Providing information to your insurer
Your insurance / protection cover is based upon the information you provide to the insurance company. Where you are buying insurance as an individual, this means that you must take ‘reasonable care’ to answer all questions asked by the insurer fully and accurately. For general insurance policies such as car insurance or liability insurance, once cover has been arranged, you must immediately notify the insurers or us of any changes to the information that you have already provided. Failure to provide accurate and up to date information may invalidate your insurance cover and mean that a claim may not be paid.
All other clients (e.g. commercial clients) must still disclose all ‘material facts’ (any information that may influence the insurer’s decision over cover or terms) prior to inception and throughout the period of the policy. Again, failure to disclose material information may invalidate your insurance cover and could mean that a claim may not be paid.
Conflict of interests
We will endeavor always to act in the best interests of you our client. However, circumstances can arise where we or one of our other clients may have some form of interest in business being transacted for you. If this happens or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other clients conflict with your interests, we will write to you and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions, and detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.
We are required by the anti-money laundering regulations to verify the identity of our clients, to obtain information as to the purpose and nature of the business which we conduct on their behalf, and to ensure that the information we hold is up-to-date. For this purpose we may use electronic identity verification systems and we may conduct these checks from time to time throughout our relationship, not just at the beginning.
Claims Handling Arrangements
When acting on your behalf in relation to a claim, we shall use all reasonable endeavours, to handle all elements of the claim with due care, skill and diligence including forwarding to you promptly any payments received from your insurers. We will advise you promptly of the insurers’ requirements concerning claims, including the provision of information required to establish the nature and extent of the loss.
You should note that in circumstances where one or more insurers underwriting your risks has become insolvent or is delaying payments, we cannot and do not accept liability for the uncollected amounts. However, we will offer you every assistance to submit a claim for the unpaid amounts in liquidation, receivership, schemes of arrangement or similar processes
We may act on behalf of an insurer in negotiating and settling claims under a delegated authority and we will inform you if this is the case when you notify us of the claim. In these circumstances we will endeavour to ensure that there is appropriate segregation of duties.
Cancellation of Insurances
Your policy documents detail your rights, if any, to cancel any insurance you have taken out. As a customer you may have a statutory right to cancel the policy within 14 days or 30 days depending on the policy type. This period commences from either the day of conclusion of the contract or in some cases when you are told the contract has been concluded or the date when you receive the contractual terms and conditions and any other statutory pre-contractual information, whichever is the later. If you do cancel this insurance contract within the period, you must return all documents you have received including any certificates on insurance and you may be charged a proportion of the premium and any of our fees that you have incurred.
Otherwise, the insurance contract may entitle you or insurers to cancel it at any time by giving notice in accordance with the policy terms. If you wish to give notice of cancellation, please write to us at the above address and return any relevant certificate of insurance to us. If insurers wish to cancel this insurance contract they would normally write to you at the last known address they have for you on their records.
You should note that some policies include provision for what is known as ‘short period’ rates to be charged in the event of cancellation of the policy during the period of the policy. Such rates are higher than those based strictly on the time the policy has been in force as a proportion of the annual premium.
In the event that you fail to pay the premiums by the due date, insurers (or ourselves in the case of marine contracts of insurance) may or may not give notice of cancellation of the policy which would normally be from inception.
Return premiums may arise if an insurance risk is reduced or a policy is cancelled depending on the precise policy terms and conditions. Insurers may not allow a return premium if any claims have been made in the period for which a return premium might otherwise accrue.
Client Money is money of any currency that we receive and hold in the course of carrying on insurance mediation on behalf of our clients (including you) or which we treat as client money in accordance with the FCA client money rules. A copy of these rules is available on request or within the Client Assets Sourcebook of the FCA Handbook.
Premiums Held for Insurers (Risk Transfer)
We have agreed with certain insurers to collect and hold premiums from you as agents of those insurers. Therefore, once we have collected premiums from you, under the terms of our agreements with insurers those premiums are treated as being held by the insurer. It will not be Client Money but will be insurer money, held and managed in the same way as Client Money and in the same
Non-Statutory Trust Client account. We will remit the premiums to insurers, after deduction of any commission due to us, in accordance with the terms of our agreements with insurers. Whilst this arrangement, known as “Risk Transfer”, affords you extra protection in the event of our financial failure, it does mean that in the event of insurer insolvency we would not be permitted to return any premiums not remitted to insurers at the date of their insolvency. Similarly, if we were holding claims monies due to you in such an eventuality, we would not be able to remit them to you.
Client Money Segregation (Non-statutory Trust Client Account)
Client Money will be segregated from our own and held in a Non-statutory Trust Client Account. This account is set up as a trust governed by FCA rules and held at a bank in the UK. We may agree to extend credit to other customers using client money from the Non-statutory Trust Client Account. We will have in place and maintain systems and controls adequate to ensure that we are able to monitor and manage client money transactions and any credit risk arising from the operation of the trust arrangement. We may also maintain in our Non-statutory Trust Client Account money that we hold for insurers subject to their agreement that any rights they have in respect of that money are subordinate to yours.
We may invest Client Money in a range of permitted designated investments prescribed by the FCA. In the event that there is any shortfall in our client money resource attributable to falls in the market value of any of these permitted designated investments, we shall make provision for, and bear the cost of, any such shortfall.
If we become insolvent, the terms of the trust dictate that customers will have a prior claim on the client money in the Account according to the respective interests in the client money. The costs relating to the distribution of client money may have to be borne by the trust.
There may be instances where we fund certain payments made to you or on your behalf, voluntarily or involuntarily, in respect of premiums, returns or claims. Should these arise, you accept that such payments were made for your benefit and that unless otherwise paid to us by insurers you may be asked to repay the full amount of such payments to us and, until fully paid, the outstanding amount is a debt due from you to us.
Our use of the Data you provide
The information we receive from you is used to provide you with quotations, to place insurance and for managing our relationship with you and the relationship between you and your insurers. You give your express consent to the use of this information, including sensitive information you provide (such as your detailed company information, financials, or your physical or mental health) for these purposes which include verification of your identity and permanent place of residence via a registered credit reference agency which may keep a record of that information. Please be assured however that this does not affect your credit rating.
Arranging insurance may involve the transfer of personal information to Underwriters, agents or service providers, industry regulators and our auditors and they may use it for quoting, research and statistical analysis and crime prevention or to discharge legal requirements. Depending on the circumstances of the insurance, the disclosure of personal information to any of these entities may involve a transfer outside the jurisdiction of the European Economic Area. If you have supplied us with personal information relating to a third party, you must make them aware of how we use it as this is the only basis on which we can accept it from you.
Unless we are notified of any changes, we shall assume the personal and sensitive data we hold about our customers is correct and may use it to provide terms when policies fall due for renewal.
We may pass information about you to credit reference agencies for the purpose of arranging payments by installments and may also pass to them details of your payment record with us.
We are obliged to report to the National Criminal Intelligence Service any evidence or suspicion of money laundering at the first opportunity and we are prohibited from disclosing the making of any such report to you.
If you are an individual you have the right to see personal information about you that we hold in our records. We may make a charge for this service. If you wish to exercise this right, or have any related queries, you should write to us at the above address.
You may exercise your right to give notice to stop data being processed for marketing purposes by contacting us at any time. Please contact us by writing to us at the above address.
It is our practice to retain insurance documents for business effected on your behalf for up to 6 years, either electronically or in paper form. For some types of insurance it is possible to make a claim long after its expiry date and therefore we recommend that you retain all your insurance documents safely and for as long as necessary. You are advised to keep copies of any correspondence you send to us or direct to your insurer.
Termination of Authority
Our authority to act on your behalf may be terminated by either of us giving 14 days notice to the other in writing, or as otherwise agreed, without penalty and will take effect from the date of receipt. Upon termination, we shall:
• be entitled to all fees and commissions that have been paid or are due to be paid for insurances already placed
• upon receipt of all monies due to us and/or insurers, transfer all of your files to you or another party nominated by you unless you request us to continue certain work, including claims handling, and we are able to continue and agree to do so and have agreed appropriate additional remuneration with you .
This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and the parties agree herewith that any dispute arising out of it shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
Our commitment to the prevention of crime
We maintain on an ongoing basis, anti-corruption/bribery policies and procedures, including but not limited to adequate procedures under the Bribery Act 2010, to prevent corruption/bribery offences. Neither party to this Agreement shall be involved in the offering, promising or giving of any financial or other advantage to any person in breach of any law against bribery (including without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing the Bribery Act 2010). If you have any reason to suspect that there has been a breach of this requirement, please contact our Compliance Officer at the address given below and we will take appropriate action. (insert address).
Our remuneration may be as a commission payable by insurers out of the premium you pay or a fee from you or, by agreement with you, a combination of both. We do not take credit for commissions due until the premium has been received from you. Fees and commissions are deemed fully earned even if the insurance policy is amended, terminated, voided or cancelled during the policy period.
In addition, we may receive remuneration from Insurers for services to them such as the operation of line slips or binding authorities; or which is based on the profitability of books of business or usage of certain schemes or under work transfer arrangements. Where we introduce clients to a premium finance company, we may receive a fee based upon the volume of business transacted and further remuneration relating to the administrative services we perform for them.
We may sometimes act as reinsurance brokers to insurers in relation to policies we have placed with them for our clients. We are remunerated separately by insurers for this work as they are our client in such circumstances and because it is a separate contract. In the handling of client money, we may also earn interest or benefit from foreign exchange differences and it is a condition of doing business with us that you agree that we may retain such earnings.
You are entitled at any time to request information regarding any commission which we may have received as a result of placing your insurance business.
In order to be able to offer you credit facilities we are registered under the Consumer Credit Act and our Licence Number is 146295.
We normally accept payment by cash, guaranteed cheque, bank transfer or certain credit/debit cards. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ installment schemes, a credit scheme with a third party finance provider, or a facility we have arranged ourselves. We will give you full information about our payment options when we discuss your insurance in detail.
We may keep certain documents, such as your insurance policy document or Certificate, while we are waiting for full payment of premiums. In these circumstances we will ensure that you receive full details of your insurance cover and will provide you with any documents that you are required to have by law.
If you elect to pay the policy premium by using a finance facility offered by us, you will be provided with full terms and conditions of the finance facility separately, including any charges levied for using this method and your responsibilities. Please be aware that the finance company may make an additional charge if the facility needs to be reinstated following either a default of payment or if you cancel the arrangement. Please read the cancellation clause in your policy documentation carefully as a return premium may not be payable following cancellation for certain classes of insurance. If the premium is paid under a Direct Debit arrangement in such circumstances, you will be responsible for settling any outstanding premium amount.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurance, you agree to these terms of business.
Version 2 – September 2016