General Terms of Business Agreement

This document is effective from 12 August 2016 (and supersedes all Terms of Business previously issued by us).  Please read it carefully.  It sets out the terms upon which we agree to act for our clients and contains details of our regulatory and statutory responsibilities.  It also sets out some of your responsibilities.

Please contact us immediately if there is anything in these Terms of Business which you do not understand or with which you disagree.

About our company

Hayes Parsons Limited (trading as Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers) of Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 4XE is an independent insurance broker, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to transact general insurance business.  Our Financial Services Register number is 311881.

You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website https://register.fca.org.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

We are also members of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and the British Marine Federation.

Our products and services

For private client (personal insurance), we select products from a limited number of insurers unless we advise you otherwise.  The names of the insurers used are available on request.  However, in the case of motor and marine legal expenses, we only offer a product from one insurer.

For commercial insurance, we will inform you at inception and at every renewal how we made our product selection and the capacity in which we are acting.

The services we provide (‘the Services’) are as follows:-

• Advising you and making a recommendation on your risk exposure and insurance needs, unless otherwise stated
• Arranging cover to meet requirements
• Help with ongoing changes
• Assistance on claims made on insurance policies we have arranged
• Basic risk management (and where to clarify this activity is neither FCA regulated nor FOS or FSCS protected) 

For certain types of insurance we are also authorised to issue policy documentation and/or certificates on behalf of the insurers.

Treating customers fairly

We aim to provide our customers with an excellent customer service to ensure their insurance requirements are met and to deal with them in an open, honest and fair manner at all times.

Methods of communication

We will normally communicate with you by post, telephone and email, in addition to any meetings we may have with you.  Please let us know if you would prefer not to receive communications by email.

Insurer security

Whilst we monitor the financial strength of the insurers with whom we place business, it should be noted that the claims-paying ability of even the strongest insurers could be affected by adverse business conditions.  We cannot, therefore, guarantee the solvency of any insurer or underwriter.  A liability for the premium, whether in full or pro rata, may arise under policies where a participating insurer becomes insolvent.

Risk information

The terms of any insurance that we arrange on your behalf will be based upon the information provided by you to us or to your insurers.

If you are a consumer (an individual buying insurance wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to your trade, business or profession) you must take reasonable care to answer all questions put to you about your proposed insurance fully, honestly and to the best of your knowledge.  If you do not understand the meaning of any question, or if you do not know the answer, it is vital that you tell us.  Once cover has been arranged, you must immediately notify us or your insurer of any changes to the information that has been previously provided.  The most serious consequence of failing to provide full and accurate information before you take out insurance, or when your circumstances change, could be the invalidation of your cover.  In that instance it would mean that a claim will be rejected.

If you are a commercial customer, or someone buying insurance mainly for purposes related to your trade, business or profession, you have a duty to give a fair presentation of risk to the insurer and to provide information in a clear and accessible manner to a prudent insurer.

A fair presentation is one which clearly discloses every material circumstance which you, your senior management, or persons responsible for arranging your insurance and including ourselves as your agent, know or ought to know following a reasonable search.

In the event of any deliberate or reckless breach by you to present the risk fairly, the insurer has the right to avoid the policy and retain the premium.

You are advised to keep copies of any correspondence you send to us or direct to your insurers.

Our remuneration

Our remuneration will be a fee, as agreed with you, or a brokerage, which is a percentage of the insurance premium paid by you and allowed to us by the insurer with whom the insurance policy is placed, or a combination of the two.

In the ordinary course of our business we sometimes earn income in the form of management/administrative expenses allowed to us by insurers to cover costs incurred in carrying out work on their behalf and in the form of volume, growth or profitability payments.  We may also receive income from providers of premium financing facilities where, with your agreement, we have made such arrangements on your behalf.  We may sometimes also earn income for the provision of other services to you, which will be agreed with you on an individual basis.  For each insurance policy, including any subsequent renewal, you have a right to request information regarding any remuneration that we have received as a result of placing your insurance business.

Charges

Unless otherwise indicated on our documentation an administration charge of £30 per policy will be made and separately identified on all policy renewal and inception transactions.  This is non-refundable in the event of cancellation of our policy after the renewal/inception date.
 
We (also) reserve the right to make an administration charge of £10 for issuing the following documentation:-

• Replacement policies or certificates in the event of the loss or misappropriation of the original documents
• Copy policies or certificates requested by other parties, such as solicitors or banks

In the event of a policy being cancelled mid term, and not replaced by another policy, we reserve the right to retain the commission earned on the original transaction, or else make an administration charge of £10, whichever is the higher. 

A charge may apply to payments made by credit card and this will be confirmed to you in writing at the time of incepting or renewing your insurance.

Methods of payment

We normally accept payments by cheque, bank transfer or credit or debit card.  It is often possible to spread payments through insurers’ instalment schemes or a credit facility we have arranged with a specialist premium finance provider.  We will give full information about premium payment options when we provide quotations and at renewal.

Payment of premium can also be accepted in Euros or US Dollars and some policies can be charged to you in these currencies.  Where you choose to pay in Euros or US Dollars and the policy is charged in Sterling an administration charge of up to £100 may be charged to cover the costs associated with the transaction and you will be advised the exact charge at the time of the request.  The currency exchange rate used will be the RBS online rate applicable on the day that your remittance is received by us.

Personal credit checks

When you ask us to obtain quotations for personal insurance products, you should be aware that some of the insurers we approach will carry out personal credit checks as part of the underwriting process.  This means they will review information held by a credit reference agency.  Whilst a record of the search will be added to your credit record, we are advised this will not have any detrimental effect on your credit rating or history.

To comply with Consumer Credit legislation, providers of personal credit are required to carry out affordability assessments before making advances of credit. This means that whenever we are asked to arrange personal premium finance, we will pass your name, address and date of birth to the finance provider, to enable it to carry out an assessment. In assessing your application, the provider may search information held by a credit reference agency.  Please note the credit reference agency will add details of the search and your application to their records, whether or not your application proceeds.

Settlement terms

You are responsible for the settlement of insurance premiums within the terms advised to you, so that we can make the necessary payments to your insurers.  We have no obligation to fund any premiums on your behalf 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 is attributable to you.

Credit agreements and 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.

Handling client and insurer money

Client money collected for onward transmission to insurers, and return premiums due to clients from insurers, is held in a Client Bank Account, under a Non-Statutory Trust in accordance with FCA rules.  The Deed of Trust permits us to use the account to make advances of credit from time to time to our clients, in order to fund their premiums, subject to strict conditions.  In dealing with us you agree to our holding client money in this way.  A copy of the Deed of Trust is available on request. 

For the purpose of some transactions, please note that client money may pass through other authorised intermediaries before the insurer receives it.

Where we collect or hold money as agent of the insurer we may also hold that money in the same Client Bank Account.

Client money will be deposited with one or more approved banks, a list of which is available on request.  Please notify us immediately if you do not wish us to use any bank or banks on this list.  Interest will not be paid to clients in respect of money held in client bank accounts.


Confidentiality

All information provided by our clients is treated as confidential and only disclosed in the normal course of negotiating, arranging and administering your insurance.  This may include disclosing information to agents and service providers such as loss adjusters and approved contractors.  We will not release information to any other party without your consent with a few exceptions, for example information requested by a court, a regulatory body, or information which is already in the public domain.  We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and undertake to comply with the Act in all our dealings with personal data.

Quotations

Unless stated otherwise in our documentation all quotations provided for new insurances are valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue.  You should be aware that quotations may change or be withdrawn if the information given to us or your insurers in proposal forms or declarations differs from that provided at the time the quotation was issued.  Specimen policy wordings are available on request.

Changes to your cover

We will normally deal with requests to increase or amend cover on the day your instructions are received, or the next working day if a weekend or public holiday.  Sometimes changes cannot be processed without obtaining additional information.  If additional information is required we will contact you as quickly as possible.  We will confirm changes to your policy, once agreed, in writing.  We will also advise you of any extra premiums you must pay or premiums we must return to you.

Receipt of instructions

We do not consider instructions to arrange or change cover sent to us by post, email or facsimile, or left on answering equipment, to have been received until they reach the relevant personnel in our offices and receipt has been confirmed to you in writing.  We do not accept responsibility for instructions which do not reach us due to failures in the postal, electronic or telecommunications systems.

Documentation

Our aim is to produce documentation and correspondence in a clear and understandable format.  In the event of any uncertainty we would ask you to let us know immediately.  Our staff are always happy to clarify the cover provided.

You should check all policy documentation to ensure that the details are correct and the cover provided meets with your requirements.  Any errors should be notified to us immediately.

If your policy includes Employers’ Liability insurance it is prudent to keep a copy of all Employers’ Liability Certificates issued.  It is important that you can identify the insurer for your statutory liabilities for each period of insurance and we therefore strongly recommend that you retain this certificate to evidence the insurance in place as long as potential liability exists.  The certificate can be retained on your computer rather than displayed on the wall providing all employees have access to it.

Transferred business

If we take over the servicing of insurance policies which were originally arranged through another insurance broker or intermediary or directly with an insurer we do not accept liability for any claim arising out of the advice given by that broker, intermediary or insurer, nor for any errors, omissions or gaps in your current insurance protection.

We would ask you to contact us without delay should any aspect of a policy which has been transferred to us cause you concern or if you need an immediate review.  Otherwise we will endeavour to review all transferred policies as they fall due for renewal.

Making a claim

Many insurers provide a 24-hour Helpline in respect of claims and you should consult your policy documentation for contact details.  Please ensure that you report all incidents that could give rise to a claim as soon as you become aware of them, either by contacting your insurer on their helpline or by telephoning our office.  You will be advised if you need to complete a claim form or produce documentation to support your claim.  In certain circumstances late notification may result in your claim being rejected and many insurers ask for claims to be notified within certain timescales.

If the claim involves damage to your property, please do not dispose of damaged items and/or authorise repair work (except in an emergency or to prevent further damage) until your insurers or we advise that you can.  If your claim involves damage to third party property or injury to persons please pass copies of all correspondence, including solicitors’ letters, to us immediately and unanswered.  Any attempt to negotiate or respond to the incident without prior reference to your insurers or us might prejudice your cover.  You must not, under any circumstances, admit liability for a loss without prior permission from your insurer.

You should be aware that a claim arising after renewal of the policy has been invited might affect the assessment and acceptance of renewal by your insurers.

Conflicts of interest

As an independent insurance broker we act as the agent of our client, unless we advise otherwise at policy inception/renewal.  We are subject to the law of agency which imposes certain duties on us.  We also have proper regard for the interests of others, including insurers for whom we act.  Where we become aware of any actual or potential conflict of interest we will inform you of the situation, the options available to you and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions.

Complaints procedure

We recognise the importance of service and set ourselves high standards.  Should there be an occasion when we do not meet your expectations we are equally committed to dealing with any complaint in a thorough and professional manner.  If you wish to register a complaint please contact us either in writing, addressed to the Compliance & Training Manager, Hayes Parsons Limited, Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 4XE or by telephone on 0117 929 9381.

If you cannot settle your complaint with us you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) (www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk) for an independent assessment and opinion.  The FOS Consumer helpline is 0800 023 4567 or contact them at Financial Ombudsmen Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR.  

Compensation

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).  You may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS 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, Professional Indemnity insurance and certain claims for injury, sickness or infirmity, insurance advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, without any upper limit.  Further details about compensation scheme arrangements are available from the FSCS on their website www.fscs.org.uk or via their helpline on 0800 678 1100.

Termination of authority

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.

Cancellation right

If you take out a personal insurance policy through us which lasts for more than one calendar month you may have a right to cancel the cover up to 14 days from the later of the policy start date or the date you receive full policy documentation from us or your insurers, or the renewal date or the date you receive full renewal documentation from us or your insurers.

You will be informed if you have such a Cancellation Right in separate documentation.  Should you decide to exercise the Cancellation Right you will be entitled to a refund of premium less an appropriate pro rata charge for the period of cover given before the cancellation right was invoked.  If the premium has not been paid, a charge may be made for the period of cover given prior to the exercise of the Cancellation Right.  Should any claim occur prior to the exercise of the Cancellation Right where the claim terminates the insurance cover, your insurers may not allow a refund of any of the premium paid.

If this Cancellation Right is not exercised within the 14-day period as stated above, and you decide to cancel the policy at a later date, the amount of any premium refund will depend upon the cancellation terms of your insurance policy and our possible retention of any commission earned or administration fee earned.  To exercise the Cancellation Right you should contact us at our normal address or your insurers at the address shown on your policy.

Cancellation of policies

If you wish to cancel your policy in circumstances other than as described in the section headed Cancellation Right, you may be entitled to a refund of part of your premium as long as no claims have occurred during the time you have been on cover.  The refund due may not necessarily be proportionate to the remaining period of cover.  Additionally you should note the following:

• Insurers do not normally allow refunds in cases where a minimum and deposit premium has been charged
• Cancellation may not be possible until you return your certificate of insurance to us or your insurers
• Cancellation of a direct debit does not necessarily cancel a policy and any balance of premium owing may be requested by the insurers.

When your policy ends or is cancelled, we will send you any documentation and information to which you are entitled on request.

Law and jurisdiction

These Terms of Business shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law.  In relation to any legal action or proceedings arising out of or in connection with these Terms of Business we both irrevocably submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

You are deemed to have accepted these terms of business and give your consent for us to operate in the ways described, unless you advise us otherwise within 7 days of receipt.

Top