Skip to main content

Frequently asked questions about insurance claims

  1. Where does the money for my claim come from?
  2. Why does the process of claiming take so long?
  3. Can I claim for other costs i.e. loss of earnings, hire cars etc.?
  4. Should I claim from my own insurance and get them to claim back?
  5. Why can't I get an update for how my claim is progressing, I only got one letter to say you were investigating it and that was weeks ago?
  6. What am I going to do about getting the repair done, I have no money?
  7. Why wouldn't you pay out?
  8. Why do you want me to sketch the location, won't a photograph do?
  9. I can't provide a photo, it was dangerous to get out of my car. Can I still send in the claim?
  10. Is there a time limit after the incident to when I can send in a claim?
  11. Why has my initial response taken over 21 days to come back, does this mean you have to pay out?
  12. I disagree with the refusal of my claim, how can I appeal/ where do I go from here?
  13. Why is there no appeal procedure?
  14. The repair to my car was only cosmetic, but I have already had it done. Is it ok to send in the invoice rather than quotes?
  15. The repair needed to my car is non emergency but I have to use the manufacturer's garage so can only get one quote, is that accepted?
  16. How can I find out if there have been other accidents/claims made for the same problem? Do I have to quote the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to get this information?
  17. Should l take photos even if the pothole has been repaired since the incident?
  18. Should I take photos of my injury to support my personal injury claim?

1. Where does the money for my claim come from?

The money is paid from Council funds which could either be from the Insurance Fund, to which contributions are made from all Surrey County Council services, or from the Highways Budget in relation to some highways claims.

2. Why does the process of claiming take so long?

We have to comply with rules laid down by the Courts system which apply even before proceedings are commenced. These are called the Civil Procedure Rules, and were introduced in 1999 and include a pre action protocol for dealing with claims, and they provide for an acknowledgment of the claim within 21 days, and a decision on the claim within 3months thereafter. We aim to provide our decisions well within that time if possible.

3. Can I claim for other costs i.e. loss of earnings, hire cars etc.?

You can only claim for loss which is caused as a direct result of the accident.

4. Should I claim from my own insurance and get them to claim back?

Yes, this is the one way in which you can recover your loss, subject of course to the insurer accepting the claim.

Return to top

5. Why can't I get an update for how my claim is progressing, I only got one letter to say you were investigating it and that was weeks ago?

The rules do not provide for updates, and if we were to do so, it would have a knock on effect in delaying the provision of our decision. We diarize our claims so as to avoid delay in providing our decisions. Please be patient with us!

6. What am I going to do about getting the repair done, I have no money?

If we accept the claim, then you can either pay by credit card, in which case we will reimburse you on presentation of a receipted invoice. Sometimes, the garage may agree to invoice us direct.

7. Why wouldn't you pay out?

We pay from Council funds, not from a separate insurer, and so we have a duty to our ratepayers in only paying out on a claim where we are clearly in breach of our statutory duties, or where we have clearly been in breach of our duty of care to our residents.

8. Why do you want me to sketch the location, won't a photograph do?

A photograph or sketch is fine. We need to know precisely where the defect is situated in order for us to investigate the claim.

Return to top

9. I can't provide a photo, it was dangerous to get out of my car, can I still send in the claim?

Yes, provided you accurately describe the location - for example with reference to a nearby house, or landmark.

10. Is there a time limit after the incident to when I can send in a claim?

Yes. This is 6 years from the date of the accident for a property damage claim, or 3 years from the date on which a personal injury was sustained.

11. Why has my initial response taken over 21 days to come back, does this mean you have to pay out?

No. Under Court guidelines governing claims processes, we are required simply to acknowledge receipt of the claim within 21 days, and thereafter we have a further 3 months within which to let you have our decision on liability.

12. I disagree with the refusal of my claim, how can I appeal/ where do I go from here?

There is no appeals process within Surrey County Council. You should therefore consult a lawyer, or your Citizens Advice Bureau.

Return to top

13. Why is there no appeal procedure?

Our decision is final, and therefore if you disagree with our decision, you can speak to an independent adviser.

14. The repair to my car was only cosmetic, but I have already had it done, is it ok to send in the invoice rather than quotes?

Provided the cost has been reasonably incurred, we will consider the claim.

15. The repair needed to my car is non emergency but I have to use the manufacturers garage so can only get one quote, is that accepted?

Yes, provided it is reasonable.

16. How can I find out if there have been other accidents/claims made for the same problem? Do I have to quote FOI to get this information?

Yes, you would need to make an FOI request. However, we monitor claims locations, and will know if other claims have been paid out in relation to the same problem.

17. Should l take photos even if the pothole has been repaired since the incident?

Yes. This will assist in identifying the location of the accident.

18. Should I take photos of my injury to support my personal injury claim?

You can certainly do this, but a doctor's report is always needed to confirm details of the injury except in minor injury cases.

Top