Question from: County Councillor Elwyn Vaughan Subject: Pot hole claims
I understand that Powys employs Gallagher Bassett, a claims service provider, based at Sandy Way, Tamworth to handle claims in relation to pot holes and alike for the authority.
Can you please confirm:
· how many claims have been received in the last two years?
· how many claims have been denied vs accepted in that period?
· the amount paid to Gallagher Bassett to handle claims in the last two years?
· why is Powys employing a large multinational firm rather than a Welsh firm?
· how is their performance monitored?
· how many complaints have been received by Powys about the company and how many complaints have Gallagher Bassett received in relation to these claims?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
Thank you for your questions regarding pot hole claims. My responses to your questions [shown in bold] are given below:
For period 01.04.18 to 06.06.20 there have been 295 claims for potholes and 39 claims for trip incidents related to highways/pavements, etc.
· How many claims have been denied vs accepted in that period?
Details per following table:
Please note that Gallaghers’ ability to defend claims successfully is obviously based on the Council’s inspection regime, adherence to this regime, robust inspection information from the Highways Inspectors, the Inspection records being made available within the specified time limit and timely repairing of any issues highlighted as a result of the inspections.
It is not straightforward to calculate the total amount actually paid to Gallaghers in the last two years as the data included in the table above is based on incident date as opposed to date of claim. As such, it is more relevant to quote the set fees which are as follows:-
£124.00 per claim where it relates to damage to a vehicle of some sort including bicycles
£296.00 if it relates to personal bodily injury e.g. where a pedestrian claims to have fallen due to a pothole/raised drain, etc.
The Council has no say in who is appointed as the claims’ handler – they are appointed by the Council’s insurers. Insurers are procured via a tender exercise.
The Council’s insurance broker reviews the claims handler, usually on an annual basis, to ensure good practice, etc. is being maintained. We understand the relevant insurer also monitors them as part of their contract with them.
The Council has not had any complaints about Gallagher Bassett as a company.
We do get complaints about their decisions in relation to claims when liability has been denied, when the Council has adhered to its inspection regime. The standard repudiation letter sent to all claimants by Gallaghers does state that, if the claimants disagree with the decision, they can seek legal advice. However, some claimants subsequently just complain direct to the Council.
We are not aware of how many complaints, if any, Gallaghers have received from claimants who are not happy with the denial of liability.