Terms Of Business Agreement
Commercial Direct is a trading name of Financial Management (U.K.) Ltd of Insurance House, 331 Upper Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3QP, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under reference 302899. We are permitted to arrange advice on, deal as an agent of insurers and assist in claims handling in respect of non-investment retail and commercial insurance policies, for and on behalf of consumers and commercial customers. Our details and the extent of our authorisation can be checked on the Financial Services Register by visiting the website http://www.fca.org.uk/register/ or by contacting the FCA’s consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.
Please note that we may record/monitor calls for quality and training purposes.
A Consumer is defined as a customer who enters into a contract of insurance as an individual wholly or mainly for the purposes of personal use and not related to the individual trade, business or profession.
A Commercial Customer is defined as a customer who enters into a contract for anything other than the purposes mentioned above.
Your duty of disclosure
Consumers: You must take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to insurers based on your knowledge of the risk presented.
This means that all the answers you give and statements you make as part of your insurance application, including renewal and when midterm adjustments are required should be honest and accurate. If you deliberately mislead the insurers or wilfully fail to disclose relevant information a prudent insurer may consider material this could prejudice a claim and may result in all or part of the entire claim not being honoured.
Commercial Customers: If the insurance is arranged wholly or mainly for the purposed related to your trade, business or profession you have a duty to disclose all material facts whether or not the insurer asks for it during the application process. This duty continues throughout the life of your policy and on renewal of your policy. Material facts are defined as any facts which may influence the insurer’s decision to accept the policy and/or what terms are applied. Failure to disclose a material fact may invalidate your insurance and may result in the all or party of the claim not being honoured.
Policy Terms, Conditions and Warranties
It is important that you read through all of the Terms, Conditions and Warranties shown on your policy documentation. Please ensure that you understand them and are able to follow the requirements completely. If not , please advise us immediately, as any breach may allow your insurers to terminate the contract of insurance from the date of that breach, and/or void a claim under the policy. Also note that this is applicable to any mid-term adjustments to your policy, noting that these requirements continue throughout the policy terms unless otherwise notified. Our role is to advise you and, after we have assessed your needs, to make a suitable recommendation.
Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) Requirements
Commercial customers who have taken out an insurance contract, are required to provide us with the Employee Reference Number on inception of a new policy or renewal should this have not been done previously. This is in order to comply with new regulations issued by the FCA in February 2011, the purpose of wish is to provide a central database of EL records should a historic claim arise. This reference is made up of two parts: a three-digit HMRC office number and a reference number unique to your business. It will be provided to you in your employer’s welcome pack when you register with HM Revenue and Customs, and will also appear on a range of correspondence from HRMC.
The capacity in which we act for you
In providing our service, we may sometimes act as an agent of the insurer. We will confirm the capacity in which we will act for you before undertaking any relevant transactions on your behalf.
Our product range and the range of insurers used
We select personal and commercial insurances from a range of insurers, but for certain products, we select products from a limited number of insurers. We will give you further information about this before we finalise your insurance arrangements; where we select products from a limited number of insurers you may ask us for a list of the insurers we deal with for these products.
New business quotations are valid for a period of 14 days from the date of issue, unless otherwise notified and subject to satisfactory completion of the Insurer’s Proposal Form or a signed and dated Statement of Facts. You should be aware that quotations may be changed or withdrawn completely should the information given to us or noted no your signed forms differ from the details provided at the time of quotation. We/Insurers reserve the right to amend/withdraw terms should this occur.
Receipt of Instructions
We do not consider instructions to arrange or change cover sent to us by post, email, fax or voicemail, to have been received until they have been physically received by the relevant member of staff in our office and subsequently confirmed. We cannot accept and responsibility for instruction which do reach us due to failures in the post, email or telephony systems.
Changes to your cover
Should you require an adjustment to an existing policy, we will endeavour to process this as soon as possible normally within 24 hours but from the date that this has been requested. This is subject to all of the required information being provided promptly and honestly. All changes will be confirmed in writing once the insurers have been notified, should there be any changes in the terms or premiums due/returned this will be required to be settled within our set Payment terms.
If we take over the servicing of insurance policies on your behalf which were originally held through another source, we do not accept liability for any claims arising out of the advice given by that source, nor for any error, omissions, or gaps in your current policy. Should you have concerns then please contact our office without delay in order review.
Payment for our services
We will advise of the premium applicable to your policy when the cover is arranged. Our terms of credit are shown on the documentation produced and you are responsible for prompt and immediate settlement in order for us to make necessary payments to your insurer. Failure to comply may allow the insurer to void the contract from the start date and nullify any documentation that has been issued. We will not fund any premiums on your behalf and will not be held responsible for any losses which you may suffer as a result of a policy being cancelled or to otherwise prejudice due to the late payment of a premium where the delay is attributed to you.
Should a payment not be honoured, whether it is Direct Debit, Cheque, BACS, CHAPS or Card your policy may be cancelled back to the date when this payment was due. Your documentation will become void should this occur.
If it is deemed that there is a balance outstanding on your account which has not been paid within the timescale requested, we reserve the right to appoint an third party debt recovery agency to recover these monies owed, this may be subject to charge which you will be held liable for.
Methods of Payment
We can accept payment of the premium by using the following methods: Cheque, BACS, CHAPS, and Direct Debit & Credit/Debit cards, we reserve the right to charge a card processing fee of 2.5% should you pay by credit card.
Should you wish to pay by Direct Debit, this will be processed through an external finance provider “Close Premium Finance” (CPF) and is subject to a charge of 8% gross which will be taken over a 10 month period in equal instalments. It is important to note that this will be an agreement between you and CPF and should you not adhere to their terms they may apply charges. If you are paying by Direct Debit, you give consent to the contract being automatically renewed at the renewal date. This means that insurance will continue to be provided to you, and you are obliged to continue to pay unless you explicitly contact us and provide written confirmation that you do not wish to renew your insurance.
Fees & Charges
Our standard fees are stated below. Any other fees charged will be agreed with your prior to your commitments and clearly shown to you in writing. Receipts can be issued on request.
New Business – £25
Mid Term Adjustments – £25
Cancellations – £15
Duplicate Documentation – £15
Renewals – £25
Copies of Personal Data Held – £10
We also draw your attention to the sections headed ‘Cancellation of insurances’ and ‘Ending your relationship with us’.
Commission Disclosure for Commercial Customers
‘In good time before the conclusion of each insurance contract, or upon renewal, we will remind you of your right to be informed of the level of commission which we receive from underwriters. 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.’
Methods of Communication
Our normal methods of communication with you will be via post, telephone and where available by email/fax, in addition to any face to face meetings we may have with you. If you have a preference please let us know in good time.
When using email to communicate with us you accept the inherent risks involved. You also accept responsibilities for checking that messages that are received by you are complete and relevant. In the event of a dispute neither of us will challenge the legal evidential standing of electronic documents.
Our financial arrangements with most insurance companies are on a ‘Risk Transfer’ basis. This means that we act as agents of the insurer in collecting premiums and handling refunds due to clients. In these circumstances such monies are deemed to be held by the insurer(s) with which your insurance is arranged. However, if Risk Transfer does not apply, such monies will be held by us in a Statutory Trust account set up in accordance with FCA rules. Interest earned on monies held in such a Statutory Trust account will be retained by us.
If you take out a personal insurance policy through us you are entitled to cancel the cover up to 14 days from the later of (also known as a “cooling off period”) the policy start date or receipt of the policy.
Should you wish to exercise this you will be entitled to a refund of premium less an appropriate pro rata charge for the period of cover given before the rights we invoked. If the premium has not been paid then a charge may apply and this will be required to be paid immediately.
Should a claim occur prior to the exercise of Cancellation Rights where the claim terminates the insurance cover, your insurers may not allow a refund of any premium paid.
You should make any request for the cancellation of a policy in writing and any relevant certificate of insurance must be returned to us or to the insurer concerned.
In the event of cancellation, charges for our services will apply in accordance with the ‘Fees and Charges’ section on page 1.
Ending your relationship with us
Subject to your immediate settlement of any outstanding premiums and fees, you may instruct us to stop acting for you and we will not impose a penalty.
Your instructions must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt.
In circumstances where we feel we cannot continue providing services to you, we will give you a minimum of 7 days’ notice.
Circumstances in which a firm may no longer wish to continue providing services to a customer could include:
- Non-payment of premium or fees
- Failure to provide requested documentation or information
- Deliberate failure to comply with terms set out within the TOB or insurer’s documentation
- Deliberate misrepresentation or non-disclosure, attempted fraud or other instances of ‘bad faith’
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, if our relationship ends, any transactions previously initiated will be completed according to these Terms of Business. You will be liable to pay for any transactions concluded prior to the end of our relationship and we will be entitled to retain commission received for conducting these transactions, together with all fees charged by us for services provided.
Use of personal data
We will process any personal information we obtain in the course of providing our services to you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In administering your insurances it will be necessary for us to pass such information to insurers and other product or service providers which may also provide us with business and compliance support.
We may also disclose details to relevant parties, as necessary, to comply with regulatory or legal requirements. We may contact you in order to promote products or services which may be of interest to you. We will not otherwise use or disclose the personal information we hold without your consent.
Some of the details you may be asked to give us, such as information about offences or medical conditions, are defined by the Act as sensitive personal data. By giving us such information, you signify your consent to its being processed by us in arranging and administering your insurances.
Subject to certain exceptions, you will be entitled to have access to your personal and sensitive personal data for which you will be charged a fee of £10. If at any time you wish us, or any company associated with us, to cease processing any of the personal data or sensitive personal data we hold, or to cease contacting you about products and services, please write to “The Customer Service Manager” as below
To make sure you get our best deal and to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you and to protect you from fraud, some insurers use public and personal data from a variety of sources, including a credit reference agency and other organisations. The search will appear on your credit report whether or not your application proceeds. If you have any questions about this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
We are remunerated for our services provided to our clients either by commission payments from insurers, or fee payments from clients or a combination of the two where applicable. We may sometimes in the normal course of our business, also earn income in the form of management/administrative expenses allowed to us by insurers to cover the costs incurred in carrying out work on their behalf and in the form of volume, growth or profitability payments.
Conflict of interests
Occasions can arise where we, or one of our associated companies, clients or product providers, may have a potential conflict of interest with business being transacted for you. If this happens, and we become aware that a potential conflict exists, we will write to you and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions and we will detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.
Making a claim
Many insurers provide a 24 hour helpline (details of which will be available in your policy documentation). Please ensure that you report all incidents that could give rise to a claim as soon as your become aware of them, either by contacting your insurer or by calling our office. Should a claim form be required you will be advised accordingly. In certain circumstances late notification of a claim may result in your claim being rejected.
If you claim related to damage to property, please do not: 1. Dispose of any damaged items and/or Authorise any repair work (except to mitigate the loss) until authorised to do so by your insurers
All correspondence relating to third party property damage or injury should be forwarded unanswered to our office immediately for onwards transmission.
If a claim arises after the renewal of the policy has been invited, this may affect the assessment and acceptance of your renewal by your insurers and alternative terms may need to be sought.
Complaints and compensation
We aim to provide you with a high level of customer service at all times but, if you are not satisfied, please contact us:
“The Customer Services Manager”
in writing… Write to Insurance House, 331 Upper Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3QP
by phone… Telephone 020 8658 2888
by email…. firstname.lastname@example.org
When dealing with your complaint, we will follow our complaint handling procedures; a summary of these procedures is available on request. If you are still not satisfied, you may be entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
From time to time Commercial Direct will send promotion material to attract new business. We may use the contract information that you have provided to us (phone or email) to update you with further information which we deem relevant and of interest. In the event that you do not require this information please inform our office and we will remove you from the listing. We will not permit any third parties to contact you without your explicit consent.
Law and jurisdiction
These terms of business will be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law. In relation to legal action or proceedings arising out of or in connection with these Terms of Business we both irrevocably submit to the jurisdiction of the English Courts.
TOBA V5 MAY2014