County Insurance Services, North West LLP

Terms of Business Agreement

County Insurance Services North West LLP
298 Hoylake Road, Moreton, Wirral, CH46 6DE
TEL: 0151 605 0202    FAX: 0151 605 0332
E-Mail: [email protected]  WEB: www. cisnw.co.uk

Law and Language

This Terms of Business is subject to English Law and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. We will use the English language for all communications,  the contractual terms  and  conditions,  and  any   information  we are required to supply to you, before  and  during  the  duration of  the contract.

Acceptance

The purpose of this agreement is to set out our professional relationship and detail the services   we will provide to you, for your benefit   and protection.    You should read all of the information carefully and in particular, we would like to draw your attention to the “IMPORTANT INFORMATION” section. If you do not agree to any part of the information, please tell us, otherwise we will assume that you accept the terms of this agreement unless we hear from you.

The Regulator

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an independent watchdog that regulates financial services. The FCA has authorised us to advise, arrange, deal in and assist with the placing and administration of all types of General Insurance policies.

We are also authorised to undertake the following Consumer Credit Activities
Credit Broking (where we act as a credit broker Not a Lender and we will introduce you to Close Premium Finance.)

Debt Administration

The firm has limited involvement in debt administration and this only Comprises of contacting the client to alert them to the payment issues after the firm has been contacted by the credit provider, passing on new payment details to the credit provider given to the firm by the client or arranging policy cancellations on request from the provider due to default. We cannot accept missed payments it is your responsibility to pay them to the finance company.

Our Financial Services Register number is 437523 and you can check our status
and permissions at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0800 678 1100.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

We will exchange the information that you provide to us with insurance companies and other brokers or agents for the purposes of obtaining quotations and arranging cover, this may result in a credit check to confirm your identity and minimise the risk of fraud. We will treat all information as private  and confidential, and in strict  accordance  with  the  Data  Protection  Act 1998 (DPA), even when you are no longer a customer and only share information if we are required to do so by law, or regulation.

Under the DPA, you have a right to a copy of any personally identifiable information about you that we hold in our records, you can obtain details by writing to us at the usual address. A nominal charge might apply in providing   the information to you.

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.

Our Fees, Commission and Charges

We usually receive a commission from the insurance provider with whom we place your business, and in such a case, the commission will be paid to us either when we are in receipt of cleared funds from you (or the premium finance company, if one has been used) or, when the insurer has received cleared funds from us in respect of the premium due under your policy. The individual agreements we have with each insurer will determine which of the two methods above is used to make this transfer of commission.

We also receive commission for arranging finance agreements for the payment of insurance premiums and this is usually expressed as a percentage of the individual loan and is paid to us directly by the premium finance provider. We may also receive a commission or fee for passing introductions to other professional firms. In addition, we may make the following charges to cover the administration of your insurance:

STANDARD CHARGES THAT MAY BE APPLIED AT OUR DISCRETION

  • Arranging new policies - £10 to £25
  • Mid-term adjustments - £10 to £25
  • Refunds - We refund NET of our commission Renewals - £15
  • Debit Card Payments - No Charge
  • Credit Card Payments - 2.5% Fee
  • Cancellation (we refund NET of our commission -) £25
  • Motor Trade Adjustments - £25 minimum

Policies voided or cancelled from inception by insurers will be treated as a cancellation and we will retain any commission and fees before returning the net premium to you. By accepting these terms of business, you agree that we may retain the portion of the premium that relates to commission that would have been due to us.

Specific charges, which apply to individual policies, will be advised to you prior to the commencement of each contract applicable to that policy. The specific charge and purpose of any additional charges will always be advised to you in advance.

Return of Premium:

Any return of premium that is due to you will be refunded as soon as confirmed and returned to us by insurer.

You are entitled to request at any time, information about the commissions that we may have received in connection with your insurance, if you want this information please contact us.

Our Service

We can act both as agent of insurer, and on behalf of you, the customer. We have in place management controls to deal with any conflicts of interest that might arise. Unless we advise you otherwise, we are acting on your behalf.

We also act on behalf of insurers when collecting premiums under risk transfer

We will ask questions to enable us to assess your insurance requirements, this may include checking information that we already hold about you and your existing insurance arrangements with us and other parties.

For household and certain motor we will provide you with, advice and guidance after assessing what you want and need and recommend a suitable policy based on our experience of dealing with similar risks.

For all other consumer policies we will provide you with information only You will need to make your own choice as we will not provide you with any advice or specific recommendations.

For commercial policies we will provide you with information only; including generic comparisons between different insurers, which provide the most competitive premium, you will need to make your own choice as we will not provide you with any advice or specific recommendations. the information provided is based on price only.

We will confirm to you the level of service we are providing as part of our sales process. In all cases our service will include arranging and administering your insurance, including helping you with on-going changes.

Claims

We do not directly handle claims ourselves, but we will assist you in contacting the insurance company and passing any correspondence between yourselves but it remains your responsibility to have read, understood or queried all documentation upon receipt. All incidents that could possibly give rise to a claim must be notified to us or your insurer in accordance with the terms of your policy and a claim form completed where required. Delay on your part in notifying a claim and/or completing required forms will risk a loss you suffer not being paid or being paid in part only.

You must not in any circumstances admit liability for a loss or agree to any course of action, other than emergency measures carried out to minimise the loss, as you risk a loss you suffer not being paid or being paid in part only. All correspondence, claims, writs, summonses etc. Should be forwarded immediately, unanswered, either to us or to your insurer. You are also reminded of your duty to keep all losses and costs arising from an incident to a minimum and that failure to comply with policy terms and conditions may invalidate cover.

We will remit claims payments received to us from insurers on your behalf to you as soon as practicable. In the event that an insurer becomes insolvent or delays making settlement, we do not accept liability for any unpaid amounts. If we use the services of another intermediary to place your insurance we will advise you of the name of the intermediary and the name of the insurer. If you mislay your policy at any time, we will arrange a replacement policy document, if you request it.

Our Selection (Fair Analysis)

We offer products from a wide range of insurance companies.

Our selection usually involves presenting to a reasonable number of insurance companies that will insure for the risk at hand, and this is called a fair analysis of the market.

Sometimes we may only approach two or three insurers and this is a limited Panel, or in some cases, we may only approach one insurer, in either case, we will tell you the basis as part of our selling process.  You can also request a list of the companies that form the Panel we have approached.

Our Selection (Single Insurer)

We only offer this product from one insurer.
Taxi / Legal Expenses / Breakdown / Key Cover / Gap Cover / Catering / Wedding
Details of each insurer will be provided at the time.

Insurer Security

Insurers are subject to FCA regulation and are required to have adequate capital resources. We carry out checks on insurers but cannot guarantee the solvency of any individual insurer. Your  liability  for  the   premium,   whether  in full or pro  rata,  may  arise  under  policies  where  a  participating  insurer becomes insolvent. An insolvent insurer may also be unable to meet a proportion or all of any claim made. Consequently we recommend wherever possible insuring with insurance companies with higher credit ratings.  Should you be concerned or require any further information regarding your insurer then we will discuss this with you on request. In the interests of security and staff training, please be aware that phone calls may be monitored and recorded.

Severability

If any provision of these Terms of Business is found to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the validity of the other provisions of these Terms of Business and the remainder of the provision in question will not be affected

Rights of Third Parties

Unless otherwise agreed between us in writing, no provision of this Terms of Business is enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by any person other than you or us.

Checking Credit History for Quotes

To make sure you get the best offer from insurers, now or at any renewal or at any time and to protect their customers from fraud and to verify your
Identity, some insurers may use publicly available data which they obtain from a variety of sources including a credit reference agency and other external organisations. Their search will appear on your credit report whether or not your applications proceed. As well as these searches insurance   companies may use a credit check to ascertain the most appropriate payment option for you. This credit check will also appear on your credit report whether or not your application proceeds. By asking us to proceed with a quote you are signifying your consent to such information being processed by the insurer or ourselves.

Money

We will hold money that you pay to us in accordance with the regulators rules   or under a risk transfer agreement with insurers. This will include holding your money in the following way.

A statutory trust client bank account that  only allows  us  to use the  money  held in trust on  behalf  of  a  customer  for paying  that customers’  premium  to  an insurance company and to pay premium refunds or claims we receive  from that insurance company to  the  customer,  once  the  premium  has  been received  from  that  insurance  company.  We cannot use that   customer’s money to pay another customers premium or refund.  Also for this reason it is not possible for you to offset the refund against premiums owed on another policy. We do not pay any interest on premiums held by us in the course of arranging and administering your insurance, unless, in the case of consumer transactions we receive more than  £20  per  transaction, and  then  we  will  ask for your permission to retain  the  interest.  Unless you tell us otherwise, you are consenting to us holding your money in this way.

By holding your money in this way, means that in the event that this firm becomes insolvent your money remain protected.

In arranging your  insurance  we  may  employ  the  services  of  other intermediaries who are regulated by the FCA and  your  premium  may  be  passed to these intermediaries for payment to insurers. These firms are also required to hold clients’ money in a separate trust account.  We will also inform you if at any time we are required to pass your premium to firms that operate outside the UK where the protection may be   different.   Should   you not wish us to pass premiums to a firm outside of the UK, please inform us?

Payment Options

We will provide you with full details of all the payment options available to you when we provide you with your insurance premium. If you choose to enter in a finance arrangement, your details will be passed to a third party (insurer or lender) to enable them to contact you and you should contact us at the address given in this document if you do not want your details passed to that party. This finance arrangement will be subject to interest charges that we will confirm to you when providing the full details.  Importantly, the arrangement you will enter into will be with the finance company not us.  It is an entirely separate contract irrespective of the insurance contract.  In the event of your failure to meet with the contractual obligations regarding payment the finance provider could approach the insurer to seek a termination of the insurance contract to recoup their outstanding finance arrears. You will be liable to pay their costs and charges if you do not keep up your repayments and cover is cancelled under your policy. This is because the agreement is between you, the policyholder and the finance company direct, not us or the insurer. It is important that you read the finance agreement that is sent to you before you agree to enter into such an agreement.

We do not charge any fees to you for introducing you to a credit provider

If you are a consumer as defined under the Consumer Credit Act, you will have the benefit of a 14 day cooling off period.

Please note that we only use Close Premium Finance for the provision of premium finance facilities.

Please Note: Your policy cover will cease if you fail to keep up payments on an instalment agreement or premium finance facility related to it.

Instalments

The only instalments we offer on new policies and renewals are:

  1. Two instalments 50% at inception and the Balance within 21 days with no credit charge.
    Should the policy be cancelled due to non-payment any refund will be given subject to the terms given in the cancellation terms above.
  2. New Business Direct Debit with a 20% deposit and 9 monthly payments, refer to credit agreement terms.
  3. Renewals Direct Debit 10 monthly payments refer to credit agreement terms

Cancellation Terms - Consumers Only

Please contact us if you wish to cancel any policy that we have arranged for you. Insurers give a 14 day ‘cooling off period’ where they allow you  to cancel  a  policy and pay only the time on risk providing no claims  have been  reported.   This applies to policies with duration of more than 1 month.  In such instances County Insurance Services North West LLP are entitled to retain the commission and or administration fee which would have been due to cover our time and cost in arranging the policy.

Commission is usually received from insurers for placing business with them, however, this may not reflect the work done so we may add a fee over and above the insurance premium and this will be notified to you in advance at the time.

Following policy cancellation at the client’s  request  any  refund  will   be  given net of insurer’s commission and  may  be  subject  to  a   £10.00   administration fee.

Following policy cancellation at the insurers request due to non-payment of premium or failure to produce necessary documentation any refund will be given net of insurer’s commission and may be subject to a £10.00 administration fee.

If you have made a claim on your policy and you then cancel the policy you will not be entitled to any refund, and if paying by Direct Debit the payments will still need to be paid in full, failure to do so could invalidate your claim.

Due to the specialised nature of the some policies i.e. Short Term Policies (Taxi) and Liability Policies (Public and Employers Liability) and relatively low premiums refunds will not always be given on this type of insurance and is reliant on the individual insurance company’s terms, as shown in the policy booklet and schedule.

In the event of insurers altering  their  terms  of  acceptance,  clients are  entitled  to cancel the insurance and subject to no claims the  premium  may  be  refunded, less any fee made by the insurer for cover  provided.  In  all  other  cases short period rates will apply the following chart shows the industry average, but can be more or less see your own policy booklet to confirm.

Months

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8-12

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

Nil

The FOS Consumer Helpline is on 0800 023 4567 (free for people   phoning From a "fixed line" (for example, a landline at home) or 0300 123 9123 (Free for mobile-phone users paying monthly charge for calls to No’s starting 01 or 02). Alternatively you can contact them at Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9SR. www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
If we are unable to meet our obligations, you may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS. If  we  have  advised  or   arranged   insurance   for you this will be covered for 90% of a claim, without any upper limit, however compulsory  classes  of  insurance  (such  as  motor  insurance)  is  covered  for 100% of a claim. Further information is available from the FSCS helpline on 0800 678 1100 and www.fscs.org.uk.

The FSCS is the UK’s statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms. Compensation is usually payable if an authorised firm is unable or unlikely to pay claims usually because it has ceased trading or become insolvent

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)

Your premium detailed in the policy will include IPT at the prevailing rate. Should the rate of IPT be amended by the Government, your premium will be amended by the insurer to reflect the change.

Some polices are subject to Value Added  Tax  (VAT)  not  IPT  and  should   the rate of VAT be amended by the  Government,  your premium  will be   amended  by the insurer to reflect the change.

Transferred Business

When we are appointed to service insurance policies other than at their inception or renewal and which were originally arranged by another party.

We shall not be liable during the current insurance period for any loss arising from any errors or omissions or gaps in your insurance cover or advice not supplied by us. Should you have any concerns in respect of a policy which has been transferred to us, or if you require an immediate review of your insurance arrangements, you must notify us immediately. Otherwise we shall review your insurance arrangements and advice accordingly as each policy falls due for renewal.

Termination

You may cancel this agreement with us at any time.  You must provide at least   30 days written notice of instructions. We also reserve the right to cancel this agreement at any time. In any event, we will provide you with reasonably sufficient time to re-arrange your insurance and we will notify you of termination in writing together with an explanation if appropriate.

Complaints

Our aim is always to provide our customers with a first-class service; however we are aware that, occasionally, it is possible that we may fail to meet your expectations. If for any reason we have not met your expectations, let us know as soon as possible, Our aim is to provide a first class service, However, if you wish to register a complaint, please contact us by  Writing to Ian McGurn,   County Insurance Services,   298   Hoylake   Road,  Moreton,   Wirral, CH46 6DE, or, by phone 0151 605 0202, by fax 0151 605 0332.

If we are unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction by the end of the next business day, we will formally investigate the matter. You will receive an acknowledgement of the matter together with a copy of our complaints process promptly and certainly within 5 working days. We will then aim to investigate and provide a resolution as quickly as possible, informing  you of the position at no later than 4 weeks and a final response no later  than 8 weeks.

If you are not happy with our response, or the position after a period of  8 weeks, you may be eligible to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for an independent assessment and opinion.

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9:00am to 2:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: CLOSED
Bank / Public Holidays: CLOSED

We endeavour at all times to make sure the policy documents are accurate and precise, from when the policy is first issued and at successive renewals, you will be asked to check the proposal and certificates issued to you are correct please take the time to do this as incorrect information could leave the insurance invalid.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

WARNING – CONSUMERS WHERE THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THE CONTRACT IS FOR PRIVATE USE

Your duty to give information

When applying for or amending your insurance policy, we and / or your insurer will ask a number of questions to assess the risk prior to agreeing cover.  It  is  your duty to ensure  that you  answer  all questions  raised  by  insurers  or us  honestly  and reasonably.  These  questions  are  designed  to  enable  us  or  the  insurer to obtain a comprehensive  picture of the nature  of the risk to be insured, and only  by asking  such questions  and receiving  answers  which are given honestly          and with reasonable care, can we or the insurer be in a position to offer terms which are designed to meet your demands and needs.

The reason why this is vital and extremely important is that if you fail to tell us or the insurer something  when  asked,  or,  if  you  answer  carelessly  or  act deliberately or recklessly in making misrepresentations  when  answering  questions,  your  policy  may  leave  you  with  no  insurance  protection;  insurers  may  not pay a part or all of your claim and may cancel your policy. You may find  it difficult  to  re-arrange  cover  because you  did  not tell an  insurer everything  when  asked, and you will have to disclose this fact when you reapply for insurance.

FAILURE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS HONESTLY AND REASONABLY, WHENASKED, MAY LEAVE YOU WITH NO COVER AND A CLAIM DECLINED.

WARNING – COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS (OR WHERE THE MAIN PURPOSE OF A CONSUMER CONTRACT IS NOT FOR PRIVATE USE)

Your duty to give information

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT  YOU  UNDERSTAND  YOUR  DUTY  TO  PROVIDE ALL  MATERIALLY  IMPORTANT  INFORMATION,  FULLY,  COMPLETELY  AND  ACCURATELY  TO US AND YOUR INSURERS NOT ONLY WHEN YOU TAKE OUT YOUR INSURANCE, BUT ALSO THROUGHOUT THE LIFE OF YOUR  ARRANGEMENT,  AT THE  ANNUAL RENEWAL OR ATANY OTHER TIME WHEN CHANGES OCCUR.

Materially important information is any information that could influence an insurer’s decision to accept your risk including the cost of your insurance.  For example, details of previous insurance claims that you have made, or reported.  Personal  information  about  you,  such  as  Criminal  Convictions  (you  have  a  duty to give this information even when the insurance relates to a business and not you). General information about  the  risk, such  as  the  construction  of a  building, (for example, concrete floor, timber frame with brick, stone, and a slate roof) if you are not sure how  much  information  to  provide  or  do  not  understand the question please ask.

The reason why this is  vital and  extremely  important  is  that if you  fail to  tell us  something,  your  policy  will  leave  you with  no  insurance  protection;  insurers will not pay any claims and will cancel your policy. You will find  it  difficult  to  re-arrange  cover  because you  did  not  tell an  insurer  everything, and  you  will  have to disclose this fact when you reapply for insurance.

FAILURE TO DISCLOSE THESE FACTS MAY LEAVE YOU WITH NO COVER AND A CLAIM DECLINED.

WARNING

Warranties and Conditions Precedent

Your policy contains a number of WARRANTIES and CONDITIONS and ENDORSEMENTS and SPECIAL TERMS.  These  are  terms  which  you  must  comply  with word for word, otherwise the insurer  might  not  pay  any  claims  and  might  cancel  your  policy  from  the  start.  Even if there is no connection between a breach of these terms and the cause of the loss.

Failure to comply with these terms may leave you with no insurance cover and your claim declined.

An insurance warranty does not mean that it is a guarantee of something; it typically means that you must comply with terms in order that your insurance protection remains operative.

Conditions Precedent: Some conditions do impose a responsibility on you to have complied with or completed the instructions before a certain section of the policy will operate. If you do not comply with the warranty or condition or endorsement or special terms stated, cover will not be in place.

FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY LEAVE YOU WITH NO COVER AND A CLAIM DECLINED.

IMPORTANT

Warranties are not always referred to as such within a policy and schedule. They may be referred to as conditions, endorsements, special terms as well as warranties.
It is important that you look out for these and if you have any doubt about a particular statement, please ask us for advice.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE MAY LEAVE YOU WITHOUT ANY COVER IN THE EVENT OF A CLAIMAND THE CLAIM DECLINED.

 

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