Insurance - making a claim against the council

Potholes and other highway issues

The highways authority for the Lancaster district is Lancashire County Council, not Lancaster City Council.

All claims relating to highways incidents, including claims for pothole damage, should therefore be submitted to Lancashire County Council.


How to make a claim - third party solicitors

The council’s employer and public liability policy details are as follows:

Combined liability - confirmation of insurance policies held by Lancaster City Council (PDF)

The council’s employer and public liability policy details are as follows:

With effect from 1 April 2020 

  • Insurers – Zurich Municipal
  • Registered Address – 5th Floor, Hadrian House, Higham Place, Newcastle, NE1 8AF
  • Policy - Public Authority Combined Liability Insurance (UK)
  • Policy Number –  QLA-07H070-0123
  • Portal ID – C00108

For the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020

  • Insurers – QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited
  • Registered Address – Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BD
  • Policy - Public Authority Combined Liability Insurance (UK)
  • Policy Number – Y103903QBE0118A
  • Portal ID - D00019

Solicitors should use the electronic portal to submit all relevant employer and public liability personal injury claims where the date of claim is 31 July 2013 or later. Claims not submitted via the portal will be returned.


How to make a claim - members of the public

If you have suffered personal injury or damage to your property as a result of actions by the council you may consider making a claim. For the claim to be successful you will need to prove that the council has been negligent and has not done everything that is reasonable to protect you or your property. There is no automatic entitlement to compensation when something happens - the alleged incident may not have been the fault of the council.

You have six years from the date of the incident to claim for property damage and three years for personal injury claims.

When making a claim please include the following information:

  1. Full name, address and telephone number
  2. Age and date of birth
  3. Occupation
  4. National insurance number
  5. Exact time and date of the incident/accident
  6. The precise location of the incident, indicating landmarks where possible (shops, houses, churches, street signs etc) - please include a sketch or photographs
  7. Written details of how the incident/accident happened together with a photograph, if possible, of any hazard or obstruction which you believe to have been the cause of the incident
  8. Details of injuries and/or property damage
  9. The names and addresses of any witnesses
  10. Confirmation that the information given in your letter of claim is correct

You can submit a claim in writing or by email:

Please do not dispose of any damaged items prior to the council confirming whether they wish to inspect the property concerned. If you do so this may result in a reduced settlement being paid in the event of liability being accepted.


How your claim is handled

Your letter of claim will be forwarded to our insurers within two working days of receipt. The insurers will acknowledge receipt of your letter, giving details of the claim reference number and the claim handler.

We will pass all relevant information to our insurers and your claim will be investigated. Our insurers will decide whether or not the council is at fault. The law allows up to three months for this to take place. Sometimes the claims handler may request further information from you. If they do, the three month period may commence when this is received.

For personal injury claims the insurers may send you a form to complete so that they can approach your general practitioner (GP) or hospital for a report or copy records. For severe injuries a report from an independent consultant who has examined you may be required. These can take some months to obtain.

Some smaller claims for property damage only will be dealt with directly by us. If this is the case, your letter of claim will be acknowledged within two working days of receipt.

The council and its insurer always aim to deal with all claims within the timescales set down by law.


What next?

If we, or our insurer, decide that the council was not at fault, you will receive written confirmation and an explanation why. If you wish to discuss the decision you can speak directly to the person who sent you the letter.  If it is decided that the council is responsible, you will be sent a letter offering compensation together with an acceptance form which should be signed and returned. If you accept the offer you will need to complete the acceptance form confirming the bank details of any settlement payment. If you disagree with the level of compensation offered you should reply to the person who sent you the letter outlining your reasons why.

You may seek independent legal advice at any stage throughout this process. If you disagree with the decision made you may then seek legal advice and go to court.

Complaints with regard to the handling of your claim will be dealt with via our complaints procedure. However, we are unable to deal with disagreements regarding the outcome of your claim under this procedure and these should be dealt with as outlined above.

In order to protect public funds we will use the information you provide in relation to your claim to detect and prevent fraud. This information may be shared with other departments within the council and with other organisations for the same purpose. Any person found to be making a fraudulent claim (or assisting in the making of a fraudulent claim) would be liable to prosecution.


Your privacy

For details of information about you that we collect and use in processing insurance claims see our insurance privacy notice.

Last updated: 18 August 2020