You should carefully read these Terms that apply to our appointment by you and the services we will provide.
John F Whippy & Company Limited t/a John Whippy Insurance Brokers, 97 Cavendish Place Eastbourne East Sussex BN21 3TZ Telephone: 01323 410433 is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our FCA Firms Reference Number (FRN) is 310658.
Our permitted business is advising, arranging, dealing as agent and assisting in the administration and performance of general insurance contracts. You may check this on the Financial Conduct Authority’s register by visiting the FCA website, www.fca.gov.uk/Pages/register/ or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0845 606 1234.
By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurances you are providing your informed agreement to these Terms of Business.
Our role is to advise you and make a suitable recommendation after we have assessed your needs. In situations where we are able to arrange insurance for you but do not offer advice, we shall confirm the position to you in writing. We will not in any circumstances act as an insurer nor guarantee or warrant the solvency of any insurer. We act on your behalf in arranging your insurance including advising you on your insurance needs; arranging your insurance cover with Insurers to meet your requirements; helping you with any ongoing changes you have to make and assist in claims handling. The main features will be explained of the products and services that we offer you including details of the insurance provider, main details of cover and benefits, any unusual restrictions or exclusions, any significant conditions or obligations and the period of cover. We may also act as agent of insurers in the course of providing these services. We offer a wide range of insurance with leading insurers in the marketplace and will provide advice on the basis of a fair analysis of the markets available. For certain products, we may only deal with a single insurer or select from a limited number of insurers.
We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of our current Consumer Credit Licence.
The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representation) Act 2012 makes it your duty as a consumer to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to an insurer.
Under the act a consumer is defined as an individual who enters into an insurance contract wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to the individual’s trade, business or profession. A failure by the consumer to comply with the insurers request to confirm or amend particulars previously given is capable of being a misrepresentation for the purpose of this act.
It is important that you ensure all statements you make on proposal forms, claim forms and other documents are full and accurate and we recommend that you keep a copy of all correspondence in relation to the arrangement of your insurance. Under the act an insurer has a remedy against a consumer in respect of qualifying misrepresentations in breach of the consumers’ duty of reasonable care where the insurer deems the misrepresentation to be either deliberate, reckless or careless.
If in doubt about any point in relation to your duty to take reasonable care and subsequent qualifying misrepresentations please contact us immediately.
The Insurance Act 2015 imposes an obligation on all business insureds (i.e. an insured who has bought insurance wholly or mainly for purposes related to their trade, business or profession) to 'make a fair presentation of the risk' prior to the policy commencing. A fair presentation is one that discloses, in a manner that is reasonably clear and accessible, every material circumstance which is known or ought to be known by the policyholder’s senior management or those responsible for arranging insurance, following a reasonable search. This is the case before your cover is placed, when it is renewed and any time that it is varied. A circumstance is material if it would influence a prudent insurer’s judgment in determining whether to take the risk and, if so, on what terms. If you are in any doubt whether a circumstance is material we recommend that it should be disclosed to put your insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries.
You must ensure that any information you provide is correct to the best of your knowledge and representations that you make in expectation or belief must be made in good faith. If you fail to make a fair presentation of the risk this may result in additional terms or warranties being applied from inception of the policy or any claim payment being proportionately reduced. In some cases this could result in your policy being declared void by an insurer and your premiums returned. Any deliberate or reckless breach of the duty of fair presentation could result in your policy being declared void by an insurer with no refund of premium.
If in doubt about any point in relation to material circumstances and reasonable search please contact us immediately.
When a policy or other insurer documentation is issued you are strongly advised to read it carefully as it is these documents, the policy schedule and any certificate of insurance that forms the basis of the insurance contract you have purchased. If you are in doubt over any part of the policy terms, conditions, exclusions or warranties please raise these doubts with us and seek our advice promptly. You should ensure that you are aware of the policy cover, policy limits and other terms that apply. Particular attention should be paid to any warranties and conditions as failure to comply with them could invalidate your policy.
On instructing us to arrange an insurance policy you agree to pay in full the appropriate premium as advised along with any fee charged for advice given together with any additional premiums arising through adjustments to the policy. Payments are accepted by cash, debit card, cheque (Renewals Only), bank transfer and most credit cards. These payments can also be approved through an approved premium instalment scheme. We will give you full details about your payment options when we discuss your insurance requirements.
In addition to the commission we normally receive from the insurers or product providers we also make the following charges to cover administration costs for handling your insurances:
You will receive a quotation which tells you the total price to be paid, showing 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.
Our payment terms are as follows (unless specifically agreed by us in writing to the contrary):
If payment is not received from you in accordance with the above terms, we, or your insurer may be forced to cancel or lapse the relevant policy/policies, which could mean that part or all of a claim may not be paid. You may also be in breach of legally required insurance cover.
If you choose to pay for your insurance premium using a finance provider your details will be passed onto them. We will provide you with a breakdown of the costs of your monthly instalments and subsequently a document outlining key features of their credit agreement with you, it is important that you take time to read this document and must contact us if you do not receive this. If you have any queries or questions, either about the service provided by the finance provider or their terms and conditions you should in the first instance contact them.
Where your policy is paid via the finance provider and you choose to renew your cover, we will again continue to pass your details to them. If any direct debit or other payment due in respect of any credit agreement you enter into to pay insurance premiums is not met when presented for payment or if you end the credit agreement we will be informed of such events by the finance provider.
If you do not make other arrangements with us to pay the insurance premiums you acknowledge and agree that we may, at any time after being so informed, instruct on your behalf the relevant insurer to cancel the insurance and to collect any refund of premiums which may be made by the insurer and if any money is owed under your credit agreement pay it to the finance provider or if we have already been debited with the amount outstanding use it to offset our costs.
You will be responsible for paying any time on risk charge and putting in place any alternative insurance and/or payment arrangements you need.
Upon receiving your strict acceptance to pay for insurance premiums through the finance provider, we will instruct them to proceed with your application for credit. This process will involve the provider searching public information that a credit reference agency holds about you and any previous payment history you have with that provider. The credit reference agency will add details of your search and your application to their record about you whether or not your application is successful. Please read carefully the pre-contractual explanations and the information regarding the cost of credit (including any representative examples). Together they provide important information in relation to the credit facility available from the finance provider. To use the finance providers’ facility you must be resident in the UK, aged 18 years or over and hold a bank or building society current account which can support direct debit payments. Credit is available subject to status.
Our financial arrangements with most insurance companies are on a risk transfer‚ basis, which means that we hold premiums and refunds due to clients on behalf of the insurance undertaking concerned and under a risk transfer agreement. Such monies are deemed to be held by the insurer(s) with which your insurance is arranged. If risk transfer does not apply such monies will be held by us in a statutory client trust account set up in accordance with the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. For the purpose of some transactions, client money may pass through other authorised intermediaries. Interest will not be paid to customers in respect of money held in client trust accounts. By instructing us to place insurance on your behalf you give your informed consent to these Client Money procedures. If there are any matters which you do not understand, or do not accept, you should discuss them with us before proceeding.
If at any time you refuse to pay the appropriate premium, charge or fee falling due in respect of any contract of insurance or if premium payment is being made by monthly direct debit mandate under a premium funding facility and payments fail for any reason and the outstanding balance is not cleared, after due notice you will automatically be deemed to have instructed us to cancel the policy.
You should make any request for the cancellation of a policy in writing and any relevant certificate of insurance should be returned to us or to the insurer concerned. In the event of cancellation charges for our services will apply in accordance with the charges shown above. Your policy document will detail your rights to cancel your insurance once you have taken it out. Depending on the type of policy you have purchased, you may be entitled to cancel within 14 or 30 days of either conclusion of the contract or receiving your policy documentation, whichever occurs later. This is often referred to as a cooling off period. Where you cancel a policy before renewal you will be responsible for paying a charge to meet the cost of cover provided and administration expenses. Please see the Refunds section. The terms of your policy may allow insurers to retain the premium in full or to charge short-period premiums in the event of cancellation.
Where a policy is cancelled before renewal, insurers charge to cover their costs, with the balance refunded to you, subject to no claim having been made. Full details will be available in your policy. In the event of an adjustment giving rise to a return of premium the amount may be refunded or held to credit.
Your attention is specifically drawn to the following:-Where you cancel your policy after the expiry of the cooling off period or where you request a mid-term adjustment which results in a refund of premium, we reserve the right to charge you for our time and costs. This will usually result in us reducing the amount refunded to you by the FULL amount of the commission and fees we would have received had you not cancelled. The reason for this is that the majority of our costs are incurred either in initially finding and setting up your policy or in the annual renewal process when we might check the ongoing suitability of the cover the policy offers. These costs are recovered through the commission we earn. If you cancel, this does not give us an opportunity to recover the costs we incurred and would often result in us making a loss. However, any charge made will not exceed the cost of the commission and fees we would have earned. For certain commercial insurance policies, insurers will only provide cover where the premium is due in full on inception of the policy. This means that no refund will be paid if the policy is cancelled before renewal. We will advise you if this affects you. In view of the cost involved in making changes to your policy, we will not issue refunds of less than £10.00.
Occasions can potentially arise where we or a company with which we are associated, another client or product provider will 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 detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.
We cannot guarantee the solvency of any insurer with which we place business. This means that you may still be liable for any premium due and not be able to recover the premium paid, whether in full or in part, should an insurer become insolvent.
You may terminate our authority to act on your behalf with 14 days’ notice or as otherwise agreed without penalty. Notice of this termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt. Termination is without prejudice to any transactions already initiated which will be completed according to these terms of business unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any transactions or adjustments effective prior to termination and we will be entitled to retain any and all fees or brokerage payable in relation to policies placed by us prior to the date of termination.
You should take note of the required procedures in the event of a claim, which will be stated in the policy documentation. Generally, insurers require immediate notification of a claim or circumstances that might lead to a claim. It is essential to notify us immediately of all incidents that may result in a claim against your insurance policy. You must do so whether you believe you are liable or not. Any letter or claim received by you must be passed to us immediately, without acknowledgement. Only by providing prompt notification of incidents can your insurance company take steps to protect your interests. Your policy summary and/or policy document will provide you with details on who to contact to make a claim. Claims payment will be made in favour of you. If you require a payment to be made to a third party then you must confirm the required payee name and details and provide a brief explanation for your request. Please contact us for guidance on claiming under your policy. We will employ due care and skill if we act on your behalf in respect of a claim.
We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and we undertake to comply with the Act in all our dealings with your personal data. All information about you of a sensitive or personal nature will be treated as private and confidential. 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 it being processed by us in arranging and administering your insurances.
We will however use and disclose the information we have about you in the course of arranging, placing and administering your insurance. This may involve passing information about you to the Financial Conduct Authority, insurers, other intermediaries, risk management assessors, uninsured loss recovery agencies and other third parties involved (directly or indirectly) in your insurance. To make sure you get our best deal and to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you and to protect you from fraud, we use public and personal data from a variety of sources, including credit reference agencies and other organisations. Our search will appear on your credit report and will be visible to other credit providers whether or not your application proceeds. If you do not proceed it will be clear the search was for quotation purposes. By agreeing to the terms and conditions you agree to these uses of your information. We may also pass information about you to credit reference agencies and premium finance providers in connection with the assessment of your financial standing generally and, in particular, where you have requested a premium instalment plan – this may include details of your payment record with us. We may also pass information about you to other companies with which we are associated. We or they may also use the information we hold about you to provide you with information on other products and services we or they can offer and which we or they feel may be of interest to you. Please notify us promptly in writing if you do not wish your details to be used for any of these purposes otherwise we shall treat the issue of these Terms as evidence of your informed consent. In the interests of security and to improve our service, telephone calls you make to us may be monitored and / or recorded for training purposes.
To protect you from fraud we may request supporting documentation in order to verify your identity. Insurers and/or Premium Finance Providers may also undertake further checks using publicly available data from external organisations including credit reference searches with a credit reference agency. Any searches will appear on your credit report whether or not an application proceeds. By accepting our Terms of Business you agree to allow these checks to be made on your behalf.
Please be aware that current UK money laundering regulations require us to obtain adequate ‘Know Your Client’ information about you. We are also required to cross check you against the HM Financial Sanctions List as part of the information gathering process.
We are obliged to report to the National Crime Agency any evidence or suspicion of financial crime at the first opportunity and we are prohibited from disclosing any such report.
We will not permit our employees or other persons engaged by them to be either influenced or influence others in respect of undue payments or privileges from or to insurers or clients.
In accordance with this Terms of Business document we may keep certain documents such as your insurance policy documents or certificate of insurance while we are waiting for full payment of premiums or administration charges.
For Motor Insurance and Household Insurance we may retain your original renewal notice where this is or may be required to provide proof of a no claims discount entitlement. In these circumstances we will ensure you receive full details of your insurance cover and we will provide you with any documents which you require by law.
We will issue all documentation to you in a timely manner. Documentation relating to your insurance will confirm the basis of the cover and provide details of the relevant insurers. It is therefore important that the documentation is kept in a safe place, as you may need to refer to it or need it to make a claim. A new policy/policy booklet is not necessarily provided each year, although a duplicate can be provided at any time upon request. You should always check the documentation to ensure all the details are correct and if this is not the case you should contact us immediately.
Most insurers exchange information with each other through various databases to help check and verify the information provided and also to help prevent fraudulent claims.
All insurers will now supply details of motor insurance policies to a database known as the Motor Insurance Database to which the Police and other insurers have access. This database helps detect people who break the law by not taking out insurance and helps insurers pursue these individuals in the event of a claim following an accident.
If you have Employers Liability cover then your insurers will require your Employer’s Reference Number (ERN) or commonly referred to as Employers’ PAYE Reference in order for the Certificate of Employers’ Liability to be released. This is the unique identifier that any UK business employing one or more employees should have. Alternatively, if you are PAYE/ERN exempt then please advise us at your earliest convenience. All insurers issuing Employers Liability cover from the 1st April 2011 will now require this information for the Employer’s Liability Tracing Office.
It is our intention to provide you with the highest possible level of customer service at all times. However we recognise that things can go wrong occasionally and if this occurs we are committed to resolving matters promptly and fairly.
Should you wish to complain you may do so:
Should you not be satisfied with our final response, you may be entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). More information is available on request or on their website. www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Further details will be supplied at the time of responding to your complaint.
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and you may be entitled to compensation from the scheme depending on the type of business and circumstances of the claim if we cannot meet our obligations. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme at www.fscs.org.uk
If any provision of these Terms is found to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the validity of the other provisions of these Terms and the remainder of the provision in question will not be affected.
These Terms shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales or Scotland and the parties agree herewith that any dispute arising out of it shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the relevant court.
These Terms supersede all proposals, prior discussions and representations (whether oral or written) between us relating to our appointment as your agent in connection with the arranging and administration of your insurance.
These Terms constitute an offer by us to act on your behalf in the arranging and administration of your insurance.
In the absence of any specific acceptance communicated to us by you (whether verbal or written) you are deemed to accept our offer to act for you on the basis of these Terms, by conduct, upon your instructing us to arrange, renew or otherwise act for you in connection with insurance matters.
John F Whippy & Company Limited t/a John Whippy Insurance Brokers
TOB/FCA/GI/Version5 February 2018