Insurance for publicly held property

Tony Wise made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

The request was partially successful.

Dear Transport for London,

I make this request under the Freedom of Information Act.

A recent decision notice from the Information Commissioner (below at 26) indicated that a certain borough council couldn't or wouldn't insure some it's assets and property because of its "inherent vulnerability" because it was out in public. This caused me some worry because it would indicate that large sections of public property at all public authorities would not be insured as to loss or damage because it is out in public. This indicates to me that, for the same reasons, insurers would be reluctant to insure any property out in public at any authority for the reasons below at 26. This is plainly not a proper situation for the taxpayer to be in these days of financial hardship.

Please therefore indicate how your public authority insures any/all of its property or assets as out in public. Further as the public assets are under the stewardship of your public authority what steps are taken to secure/safeguard the property/assets under your control in order that suitable insurance cover could be obtained. Please also indicate precisely as to whether you have the same problems as regards insurance cover as the authority in the decision notice at 26 because you clearly control public assets in similar circumstances to that public authority. Lastly would your authority be "reluctant to admit" to the public that you have no cover for the reasons as mentioned below at 26 if you have the same inherent problems.

If you require any further information or clarification please feel free to ask. Please answer the request in the context of the statement below at 26 which is equally applicable to any public authority controlling public assets held out in public.

Kind regards,

TONY WISE

26.The council explained to the complainant that no insurance claims had been submitted about these thefts of cable. In subsequent discussions with the Commissioner, the council clarified that the cable was not insured, hence no claim was possible. It explained that, in common with much public property located outdoors, insurance for such items is problematic due to the inherent vulnerability of the property. The council was initially reluctant to admit this to the complainant, being concerned that if this knowledge entered the public domain it might stimulate further thefts. It has subsequently decided to make this public knowledge, due to the high level of local interest. The Commissioner is therefore satisfied that no information will be held on the “detail of any claims made to any insurer as regards these thefts[…]”.

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Wise

TfL Ref: FOI-0600-1112

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 7
August 2011 asking for information about how TfL assets out in public are
insured.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy.

A response will be provided to you by 5 September 2011.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

William Pettitt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
IACT, General Counsel
Transport for London
[1][TfL request email]

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FOI, Transport for London

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Wise

TfL ref: FOI-0600-1112

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 7
August 2011 asking for information about whether TfL insures TfL property
and assets outdoors.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm
that TfL holds the information you require.

All TfL assets are insured, whatever their location. A summary of the
insurance programme is attached.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

William Pettitt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

IACT, General Counsel

Transport for London

[1][TfL request email]

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