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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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good morning I have a septic tank on my drive with a manhole

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good morning
I have a septic tank on my drive with a manhole grate, the grate stands proud by 4 inches because the driveway isn't finished yet. I have a lodger who's mother visits occasionally.
whilst i was away working abroad, the mother claims to have fallen into the tank, luckily there is no lasting injury. She claims the grate had been removed and it was dark.
I have now received a letter from her solicitors asking for my public liability insurance details.
I should add the driveway is quite large and the manhole cover is to one side where it doesn't affect the day to day use of the drive. I am in the process of having a new septic tank built away from the drive with a view to getting the old one filled in so that I can finish the drive, although work hasn't started yet as i am waiting for building permission.
Im quite surprised the grate was completely removed because it is very heavy. The grate was originally secured on a bed of mortar, and has been like that for several years.
The question is..Should I have public liability insurance? and what are the consequences for me if i haven't?
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Do you have standard home insurance?
Was the grate replaced when you got back?
Have they provided proof that she went to hospital etc?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


yes i have standard building and contents insurance.

The grate cover was replaced the next morning as it was dark when it happened. The victims partner and my daughters boyfriend replaced the grate, and at some point the victims partner took pictures which i have not seen. The whole area now has a barrier around it.

The victim called me yesterday to ask if i had insurance, she did say that if i wasn't covered, then she would drop the case. Relations with her are still 'cordial'.

I have no idea if she has provided proof of hospital visits, or wether she has been to hospital, but she did say that she was fine.. just bruised.

Thank you.
As a starting point you should confirm whether your home and contents insurance contains any public liability provisions or cover.
Ultimately all she wants to do is make a claim on your insurance. I guess the only effect this will have on you is it might make your premiums go up.
I would not necessarily lie about it, it just depends how you feel with her making a claim against your insurance policy?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


many thanks for your reply

I have spoken to my daughters boyfriend, he says the cover was in place earlier that day. It looks like the victim has driven directly over the grate and something underneath the car has caught on the grate and dragged it off. she then parked up with the grate opening directly behind the car, when accessing the car boot, she fell into the opening unto her waist.

I have checked my buildings and contents policy and it does say that i have some sort of liability cover, but not sure if i understand it.

I will pass the details to her solicitors and see what happens.

many thanks


Thank you.
I do not think you can do any more than that.
But I would recommend that you perhaps consider forbidding any of your lodges guests from parking on the drive way in the future.
Furthermore if the premium goes this may be a cost that in part you will have to pass to the lodge as your overheads will have increased.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
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