on the map to enable us to investigate each claim.
- A clearly marked map showing the exact location of the incident and/or the defect
- One dated (ideally), colour photo of the defect and surrounding area (if safe to obtain).
- At least one dated (ideally), colour photo of the damage. (We are unable to accept any physical media such as memory sticks or DVDs)
- Vehicle registration document (V5) (front page only).
- Insurance certificate – the County Council may contact your insurers to confirm this information.
- MOT certificate (if required for the vehicle).
- Proof of last service (if available)
- Proof of valid road tax – www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk (We do not/will not carry out this check).
- Supporting evidence for age of tyre(s) (if available).
- Invoices or receipts for the required repairs.
What happens next?
When we receive your information, we will undertake a preliminary investigation and write to you to either:
- advise you that your claim should be directed elsewhere
- request additional information – incomplete forms will be returned; it’s important to provide any additional or missing information quickly, as the investigation is put on hold until we have the full details
- inform you that we are preparing a full report for our Insurance Section or Gallagher Basset for a decision on liability to be made.
Please note that Gallagher Bassett are a claims management company who are authorised by our insurers to handle the higher value claims made against us.
Investigation and decision
A full investigation will be undertaken, and a report supplied to our Insurance Section or Gallagher Basset to make a decision. The decision will be based on the facts and the law and will reflect the current attitude of the courts. If it is believed the courts would reject your claim, then that is likely to be the decision which will be arrived at by our Insurance Section or Gallagher Basset. If it is believed that the courts would award compensation, then an offer will be made to settle your claim.
You will be contacted by our Insurance Section or Gallagher Bassett direct as soon as they have had the opportunity of considering your claim and the circumstances surrounding the incident.