TERMS OF BUSINESS
Terms of Business
1. Accepting our Terms of Business
By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurances, you are providing your informed agreement to these Terms of Business. We draw your particular attention to: The section headed ‘The processing of your personal data’, specifically the sub-section titled ‘Credit checks’; For your own benefit and protection, you should read these terms carefully. For your own benefit and protection, you should read these terms carefully. If you are unsure about any aspect of our Terms of Business or have any questions regarding our relationship with you, please contact us at the below address.
2. The Financial Conduct Authority
IMS Brokers Ltd is an authorised representative of I.M.S. (London) Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our FCA Register number is 845942. Our permitted business is introducing, advising, arranging, dealing as agent and assisting in the
administration and of general insurance contracts and credit broking in relation to insurance facilities. You may check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website,
www.FCA.gov.uk/register/ or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.
3. Our Service
Helping you to decide
Our role is to advise you and, after we have assessed your needs, to make a suitable recommendation. However, we may ask some questions to narrow down the selection of products on which we will provide details; you will then need to make your own choice about how to proceed. In some circumstances we provide advice and we will therefore confirm in separate documentation whether or not any advice or
recommendation has been made before finalising your insurances. We will not provide further advice or recommendations following the arrangement of insurance cover, unless you notify us of a material change of circumstances or formally request that we review your insurance arrangements. At renewal, unless we give you a quote for cover with an alternative insurer, we will not offer advice or make recommendations (unless you request this during the renewal process). We will not in any circumstance guarantee the solvency of any insurer.
The capacity in which we act for you
We act as an insurance intermediary, not an insurer. We will usually act on your behalf when arranging your insurances, when helping you make any changes to your policy, when you renew your insurance and in the event of a claim. If there are any circumstances where we act as an agent of the insurer, we will let you know the capacity in which we act before we finalise your insurance arrangements.
Scope of service including 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 only select products from a limited number of insurers or only offer products from a single insurer. 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.
We also introduce products under white-labeled websites through online. These products are designed and administered by the underwriters and insurers. Therefore, we do not accept any liability in relation to these products and any query or problem must be raised with the underwriters and insurers. We will not in any circumstance guarantee the solvency of any insurer.
4. Our Service
We aim to provide you with a high level of customer service at all times but, if you are not satisfied, please contact us:
In Writing: The Townhouse, 114-116 Fore Street, Hertford, SG14 1AJ
By Phone: 0208 805 2211.
By Email: [email protected]
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 (FOS). For further information you can visit the FOS website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
Access to the FOS is available for complainants coming within one of the following categories at the time we receive their complaint:
- Consumers (private individuals acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft, or profession)
- Micro-enterprises (businesses employing fewer than 10 persons and with a turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €2 million
- Other small businesses (with an annual turnover of below £6.5m, and less than 50 employees or with an annual balance sheet total of below £5 million
- Charities with an annual income of under £6.5 million
- Trustees of a trust with a net asset value of under £5 million
- Certain types of Guarantor
If you are still not satisfied, you may be entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (except in the case of a business: (1) employing 10 persons or more and with a turnover or annual balance sheet total exceeding €2m, or(2) with an annual turnover of 6.5mor more, and 50 employees more or with an annual balance sheet total of £5mor more; a charity with an annual income of £6.5mor more; or trustees of a trust with a net asset value of £5m or more).
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for our insurance mediation activities. 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. If you are eligible to claim from the FSCS,
compensation is available in relation to insurance advising and arranging as follows:
- 90% of the claim, without any upper limit;
- 100% of the claim without any upper limit for o compulsory classes of insurance (such as Third Party Motor or Employers Liability); and o ‘pure protection’ contracts, professional indemnity insurance, and general insurance claims
arising from the death or incapacity of the policyholder owing to injury, sickness or infirmity, all where the insurance intermediary has failed to pay money to an insurer, pay away money it has received from an insurer, or has failed to take steps to allow the insurer to effect the contract of insurance.
Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS on 0800 678 1100 (freephone) or 020 7741 4100 or www.fscs.org.uk
5. Payment for our services
In return for placing business with insurers, underwriters and/or other product providers, we generally receive a commission from them which is a percentage of the annual premium that you are charged.
For arranging premium instalment facilities, we earn [a variable amount of] commission from our premium finance provider(s) which is usually a percentage of the interest that you pay. This means that the amount you pay for credit and the overall cost of arranging your insurance will vary according to the interest charged by the lender and the amount of commission we earn.
There may be occasions where there is a choice of instalment payment options which may charge different interest rates. Typically, we will not receive any commissions from insurers if policies are placed on direct debit instalment arrangements with the insurer. We will receive commissions from the premium finance providers.
Using premium finance or paying on an insurer direct debit arrangement (rather than paying the premium in one amount) makes the overall cost of the insurance more expensive.
A full breakdown of the cost of your insurance and the cost of credit will be provided as part of your new business or renewal quotation before you decide whether to proceed.
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 or arranging premium finance. Please be assured that the way in which we are remunerated will not at any time conflict with our responsibilities to meet your needs and treat you fairly.
You will receive a quotation which will tell you the total price to be paid, and which identifies any fees, taxes and charges separately from the premium, before your insurance arrangements are concluded.
Full payment of premium and fees is due before cover commences, or as otherwise stated under terms of credit, or in the debit note, invoice or statement issued to you. Failure to pay the premium due will mean that your insurance policy might not commence or that it will be cancelled.
- New business: up to £105.00
- Renewals: up to £105.00
In the event of a policy being cancelled midterm, and not replaced by another policy, we may deduct our commission from any premium rebated by the insurers to cover administration cost.
6. Handling Money
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.
7. Cancellation of Insurances
You should make any request for the cancellation of a policy to the contact details included within this Terms of Business, either by letter, e-mail or phone and where requested 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 ‘Payment for our services’ section above.
8. 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. Valid reasons may include but are not limited to non-payment of premium or fees, commission clawback by insurers where instructions are given to another party to handle the customer’s insurance(s), 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 or attempted fraud, use of threatening or abusive behavior or language, or intimidation or bullying of our staff or suppliers.
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.
9. Your Responsibilities
If you are a consumer, you are responsible for answering any questions in relation to any proposal for insurance cover honestly and to the best of your knowledge, providing complete and accurate information which insurers will require. This also applies to your responses in relation to any assumptions you may agree to in the process of applying for insurance cover. This is particularly important before taking out a policy but also at renewal or if you make a mid-term amendment to your policy.
If you fail to disclose information, or misrepresent any fact which may influence the insurer’s decision to accept the risk or the terms offered, this could invalidate the policy and mean that claims may not be paid.
If you are a commercial customer you have a 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;
- 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 & 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.
If you are unsure about any matter, please contact us for guidance.
10. The processing of your personal data
In your dealings with us you may provide us with information that may include data that is known as personal data. Where we process personal data, we comply with statutory data processing requirements as set out by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK-retained provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). The personal data we will collect will include information relating to your name,
address, date of birth and contact details.
We will process your personal data to allow us to provide you with our services as your insurance broker in quoting for, arranging and administering your insurances and in arranging insurance premium finance where applicable. Your personal data will also be used to manage future communications between ourselves.
Where you have agreed, or in circumstances where to do so will be in our mutual interests, your personal data will be used to provide you with further information about our wider products and services.
You can opt out from receiving such communications by e- mailing us at [email protected]
In processing personal data for insurance purposes about health or criminal offences, we will only do so to enable us to provide our service to you and on the basis of it being in the public interest.
We will only use your data for the purpose for which it was collected. We will only grant access to or share your data within our firm or other firms associated with us, with other authorised third parties and product and service providers such as insurers and premium finance providers where we are entitled to do so by law under lawful data processing.
The Data Protection Act 2018 provides you with Access Rights that allow you to gain an understanding on the data being processed, who we share it with, for what purpose, why we need to retain it and retention periods, to object to the processing and to place restrictions on the processing, to request copies of your data and to request the deletion of your data.
If you require further information on how we process your data or you wish to exercise your rights, please contact our data privacy representative by e-mailing [email protected] or by writing The Townhouse, 114-116 Fore Street, Hertford, SG14 1AJ, or by telephoning 02088052211.
How we process your personal data is detailed further within our Privacy Notice.
We, and other firms involved in arranging your insurance (insurers, other intermediaries or premium finance companies may use public and personal data from a variety of sources including credit reference agencies and other organisations. The information is used to help tailor a price, to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you and to help prevent fraud. Any credit reference 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 us.
11. 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.
12. Claims handling arrangements
You should take note of the required procedures in the event of a claim, which will be explained in the policy documentation. Generally, insurers require immediate notification of a claim or circumstances which might lead to a claim. We will employ due care and skill if we act on your behalf in respect of a claim. We might charge you for our claim handling services and you will be informed about our charges prior to commencing the handling of claim.
13. Law and Jurisdiction
This Terms of Business agreement sets out the terms of our relationship with you and is governed by and construed in accordance with English Law and any dispute arising under it shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. Unless otherwise agreed between us in writing no term of this agreement is enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third parties) Act 1999.
14. Hours of Business
Our office hours are 9:00amto 5:00pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.