Making a highways insurance claim

How to make a claim if you think a highway defect has caused injury or damage, what you need to prove before you make a claim and how we manage claims.

If you're involved in an incident that you consider was due to a highway defect, which has caused injury or damage, you may be able to claim compensation.

Before you can make a claim you'll need to prove that we've failed in our duties to maintain the public highway to a standard appropriate to its use and includes a:

  • road
  • pavement
  • verge
  • cycleway

You need to prove negligence by us and that at the time of the incident:

  • a hazardous defect existed on a highway maintained by us
  • the highway in question has not been maintained appropriately with regards to its importance and use, and was therefore dangerous
  • the defect was the direct cause of the incident or injury, and that you have suffered a loss

Contact Customer Services on 0345 606 6171 who'll send you an incident report form.

With this form, you'll need to provide copies of supporting information.

For example, if you are claiming for damage to a vehicle, you'll need to provide copies of the following documents - please do not send originals:

  • an estimate for repair, or if repairs have been carried out a copy of the invoice and receipt
  • insurance certificate, valid at the date of incident
  • MOT certificate, valid at the date of incident
  • proof of road tax, valid at the date of incident


After we've received all the valid supporting documents we'll acknowledge receipt of your claim within 21 days (or advise you on what else we require). Once we've acknowledged receipt of your report form all future contact must be in writing or email to ensure all relevant information is recorded accurately.

We'll then carry out an investigation into the incident. In some cases we may not be responsible for the location, for example if it's a private or unadopted road/pavement or it relates to works carried out by other organisations. If this is the case we will inform you as soon as possible.

We'll notify you when our investigation has been completed and referred to our claims handlers.

Our claims handlers will contact you within 90 days to inform you if your claim has been accepted or not.

They won't comment upon liability until they have received a written report detailing our full investigation of your claim.

If you wish to make a claim caused by a highway defect on a trunk road, phone the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000. Trunk roads aren't managed by Suffolk Highways. 

Managing the cost of claims

Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides us with a defence against most insurance claims. We rely on this wherever possible, as the cost of claims handling and settlements comes directly from public funds - which we are keen to preserve.



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