We understand there may be times when unfortunate incidents occur which could result in property loss or damage, or personal injury, that you believe was caused by the Council, and you may want to claim compensation.

There is no automatic right to compensation in these circumstances, however, and you will need to prove that the damage or injury was due to the Council's negligence or breach of duty.

To make a claim you need to put it in writing and send it to insurance@welhat.gov.uk or the Insurance Team at Welwyn Hatfield Council, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AE. Your claim should include full details of the circumstances leading to the damage or injury, including:

  • any previous related incidents or complaints
  • the date and time of the incident
  • the specific damage or injury for which you would like to make a claim
  • an explanation why you believe the Council is responsible
  • in the case of property damage, photographic evidence of the damage and details of the age and original purchase price of those items. Receipts, if available, will also be asked for.

 

The Process

We all have a common law duty to mitigate our losses, which means that if you are reasonably able to take action to prevent damage or stop it from getting worse, you should do so. You will therefore also need to include details of what mitigation you have undertaken, for example moving goods away from leaks, cleaning furnishings, undertaking repairs when necessary, cutting back branches etc. If you have not mitigated your losses in this way and have allowed damage to continue, this can be taken into consideration and a settlement offer reduced accordingly, if a liability to compensate does exist. There is also no obligation on the Council to replace old goods with new, so their age and condition will be reflected in any settlement offer.

On receiving your claim it will be registered and either handled by the Insurance Team at the Council or passed to the Council's public liability insurer. An investigation will then be undertaken into the circumstances leading to the incident and when all relevant information has been gathered, a decision made on whether the Council is liable to pay compensation.

It may be that you have your own insurance policy that would cover your loss so in these circumstances we would recommend you contact your own insurer and pursue a claim with them. If they then believe the Council is responsible for the expenditure they have incurred, they have rights of subrogation which mean they are able to pursue a recovery claim against us in your name.

 

Privacy

We can also confirm the Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services.  All the personal information on our residents and customers is securely held and our staff and partners process data in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data we handle.  Our Privacy Notice www.welhat.gov.uk/privacy-notice explains how we use information about you.