PROFILE INSURANCE SERVICES LIMITED TERMS OF BUSINESS AGREEMENT
Please read this Agreement carefully as it sets out our respective obligation. It also contains information that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires us to provide to you.
This agreement shall apply with effect from 1st April 2014. We reserve the right to amend or alter these terms from time to time by notifying you accordingly.
2. About Us
Profile Insurance Services Ltd of 8 Langley Park, Mill Hill, London, NW7 2AA, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our Firm Reference Number is 310223. We are permitted to arrange, advise on, deal as an agent of insurers and clients, and assist in claims handling with respect to non-investment insurance policies. You can check these details online using the Financial Services Register [accessible from www.fca.org.uk/consumers] or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768. Profile Insurance Services Ltd (PISL) is not tied to any insurer and no insurer has any holdings or voting rights in PISL nor does PISL have any holdings or voting rights in any insurer.
3. Our Service to You
We offer a full range of insurance products and our service includes: advising you on your insurance demands and needs, arranging your insurance cover with insurers directly or via other intermediaries to meet your requirements and assisting you with any subsequent event or alteration to your insurance that we have placed on your behalf. We may issue policies and handle claims on behalf of some insurers. We will advise you of any inability to place your insurance.
When selecting insurers to provide quotations we will always use a panel of insurers using a fair analysis of the market except for our Legal Expenses, Motor Breakdown, Home Emergency, Excess Waiver, Replacement Vehicle Benefit and KeyCare products which are provided by a single insurer. A list of the single insurers used for these products is available upon request. We have arrangements with some insurers where we are given what we consider to be preferential terms and conditions for certain insurance products. We may place your business under one of these arrangements if;
i) we feel one of these arrangements meets your requirements
ii) we are providing terms exclusively from those insurers for the type of business that you require.
In this event, we will specifically advise you at the time of providing the quotation, since in that situation our terms may not represent a fair market analysis.
We act as your agent and are subject to the law of agency which imposes certain duties on us. In certain circumstances however, we may act for and owe duties of care to other parties. We will advise you when these circumstances occur so you will be aware of any possible conflict of interest.
5. Your Duty of Disclosure
Retail Customers: You must take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer. This means that all the answers you give and statements you make as part of your insurance application, including at renewal and when an amendment to your policy is required, should be honest and accurate. If you deliberately or carelessly misinform the insurers, this could mean that part of or all of a claim may not be paid.
Commercial Customers: If the insurance is arranged wholly or mainly for purposes related to your trade, business or profession you have a duty to disclose all material facts whether or not the insurer asks for specific information. This duty applies throughout the life of your policy, and when you renew your insurance. Material facts are 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 could mean that your claim will not be paid.
Unless otherwise agreed, any quotation given will remain valid for a period no more than thirty (30) days from the date of issue of the quotation.
Although we shall remind you of your policy expiry prior to each renewal, we must have your informed consent to renew prior to renewal date. Unless expressly agreed otherwise, if your confirmation is not received we have the right to lapse your cover. You will be given an explanation of any necessary changes in good time and you will be advised of your right to request a new policy document.
When renewal is invited and the policy is paid by monthly direct debit, we will issue a notice to you. To ensure you are not left without cover, the absence of a response to this notice will be deemed as your consent to cover being renewed automatically.
8. Receipt of Instructions
We do not consider instructions to arrange, change or cancel cover which have been sent to us by post, electronic mail or facsimile, or left on voicemail, to have been received until they reach the relevant personnel in our offices. We do not accept responsibility for instructions which do not reach us at all due to failures in the postal, electronic or telecommunications systems.
All policy documents will be issued in a timely manner, but, in line with the insurer requirements, we reserve the right to retain certificates or other policy documents at this office until all payments due under the policy have been made. Any agreed facilities for payment of premiums by instalments through us will be subject to us retaining certificates of insurance or other policy documents until all payments have been received. By accepting this agreement, you agree that delivery of any certificates of insurance to us shall constitute delivery to yourself in accordance with statute law. Should we withhold any documents we will ensure you receive full details of your insurance cover.
Your policy documentation will confirm the basis of the cover and give details of the insurers. Prior to the conclusion of the contract you will be given a statement of your demands and needs as we have understood them, which you should read carefully. Where a particular contract is being specifically recommended, this will be shown in the quotation together with reasons for the recommendation.
10. Sums Insured/Declarations
It is your responsibility to ensure that your sums insured are accurate and correct. Under the terms of your insurance policy, insurers are able to reduce or even refuse to meet a claim payment where it is discovered that sums insured declared to them are inadequate. Similarly, insurers may also be able to void policies where declarations submitted have been misrepresented. We are unable to accept any liability arising from the inadequacy of your sum insured, or as a result of any financial information that you have provided.
11. Awareness of Policy Terms
When a Policy is issued, you are strongly advised to read it carefully, as it is that document, the schedule and any certificate of insurance that is the basis of the insurance contract you have purchased. Please pay special attention to the claims notification provisions and to any warranties and conditions, as any failure to comply may invalidate your cover. lf you are in doubt over any of the policy terms conditions, please seek our advice promptly.
12. Cooling Off Period (Retail Customers only)
We will give you enough information to enable you to make an informed decision before you make a final commitment to buy your insurance policy. You do however have a 14 day statutory period to change your mind and cancel the insurance contract from the date you receive the policy documentation. A broker fee may however be charged for the cost of administering the issue and subsequent cancellation of the policy. After this 14 day period, Legal Expenses, Motor Breakdown, Home Emergency, Excess Waiver, Replacement Vehicle Benefit and KeyCare premiums are non-refundable.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, premiums must be settled in accordance with the terms specified in the relevant invoice/statement. You are responsible for the prompt settlement of insurance premiums so that we can make the necessary payments to your insurers in good time. We have no obligation to fund premiums on your behalf unless cleared funds have been received and cannot be held responsible for any loss which you may suffer as a result of a policy being cancelled or otherwise prejudiced due to the late payment of a premium where the delay in such payment is attributable to you.
Unless you are paying by direct debit, if we do not receive the full premium payment due within 28 days, you will be charged a Delayed Payment Fee as set out later in Clause 22 ‘Fees & Charges’.
In the event of non-payment, we may instruct insurers to cancel any insurance policy arranged on your behalf. Should this be necessary we will write to you giving you 7 days’ notice. In this instance, we reserve the right to retain any return premiums, commissions or fees that we may receive.
In the event of a policy cancellation or an adjustment giving rise to a return of premium the amount may be refunded or held to credit. In view of the cost involved in making changes to your policy, we will not issue refunds of less than £25.00.
14. Credit Agreement Payment Defaults
If any direct debit or other payment due in respect of a credit agreement entered into with our suggested provider of premium finance to pay insurance premiums, associated fees and charges is not met when presented for payment, or if you end or do not complete such credit agreement, you acknowledge and agree that it may be necessary for us or the premium finance provider to cancel on your behalf the insurance policies being paid by the said agreement, unless you immediately make other arrangements to pay the remaining balance of the insurance premiums. After cancellation, you agree that you will be responsible for any time on risk charge still outstanding and the finance provider’s reasonable costs after application of any refunds allowed by the insurers. You will be responsible for putting in place any alternative insurance arrangements you need, unless you have been able to satisfy the requirements we may have in such a situation to provide an alternative solution.
If you have a cause to claim on your policy you must notify us immediately. We will promptly advise you and, if appropriate, issue you with a claim form and pass all details to your insurer. You should not admit liability nor agree to any course of action, other than emergency measures carried out to minimise the loss, until you have agreement from your insurer. Failure or delay to report claims properly may prejudice your insurer's position and lead to your insurer repudiating your claim.
16. Assignment of Claims
In the event that any of the conditions of this agreement are breached, you hereby agree that any claims payments or return premiums due from insurers may be assigned to Profile Insurance Services Ltd to offset any shortfall on your account.
Cancellation of your insurance policies in no way reduces the requirement to meet your obligations under this agreement. Insurance contracts are for 12 months (unless specifically agreed otherwise) and return premiums may not reflect the entire unexpired period of insurance and in some cases, return premiums may not be available.
You may have a statutory right to cancel a policy you take out through us within a short period. Please refer to your policy summary or your policy document for further details. If you cancel within the statutory cancellation period (where this applies) you will receive a pro rata refund of premium from the insurer. Insurers are also entitled to make an administrative charge. In addition, we may keep an amount which reflects the administrative costs of arranging and cancelling the policy. For the avoidance of doubt, fees and/or charges are not refundable.
In the event that a claim has been paid by your insurers during the period of your insurance contract, there will be no refund of premium available following cancellation of your policy. This will also apply if a claim has been made during the 14 day cooling off period.
18. Financial Security of Insurers
We regularly review the financial status of the insurers with whom we place business. To do so, we use the publicly available information including that produced by credit rating agencies. Under no circumstances do we guarantee or warrant the solvency of any insurers. In the event of an insurer’s insolvency, you may still have a liability to pay premium.
19. Client Money
Prior to your premium being forwarded to the insurer, and for your protection, we either hold your money as an agent of the insurer (in which case your policy is treated as being paid for), or we hold it in a client bank account on trust for you. The FCA Rules require us to hold client money;
(a) in a statutory trust account or
(b) in accordance with the FCA Client Assets Sourcebook (CASS)
The aim of the trust is to protect you, the client, in the event of failure of us, the bank or a third party at which the money may be held. In such circumstances, the firm’s general creditors should not be able to make claims on client money, as it will not form part of our property. The fact that we hold money on trust gives rise to fiduciary duties which will be owned to you until the client money reaches the insurer or product provider.
We may extend credit to other customers from this account and we may transfer your money to another intermediary in some cases. However your money will be protected at all times because of the requirements of FCA rules.
By accepting this Terms of Business Agreement, you are giving your consent for us to operate in this way.
20. Segregation of Designated Investments
We keep client money separate from our own money. We may do this by paying it into a client bank account. We may also do this by arranging to hold separately permitted designated investments with a value at least equivalent to the money that would otherwise have been paid into a client bank account. If we do this, we will be responsible for meeting any shortfall in our client money resource which is attributable to falls in the market value of segregated investment.
21. Interest on Client Money
Any interest earned on client money held by us and any investment returns on any segregated designated investments will be retained by us for our own use, rather than paid to you.
22. Fees & Charges
At our discretion we may charge a brokerage fee of up to £25 on new business, renewal and mid-term adjustment transactions on top of any premiums and charges made by insurers. Commission rates are variable and do not in many cases reflect the work done by us in arranging the cover and servicing your account. Where the commission rate and our standard £25 brokerage fee does not cover the work done by us, we reserve the right to add a fee in lieu of commission. These charges will always be shown separately and will always be notified to you in advance. All fees and/or charges are non refundable in the event of cancellation.
In the event of policy cancellation, we reserve the right to retain up to 25% of the annual premium charged by your insurers which will represent the retention of our commission fee. If however you cancel the policy within the 14 day cooling off period, we will not retain the commission fee earned and you will be entitled to the return premium provided by insurers, subject no claims having been made under the policy, and subject to a £25 administration charge for the cost of administering the issue and subsequent cancellation of the policy.
Unless you are paying by direct debit, if we do not receive the full premium payment due within 28 days of effecting cover, you will be charged a Delayed Payment Fee of £50. A further £50 will then be charged for every subsequent 7 days that the premium remains outstanding. This is to reflect any additional expenses we may incur in funding your premium to insurers on your behalf or for any penalties we may incur as a result of your delayed payment to us.
In addition to client fees and/or brokerage, we may receive remuneration by way of administrative fees or commissions for services provided to underwriters. Sometimes we receive profit share or over-ride payments from insurers and/or premium finance providers. These payments are subject to the overall profitability of the business placed with the insurer and/or premium finance provider (taking claims and bad debts into consideration) and are, therefore, not guaranteed.
23. Our 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.
24. Professional Indemnity
We conform to the FCA Rules in respect of Professional Indemnity Insurance. This type of insurance is mandatory. We maintain a limit of indemnity of at least £1,000,000.
All personal information about you will be treated as private and confidential (even when you are no longer a customer), except where the disclosure is made at your request or with your consent in relation to administering your insurance or where we are required by law. It is our current practice to retain client information for at least 6 years. After this period, this information may be destroyed at our discretion without notice to you.
Some or all of the information you supply to us in connection with your insurance proposal may be passed to insurance and other companies for underwriting, claims and premium collection purposes. Your data will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, under which you have a right of access to see personal information about you that is held in our records, whether electronically or manually. If you have any queries, please write to Melanie Burns, Managing Director, at the above address. An administration fee for the supply of this information will apply.
We and/or the insurers and/or credit providers may use publicly available data from a variety of sources, including credit reference agencies and other external organisations to verify your identity or creditworthiness, to avoid fraud, and to obtain beneficial quotes and payment options on your behalf. Each of the searches may appear on your credit report whether or not your application proceeds.
By agreeing to these terms and conditions you agree to these uses of your information.
26. Monitoring of Calls
We reserve the right to monitor and record telephone calls for the purpose of training and to the fulfilment of our regulatory obligations.
27. Exchange of Information
Insurers pass information to the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) run by Insurance Database Services Ltd and the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register run by the Association of British Insurers. The aim is to check information provided and also prevent fraudulent claims. Motor insurance details are added to the Motor Insurance Database run by Motor Insurers' Information Centre, which has been formed to help identify uninsured drivers and may also 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 Motor Insurance Bureau to identify relevant policy information.
28. Money Laundering/Proceeds of Crime Act
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 any such report.
29. Consumer Credit Licence
We hold a Consumer Credit Licence.
It is always our intention to provide a first-class service at all times. However if you have any cause for complaint, you should in the first instance, contact Melanie Burns, Managing Director, at the above address or call 020 8931 3306. We will write to acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days identifying who is dealing with your complaint and when to expect an answer. We will provide a full written response within 4 weeks from receipt of the original complaint. lf it is not possible to resolve your complaint within this timescale, we will write explaining why and give a revised timescale. Within 8 weeks of receiving the original complaint we will issue a final response or a reply indicating why a final decision cannot be made and when we are likely to be in a position to make a final response. You will be advised of any redress available to you should you remain dissatisfied. "Eligible" complainants may refer their complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
"Eligible" complainants are:
a) Private individuals
b) Business customers with a group annual turnover of less than £1 million at the time of complaint
c) A charity with an annual income of less than £1 million at the time of complaint
d) A trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1 million at the time of complaint
We do not restrict our own complaint handling procedures to only eligible complainants. We will deal with any complaints and expressions of dissatisfaction from all customers in accordance with the above procedures.
You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service by telephone on 0800 0 234 567 and further information is available at http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/. If you do decide to refer any matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service your legal rights will not be affected.
Your insurers also operate a complaints procedure, details of which are outlined in your policy document.
31. Compensation Arrangements
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 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, also without any upper limit. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS on 020 7892 7300 or by visiting http://www.fscs.org.uk/.
Your acceptance of these Terms of Business does not affect your normal legal rights.