Episode 405 - On this week's episode I explain how those aged between 45 and 70 should check to see if they have any gaps in their national insurance record before the 6th April 2023. From this date new rules come into effect that may prevent you from plugging gaps in your NI record, stopping you from receiving a full state pension. I also reveal how you can claim for damage to your car, bicycle or motorcycle caused by a pothole in the road. Finally, Lauren explains how you can earn cashback from a bank account.
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Boost your state pension before the April 2023 deadline
On this section of the podcast we discuss how an April 2023 deadline looms for boosting your state pension. We explain who is impacted and what they should do about it.
Claiming compensation for damage caused by a pothole
An increasing number of podcast listeners have complained about the cost of car repairs caused by hitting a pothole in the road. In this section of the podcast we explain how you can make a claim for the cost of repairs if your car, bike or motorcycle has been damaged by a pothole.
You can only make a claim if the authority for maintaining the road was at fault. All authorities have a legal obligation to keep roads safe, including filling potholes and paying out for damage caused by defects they should have maintained. Unfortunately if the pothole that caused the damage hasn't been previously reported the authority may be able to avoid having to pay out. It is one of the reasons why It is important to report any potholes you see to the relevant authorities, not only to keep the roads safe but to also help others in the event that they have to make a claim for pothole damage.
How to report a pothole
Different authorities are responsible for maintaining different types of roads, so it is important to report potholes to the correct authority. Broadly speaking in England, Scotland and Wales local B-roads are maintained by the relevant local council. Major A-roads and motorways are maintained by Highways England while red routes in Greater London are maintained by Transport for London. In Scotland motorways and a roads are maintained by Traffic Scotland and in Northern Ireland all road types are the responsibility of DFL roads.
You can report potholes to the relevant authorities via the links above, but in the case of local councils you will need to search their respective websites for information on how to report a pothole for repair.
It is also worth reporting the pothole on FixMyStreet. The website can be used to report potholes and other issues in your local area in order to try and get the problem resolved by your local council. The website can also be used to provide evidence that a pothole that caused damage to your car was previously reported.
How to make a claim for damage caused by a pothole
Many of the listed authorities will allow you to submit a claim for repair via the same method/form that you used to report the pothole. If they don't then you will need to contact the relevant authority for details of how to make a claim. However, in order to be able to make a claim you will need to prove that the damage to your vehicle was caused by the pothole. In order to do this you will need to
- gather evidence including photographs of the damage
- take photos of the pothole as well photos of its location in the road
- if it's safe to do so you will need to provide evidence that the pothole is at least 40mm deep
It will also help your case if a mechanic can put in writing that the damage to your vehicle was caused by the pothole alongside the cost of the repairs.
After making a claim then it will either be paid in full, in part or rejected altogether. If you are unhappy with the outcome then you will need to submit a Freedom of Information request (FOI) to obtain details of the authority's policy for inspecting and repairing roads as well as details and dates of inspections carried out on the section of road in question. This may provide additional evidence for your case showing that the authority neglected to maintain the road. If that also fails to secure compensation then you will have to take action via the small claims court.
Cashback bank accounts
In this part of the podcast we discuss the best bank accounts for cashback as well as the best bank switching offers available.