Claims against North Ayrshire Council for compensation are decided on legal liability. This means that you have to prove that 'on the balance of probabilities' the council has been negligent or failed in its statutory duty.
Please note: there is no automatic right to compensation.
If you have suffered damage to your personal belongings or personal injury and feel it was the fault (they have been negligent) of North Ayrshire Council, you may wish to make a claim.
How to submit a claim
You must read the following advice and terms before completing the Public Liability Claim Form.
If you experience damage, loss or harm in relation to yourself or your belongings, there are 2 ways in which you can proceed with a claim:
- through your own insurer
- directly against the Council, where you believe the Council has been negligent.
Both options are explained below.
Option 1: Claim through your own insurers
1. If you make a claim through your own insurer, they will most likely cover your loss on a 'new for old basis' and may seek to recover the costs from the Council on your behalf. If the Council is proven to have been legally liable for your loss then your Insurer may recover both their own costs and any excess payment you have made to them if it appears the Council is at fault. Your premium payments should not be affected if the Council is found to be legally liable for your loss. Please note that many insurers have a maximum claim notification period of 30 days.
2. If you have your own insurance cover your claim may be dealt with more quickly if you submit it to your insurers. This is because you will not need to prove that your loss was caused by fault or negligence of the Council by breach of statutory duty.
Option 2: Claim directly to the Council
1. Making a claim does not automatically entitle you to compensation for loss or injury - it will depend on whether the accident has been caused by the fault or negligence of the Council or if the Council has failed in its statutory duty.
2. If you feel this is the case and wish to make a claim for compensation directly to the Council, you must complete the Council's standard 'Public Liability Claim Form'.
a) The form must be completed by you as a true representation of the circumstances of your claim
b) We are unable to return physical copies of photos that you submit to us
c) It is your duty to take reasonable steps to reduce the value/extent of any loss and to ensure, as far as possible, that your property does not become further damaged
d) It is your responsibility to put an estimated value on any property loss and we will require copies of receipts (if available) and/or 2 repair/replacement estimates, along with confirmation of the age of the items
e) In the absence of photographic and detailed evidence and if you proceed with repairs or replacement or disposal of any damaged property before the Council or its insurers have had the opportunity to carry out its investigations, your claim may be prejudiced
f) The Council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you have provided on this form for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes. For avoidance of doubt this extends to our Insurers and their partners. For more information contact the Corporate Fraud Team: 01294 324594
g) Any alleged loss that is found to have been fraudulent, falsely stated or exaggerated will be passed to the Council’s Fraud Team for investigation and may be subject to prosecution.
3. When completing the claim form, please bear in mind that more detail will allow easier and faster investigation. For example, maps, sketches and photos can be helpful to show where an incident occurred.
4. We aim to acknowledge your claim within 5 working days.
5. The Council’s insurer is Zurich Municipal. In some cases, your claim may be passed to them for handling. The time taken to process will vary depending on the types of claim and number of claims being handled. Claims involving injury can be complex and time consuming. Claims not involving any injuries should be quicker to process and conclude. All claims are assessed on a case by case basis.
6. You will receive written confirmation on the outcome of your claim from either North Ayrshire Council or Zurich Municipal.
a) If your claim is accepted and settled, the offer made to you will not be on a 'new for old' basis as the Council's liability is legally limited to the value of the loss immediately prior to your accident. Your own insurers may offer better settlement terms. In other words, any payments made will not be on a 'new for old basis' as would be the case through your own insurers
b) If you claim benefits, any payment made to settle your claim may affect benefits payments and any settlement that is paid to you should therefore be declared. You should contact your benefit provider for further advice.
c) If you have outstanding debt with North Ayrshire Council, such as rent, Council tax arrears, or any other Council debt, this sum will be offset against the payment of any insurance claim.
7. You may elect a representative to handle your claim on your behalf if you feel this would be appropriate. Your representative can be a solicitor, a family member or another person acting on your behalf. If you exercise this option, all correspondence relating to your claim will be sent to your representative.
8. You are entitled to seek legal advice at any stage of your claim. Before appointing a solicitor, you should check how much any legal services will cost and how they will be funded. Citizens Advice can provide guidance on making a public liability claim.
9. The Council insures its housing stock against structural damage, but this does not cover the contents that belong to tenants or claims for accidental damage. We advise that Council tenants take out their own contents insurance including accidental damage cover. This is available from insurance companies, or can be arranged through the Council’s ‘Home Contents Insurance Scheme’.
10. If the incident relates to work carried out by sub-contractors, your claim will be passed to the sub-contractor for handling. The sub-contractor will deal directly with you and the Council will not be involved.
The council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers. The information you provide on this form may be used for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may be shared with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds. For avoidance of doubt this extends to our Insurers and partners. Any alleged loss that is found to have been fraudulent, falsely stated or exaggerated will be passed to the Corporate Fraud Team for investigation and may be subject to prosecution.
Complete a claim form
Submit an online claim by clicking the button below.
Submit a liability claim
Alternatively, you can ask for a paper copy by calling 01294 310000. This will be posted within 5 working days of your request.
Please note: Claims are assessed on a case by case basis, therefore we can't give timescales.
What happens when you submit a claim
The claim,and any surrounding issues, will be investigated by officers of the council. Once complete, a decision will be made as to whether legal liability attaches to the council.
The council (or our insurers) may need to contact you to request further information.
For a claim to be successful, you must show that the damage/injury was the fault of the council or council employees.
Please note: There is no time limit in dealing with this type of claim.
If you have home contents, buildings or motor insurance that would cover your loss, we recommend that you make a claim on this policy first. You will not need to prove that anyone is at fault for the loss. Your insurers may look to recover their costs from the council if they feel the council has been at fault.
Contractors and public utility companies
The council is not responsible for the actions or activities of any contractor or public utility company, even if they are acting on our behalf. Claims should be made directly against the contractor or public utility company.
What happens when a decision has been made
- If the decision is that the council is not legally liable for your accident, we will write to you and give you the reason why. If you are unhappy with this decision and wish to take this further you are advised to take independent advice.
- If the decision is to award you compensation, we will write to you with an offer. Any successful claim settlement may be offset against debt owed to North Ayrshire Council’s fault, including tax arrears.