Pothole claims leave a dent in Council's finances

March 22nd, 2019 11:50 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The County Council paid out €124,018.21 between 2015 and 2017.

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Cork County Council has paid out twice the amount of money in pothole claims to motorists for damage to their cars in the space of just two years.

In 2015 the total settlement figure for claims for drivers was €29,690.40 but this jumped to €47,601.48 for 2017, according to figures obtained by The Southern Star

Figures for 2018 are not yet available and the figures for 2017 are a slight increase of €875.15 on the 2016 settlement figure of €46,736.33. 

Overall the Council has paid out €124,018.21 between 2015 and 2017 to drivers who submitted pothole claims to their insurance department.

The figures also show the number of claims submitted by motorists to Cork County Council in 2017 has almost doubled compared to 2015 figures. In 2017 claims stood at 241, compared with 190 in 2016 and 138 in 2015.

According to Cork County Council of the 214 claims submitted in 2017, 195 of those were settled but 20 were denied.

‘There are still 26 outstanding claims to be investigated and some may be denied. Each claim is dealt with on a case-by-case basis,’ said a Council spokesperson.

Drivers who suffer damage to their cars can claim through Cork County Council’s Insurance Department but they need to have necessary information including pictures of both the potholes and the damage caused to their cars and other basic information about where it happened.

Last year some motorists contacted The Southern Star  about their frustration with the pothole claim process and the length of time it took for their cases to be dealt with.

Cork County Council said the delays were due to ‘unprecedented increases’ in claims sent into the Council, due to bad weather the previous winter.

Only last December the local authority refused to pay out any claims to motorists in relation to a pothole on the N71 coming into Bandon. 

Deputy Michael Collins described the situation at the time ‘like a war zone.’

A Council spokesperson told The Southern Star at the time that the offending pothole was a recently formed one and had not been reported and therefore not repaired by their road crews.

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