No, there are no claim forms, if you have suffered personal injury, property damage or financial loss and you believe that the Council has been negligent, you will need to write to the address above by letter or by e-mail, stating;
We will aim to acknowledge receipt of your written correspondence within 3 days of receipt and start our enquiries.
The Council has a Public Liability Policy which provides cover in the event that we are found to be legally liable for any bodily injury or accidental damage caused to a third party or third party property and the insurer handles claims on our behalf. The Council can only be held liable if it is found to have been negligent.
Your claim will be referred to the Council's Public Liability insurer, or it may be referred a contractor or landowner (if known) if we are not the responsible party.
We will forward a copy of your letter to the relevant department (i.e. if your claim is regarding a trip or fall on the public highway, we will send it to the Highways Department) they are required to respond to your allegations providing relevant documentation (i.e. inspection reports). These will be passed to our insurer to handle claims on our behalf.
Investigating your allegations may take some time, we will endeavour via our insurer, to respond regarding the issue of liability within 3 months from the date that we receive sufficient information to start our investigation, as per the Civil Procedure Rules.
As the insurer is dealing with your claim you should contact them in the first instance. They can be contacted on 0845 3001402 (switchboard), you will need to quote your reference number, which can be found on the acknowledgement letter sent by us. Or if you have already received correspondence from our insurer, it will state who is dealing with your claim and provide a direct line telephone number.
The Council cannot be held liable for the actions of others. When the Council employs a contractor, they are required to have Public Liability cover.
Zurich Municipal underwrite the Property Owners policy and the Houseowners Policy in respect of housing units contained in a building of 3 or more storeys. Thurrock Council self-insure all housing units contained in buildings of 2 storeys and less.
The building at the premises including; landlord's fixtures and fittings, outbuildings, playgrounds, yards, forecourts, car parks, roads and pavements, but only to the extent of the boundary, walls, gates, fences, canopies and fixed signs, foundations, piping, ducting, cables, wires and associated control gear and accessories on the premises and extending to the public mains but only to the extent of the Council's responsibilities.
Generally, yes. An occurrence such as placing a hot pan on a work surface, which leaves a scorch mark, would not be covered.
One of the insured risks is 'storm'. Storm is a quite rare meteorological occurrence. During a storm, winds just short of hurricane strength can be expected, usually accompanied by heavy rain, hail or snow.
The escape of water risk covers only the damage caused by escaping water - water escapes because a pipe, tank or appliance has failed. It should be noted that the damage caused by normal wear and tear is not insured.
When there is no heating in a building, if the temperature falls below freezing point then the building may become vulnerable to damage from burst pipes. Pipes, which contain water freezing, cause this and then splitting due to the expansion of the frozen water, as happens regularly in cold winters. When the temperature rises to above freezing, particularly over a short period of time, the ice melts and the building will suffer water damage from the leaking or overflowing pipes. The main risk is to premises, which are unoccupied during a cold spell of weather such as schools, which close for holiday periods or properties with a seasonal use.
By undertaking the following steps you should be able to minimise the risk of suffering damage from burst pipes: -
Malicious fires on Council properties cost millions of pounds each year. Such fires are regularly caused by rubbish and waste being set alight without the miscreant having to enter the building. Skips, wheelie bins and the like often contain large quantities of flammable material and, if positioned next to a building and then set on fire, can cause severe fire damage to the building, and threaten occupants.
The following general recommendations should help minimise the exposure of such arson attacks: -
Yes, you can arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out to prevent further damage occurring. For example if windows are broken.
Cover under this insured risk is limited to damage caused to the home by the falling aerial. It does not cover the aerial itself which you would normally be able to claim for under any contents policy that you may have.
Any contract for repair will always be between you and your nominated repairer, and you should always ensure that any work is carried out to your satisfaction before you make payment.
As the contract for the repair is between you and the repairer, it is normal practice for you to settle the account then forward to us the receipted invoice so that we can refund your outlay up to the agreed figure.
If you wish, we can send our settlement cheque to you in the name of your contractor or pay your contractor directly. In either case, we require your written authorisation, along with your confirmation that the works have been completed to your satisfaction, before any money is released.
A property is deemed to be unoccupied when it has been empty for a period of 30 days or more. Under the Property Owners policy, the property is deemed unoccupied immediately it becomes vacant, empty, untenanted or not in use.
There are various reasons why unoccupied properties are a serious risk. The fire brigade attend approximately 9,000 fires in vacant properties each year and it is estimated that losses from unoccupied properties total in excess of £100 million every year.
Equally as serious as the risk of damage to the property, is the risk of injury to people. The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 makes the owner of the vacant property potentially legally liable for death or injury to visitors or trespassers to the property. According to the Act, owners owe a duty of reasonable care to ensure the premises are and remain well secured, particularly in preventing access by children.
The following is a list of steps, which should be followed once a property becomes unoccupied:
Terrorism may be defined as 'An act of any person on behalf of or in connection with any organisation with activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing of any Government de jure or de facto by force or violence'.
Put simply that is any violent act, which the perpetrator claims was designed to change Government or its policy. It is certainly not restricted to the actions of any one terrorist organisation in the British Isles or worldwide. However the definition does not include actions intended to change Government policy, such as those of animal rights activists.