19 February 2010 | Helen Gilbert
Authorities in South West England are targeting significant savings by pooling their insurance spend.
Teignbridge, West Somerset and South Hams District Councils will collaborate with insurance broker Heath Lambert to develop a framework that will make purchasing insurance quicker and cheaper.
District council spend on cover averages between £200,000 and £500,000 a year and the consortium is expected to help the local authorities save up to 25 per cent through collaborative purchasing.
The framework will be open to district and borough councils and National Park Authorities in the South West region and will be in place for members by 1 August 2010.
Theft, public liability, motor and personal accident are among the types of cover that will be purchased and further district councils are expected to sign up to the consortium once their current agreements expire.
Mel Staton, Teignbridge District Council’s corporate procurement officer said simplifying the procurement process for individual contract awards would generate significant savings.
“It will make it easier for authorities to access competitive insurance quotations in compliance with the procurement legislation in a shorter timescale,” she said.
Peter Bristow, Heath Lambert’s head of the public sector unit described the framework as a first for local authority procurement.
He said: “Each member will be able to select the cover they require. There is no requirement to provide capital or agree to align renewal dates or long-term agreements with other consortium members, and any authority will be able to continue using the services of any insurance broker or adviser that they currently use.”