24 October 2007 | Paul Snell
Firebuy has set up a deal to allow fire and rescue authorities (FRAs) in England to buy cheaper insurance.
Nine services have signed up to the deal so far, organised by buying group Firebuy, risk consultancy Public Risk Management, and Charles Taylor Consulting. It enables FRAs to get a better deal on insurance by buying it through the new Fire & Rescue Authorities Mutual (FRAML) organisation.
According to David Howells, chairman of FRAML's board of directors and director of corporate services for Hampshire FRA, the project began because services realised collaborating on insurance would create large economies of scale and improve efficiencies.
"We believe that forming our own mutual on a national scale will deliver the greatest savings in the longer-term. It's fair to say that participating members are fairly risk-averse and didn't enter into this lightly," he said.
Joe Clowes, chairman of Public Risk Management, added the insurance market for FRAs suffered from a lack of competition: "FRAs had traditionally been charged a premium based on the risk profile of local authorities when their own risk profile was very different."
A similar scheme for London councils, the London Authorities Mutual, was launched in April this year to create savings and efficiencies.