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Terms of business

CLARK THOMSON INSURANCE BROKERS LTD.

TERMS OF BUSINESS AND STATUS DISCLOSURE

 

1 – Authorisation

Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd is an independent Insurance Intermediary (Broker). We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services. Our FCA Reference number is 301310.

We are permitted under the FCA to advise on, arrange and assist in the administration and performance of general insurance contracts. We are also authorised to undertake certain Consumer Credit activities.

The above information is available to check on the FCA’s Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

 

2 – Level of Service and Products Offered

The capacity in which we act for you unless otherwise advised is:

  • Sourcing a suitable policy – We act as your agent
  • Placing the insurance – We act as your agent
  • In the event of a claim – We act as your agent

In relation to the general insurance products we offer, we can provide advice, or information:

  1. on the basis of a fair analysis of the market; or
  2. from a limited number of Insurers; or
  3. from a single Insurer.

Where we offer advice or information from a limited number of Insurers, or a single Insurer, we will advise you and, if you ask us to do so, we will provide you with a list of the Insurer(s).

Before your insurance contract is concluded, you will be provided with a statement setting out your demands and needs, which will confirm whether we have made a personal recommendation and, if so, explaining the reasons for our recommendation. This statement may be incorporated within other insurance documentation.

If you request it, or if you require immediate insurance cover, we can give you this information orally but, in any event, we will still provide you with the statement immediately after conclusion of the insurance contract.

Unless otherwise agreed, any quotation given will remain valid for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of issue of the quotation.

Whilst we take all reasonable steps to place your insurance with an insurer capable of meeting its future liabilities, we are unable to guarantee the continuing solvency of any company and do not accept liability for any losses arising or any additional costs in replacing the insurance with an alternative insurer.

 

3 – Premium Payment

Premiums must be paid in full prior to either the inception date of the policy or by the due date in respect of renewal. Unless we have agreed alternative arrangements in writing, failure to do so may invalidate the cover and enable insurers to cancel the policy.

Where insurers have specified that the premium must be received by a certain date by application of a Premium Payment Condition or Warranty and we have advised you of this, failure to comply may entitle them to cancel cover from inception.

We normally accept payment by cheque, cash, most of the major credit / debit cards, or BACS transfer.

You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ instalments schemes or a credit scheme that we have arranged with a third party finance provider. We will give you full information about your payment options when we discuss your insurance in detail.

We may transfer client money to another broker for the purpose of effecting the transaction where we have used another broker to place the insurance on your behalf.

Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd is governed by strict rules pertaining to Client Money, set down by our Regulator the Financial Conduct Authority. We may earn interest on monies held in our Client Account, for which you consent to our retaining. Client Money will be deposited in an approved bank. The monies paid by you to us may be held on a Statutory Trust basis or held by us as agents of Insurers.

 

4 – Remuneration

The remuneration we receive for our services is normally in the form of brokerage, which is a percentage of the insurance premium paid by you and allowed by the insurer with whom the insurance is placed. However, there may be occasions where we will charge you a fee for advice or services in addition to any insurance premiums. Where this is the case, we will fully explain the basis of our charging and agree with you what the fee is for and when the fee is payable before charging that fee.

We may also make the following charges to cover the administration of your insurance:

Policy Fees                           Commercial         Consumer

Arranging new policies      £25                         £15

Renewals                              £25                         £15

Any other fees relating to any particular insurance policy will be included in the quotation you receive.

In addition to such brokerage or agreed fees basis of remuneration, we may also benefit from:

Earnings, which we are able to generate due to the weight of our account, placed with certain insurers and its underwriting performance, which is not identifiable to any specific account.

Earnings, which are receivable from premium finance companies, either calculated by reference to the total volume of premiums financed, delinquency ratios and average financing rates applied, or as an administration charge.

Earnings, from additional services which fall outside our core service provision, we may agree to provide to you.

Disclosure of Commission – If you wish to know the amount of commission we earn in respect of your insurance contract, this information is available on request.

 

5 – Ownership

Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd has no direct, or indirect, holding in any insurer and no insurer has any direct, or indirect, holding in Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd.

 

6 – Complaints and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

We will endeavour to act fairly and reasonably at all times and provide you with a professional service. Should you have any complaints about the service provided, please, in the first instance, contact the Manager at our local office handling your insurance arrangements.  You may also write to The Compliance Director, Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd,

24 Whitefriars Street, Perth PH1 1PP or telephone us on 01738 494402. If you cannot resolve your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to which we subscribe. The contact details are as follows:

The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London E14 9SR

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk or email complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

The telephone number is 0800 023 4567

The FOS is available to Consumer customers and Commercial customers, which employ fewer than ten persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet does not exceed € 2M  (Euros).

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and you may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim.   Insurance advising and arranging is covered for 90% of the claim, without any upper limit. For compulsory classes of insurance, insurance advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, without any upper limit.

Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS.

 

7 – Customer Classification

“Consumer” – an individual insured by a policy which that individual has bought wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to a trade, business or profession.

“Non-Consumer” – an insured whose policy has been bought wholly or mainly for purposes related to trade, business or profession.

 

8 – Your duty to take reasonable care – this applies to “Consumer” customers only

It is important that you are aware of the duty (and that there are very severe potential consequences if this duty is breached) to take reasonable care to answer all the insurers questions fully and accurately and to ensure that any information that you provide is not misleading.  This duty exists whilst arranging the insurance contract, when it is renewed and any time that it is varied, and the insurance contract documentation may provide that the duty continues for the duration of the insurance contract.  If you do not do this, the insurer may be able to impose different terms on the policy cover, may charge a higher premium or, in some circumstances, may be able to avoid the insurance contract from inception and any claims would not be paid.   You are advised to keep copies of documentation sent to or received from us for your own protection. Please consult us if you are in any doubt on any aspect.

 

9 – Your duty to disclose material circumstances – this applies to “Non-Consumer” customers only

As a consequence of the Insurance Act 2015, you have a legal duty to give a fair presentation of risk to the insurer. This means that you should disclose every material circumstance relevant to the risk being insured following a reasonable search within your business to identify and verify such information. This should include information which you, and where applicable your senior management, persons responsible for arranging your insurance or other relevant third parties, know or ought to know and should include all information that would influence the judgement of the insurer, or that would put the insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries.

Examples of material circumstances are:

  • Special or unusual circumstances relating to the risk;
  • Claims history or conviction records;
  • Any particular concerns which led you to seek insurance cover for the risk; and
  • Anything which those concerned with the class of insurance and field of activity in question would generally understand as being something that would be dealt with in a fair presentation of risks for this type of insurance.

The information must be presented in a way which would be reasonably clear and accessible to a prudent insurer. If you are unsure whether to disclose any information you should speak to us. You need to take into account the size and complexity of your business, and allow yourself sufficient time before your renewal date to consider and / or assess your insurance requirements.

Failure to provide a ‘fair representation’ may result in a number of remedies by the insurer. If the breach was deliberate or reckless the insurer can void the contract and keep the premium. If the breach was not deliberate or reckless the insurer can void the contract, proportionately reduce a claim settlement or amend the insurance policy terms and conditions then review the merits of a claim on this basis.

You should therefore always provide complete and accurate information to us when we ask you about the insurance risks your business faces before taking out a policy, at renewal and throughout the life of the policy. This also applies to your responses in relation to any assumptions you may agree to in the process of applying for insurance cover.

You must check all details on any proposal form or Statement of Facts and pay particular attention to any declaration you may be asked to sign. It is important that you read all insurance documents issued to you and ensure that you are aware of the cover, limits and other terms that apply. Particular attention must be paid to any warranties and conditions as failure to comply with them could invalidate your policy or mean that claims may not be paid.

You must inform us immediately of any changes in circumstances which may affect the services provided by us or the cover provided by your policy.

It is important you understand that any information, statements or answers made by you to us or your insurer are your responsibility and must be correct.

You are advised to keep copies of documentation sent to or received from us for your own protection. Please consult us if you are in any doubt on any aspect.

 

10 – Policy Documents

Policy documents will be issued to you as quickly as possible after receipt from insurers.

When a policy is issued you are strongly advised to read it carefully as it is this document, the schedule and any certificate of insurance, which forms the basis of the insurance contract you have purchased. If you are in doubt over any of the policy terms or conditions, please seek advice promptly.

For certain types of insurance, for example Employers and Public Liability, it is possible that a claim may be made under a policy long after expiry date of the cover. It is therefore important that all policy documentation is kept safely, particularly that which may be called upon to provide protection beyond the expiry date of cover.

 

11 – Duty of Care and Confidentiality

We will keep records of all our business transactions for a minimum period of six years.  We treat all our clients’ records as confidential and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We hold and process your personal data for arranging and administering your insurances. For these purposes, the information may be passed to selected third parties. We will also pass on information where we are legally obliged to provide data to meet our regulatory requirements.  We cannot be held responsible for incorrect data held in the event of non-disclosure.

When calculating a premium, Insurers may use publicly available data which they obtain from a variety of sources, including Credit Reference Agencies or other external organisations. Their search will appear on your credit report, whether or not your application proceeds.

Some Insurance Companies may also use a credit check when calculating a premium and to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you. This credit check will also appear on your credit report whether or not your application proceeds.

Insurers pass information to the Claims and Underwriting Exchange, and the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register run by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). The aim is to check information provided and also prevent fraudulent claims.

Motor Insurance details are added to the Motor Insurance Database run by the MIB to help identify uninsured drivers and may be searched by the police to help confirm who is insured to drive. In the event of an accident the database may be used by insurers and the MIB to identify relevant policy information.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right of access to your personal records held on our files. This may incur a small administration fee and we will tell you what the fee is if you ask for a copy of your information.

We will, in addition use information for marketing similar products or services by us and carefully selected companies.  Contact may include SMS text, post, telephone or e-mail.  If you do not want us to use your information in this way, please let us know.

 

12 – Renewal and Cancellation of Insurance

Where payment for the contract you have undertaken is by regular instalment, for example by direct debit, you give your consent to the contract being automatically renewed, without further reference to you, at the renewal date. This means that insurance will continue to be provided to you, and you will be obliged to continue to pay for such insurance, unless you specifically contact us at renewal to notify us that you no longer require such insurance.

Your insurance policy may contain a right to cancel within a specified period of time of taking up the policy.  You will be informed upon inception or renewal of your contract the cancellation rights applying to your policy and, if so, how and when you should exercise any such rights.

 

13 – Money Laundering / Proceeds of Crime Act

Under UK Money Laundering regulations, we are obliged to report to the National Crime Agency any situation giving rise to a suspicion of money laundering and we are prohibited from disclosing any such report.

 

14 – Claims

If you have occasion to claim or an incident arises that may give rise to a claim on your policy, you must advise us immediately so that we can ensure that your claim is passed to the insurer promptly or inform you we cannot deal with the notification. You should not admit liability nor agree to any course of action, other than emergency measures carried out to minimize the loss, until you have agreement from your insurer.

 

15 – Previous Insurances

In circumstances where you appoint us to act as your Insurance Intermediary (Broker) and administer policies arranged by another intermediary or intermediaries, we will not be liable for any loss resulting from the advice or possible negligence of your previous intermediary or intermediaries howsoever caused. Unless instructed otherwise we will not undertake to review any of your previous insurance contracts other than contracts in force at the time of our appointment.

 

16 – Retention of Documents

We reserve the right to retain certificates and other policy documents at this office until all payments due under the policy have been made in accordance with our invoice or statement. By accepting this agreement, you agree that delivery of any Certificate of Insurance to us shall constitute delivery to yourself in accordance with legal requirements. Should we withhold any documents, we will ensure you are provided with full details of your insurance cover.

 

17 – Adequacy of Sums Insured and Limits

At all times it is the responsibility of you, the insured, to ensure that insured values and policy limits are adequate and property sums insured properly reflect current reinstatement / replacement costs. Whilst we seek to assist in establishing and maintaining insured values we cannot accept responsibility for their accuracy. It is strongly recommended that the appropriate Professional (e.g. Surveyor / Accountant) be consulted to ensure that the sums insured under the policy are correct.

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