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Decision details

Future of Tenant's Contents Insurance Scheme

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Decision on the future provision of tenant's contents insurance


Matter for Decision

This report reviewed the future provision of the weekly paid, ‘with rent’ Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.               Approved that the Council ceased to directly offer Tenants Contents Insurance with immediate effect and terminates the existing contract on 31st March 2023, notifying all existing customers of this in the intervening period.

ii.             Approved a delegation to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair, Vice Chair and Opposition Spokespersons, to determine whether an ‘arm’s length’ scheme could be offered to council tenants as an alternative, implementing this if due diligence confirmed it was viable.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.


The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.               Noted that some tenants would need extra support if this service was no longer provided by the City Council however Officer’s also needed to be careful not to give any advice to ensure that they did not fall foul of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations. 

ii.             Noted Member’s concerns about residents potentially being digitally excluded.

iii.            Officers would communicate with the Vice-Chair and Spokespersons as part of the proposed delegated investigation process into whether the Council could recommend certain insurers on an arm’s length basis, to tenants who currently had contents insurance through the council. 

iv.           Confirmed that if it was deemed viable to proceed with the ‘arm’s length’ process referred to in recommendation ii, then a procurement process would need to be undertaken.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.


Record of Officer Delegated Decision

Consideration of an Arms length Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme


Decision taken: That an arm’s length Tenants Contents Insurance scheme should not be offered.


Decision of: Jane Wilson, Strategic Director


Minute Reference: 22/40/HSC.


Date of decision: 7/10/2022


Matter for Decision: A report recommending the cessation of the provision of Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme was approved at Housing Scrutiny Committee in September 2022.


The Executive Councillor delegated a decision to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing, Chair, Vice Chair and Opposition Spokespersons of Housing Scrutiny Committee and the Opposition Spokespersons.


The Decision was to determine whether an ‘arm’s length’ Tenants Contents Insurance scheme could be offered to council tenants as an alternative, implementing this if due diligence confirmed it was viable.

Jane Wilson, Strategic Director made a delegated decision in October 2022, following consideration of report by the Assistant Head of finance and Business Manager.


Any alternative options considered and rejected: None


Reason for the decision including any background papers considered: It is recommended that the authority did not further explore an arm’s length contents insurance offering, but instead provide the required support to resident’s for the following reasons:

·      The service is discretionary and not our core business

·      There will still be a cost burden to the HRA in procuring an arm’s length offering

·      There is limited interest in the current product and numbers continue to decline. This will only be exacerbated when prices rise significantly

·      A pool of three suppliers did not provide sufficient choice to demonstrate value for money. In the wider insurance marketplace, tenants can opt for an infinite number of insurance options, cover levels, excess levels and specific inclusions and exclusions.

·      Staff would still effectively be ‘recommending’ an insurance product without the appropriate training.

Conflict of interest and dispensation granted by Chief Executive: None.


Comments: Chair, Vice Chair, Executive Councillor and Opposition Spokespersons consulted before decision was taken.

Opposition Spokes advised that they supported the decision provided that the tenants who no longer accessed the Council’s scheme were supported (in a technical sense) when needing to search online for alternative products.


Contact for further information: Julia Hovells, Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager


Publication date: 10/11/2022

Date of decision: 22/09/2022