Terms of Business Agreement

INTRODUCTION

Please read this document carefully as it sets out the terms on which we agree to act for our clients and contains details of our regulatory and statutory responsibilities. Please contact us immediately if there is anything in these terms of business which you do not understand or with which you disagree.

STATUS AS AN INDEPENDENT INTERMEDIARY AND REGULATORY AUTHORISATION

Solicitorassist.com is a trading name of IMI Insurance Brokers Limited. IMI Insurance Brokers Limited is an independent insurance intermediary; authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our Financial Services Register number is 462346. These details can be checked on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

PERMISSIONS

We are permitted to arrange, advise on, deal as an agent of insurers, assist in claims handling and help with ongoing changes, introduce to an insurer / premium finance provider(s) and arrange lending facilities in respect of general insurance policies on behalf of our clients.

PRODUCT RANGE

We have access to leading insurers and often we select your insurance product from a wide range of insurers, however there are times when we use a select panel of insurers (please ask us if you would like a list of these insurers) or even a single insurer. We will always advise you of our selection range prior to you committing to purchase an insurance policy.

In certain circumstances we will use the services of another intermediary to place your insurance and in these circumstances we will always advise you of the name of that intermediary.

OUR ADVICE

Upon assessment of your requirements, we will make a recommendation for a particular insurance product. Our advice will be confirmed in a demands and needs statement which will clearly state the reasons for our recommendation.

In some circumstances, such as renewing your insurance cover with your existing insurers or where we may simply provide you with information on a product, we will not be providing you with advice; we will always make this clear to you in our documentation.

CONSUMERS - INFORMATION WE NEED TO KNOW

Your policy document will state your customer classification.

You must take reasonable care to provide complete, accurate and honest answers to the questions we ask when you take out, make changes to, and renew your policy.

Please also tell us if there are any changes to the information set out in the Statement of Fact, certificate of insurance (if applicable) or on your schedule.

If any of the information provided by you changes after you purchase or renew your policy and during the period of your policy please provide us with details.

If any of the information provided by you is not complete and accurate:

  • your insurer may cancel your policy and treat it as if it never existed; or
  • your insurer may refuse to pay any claim, or
  • your insurer may not pay any claim in full, or
  • your insurer may revise the premium and/or change the compulsory excess, or
  • the extent of the cover may be affected.

In respect of motor policies, it is an offence under the Road Traffic Acts to provide incomplete or inaccurate information to the questions asked in your application for the purpose of obtaining a certificate of motor insurance.

Insurers recommend you keep a record (including copies of letters) of all information provided to them or us for your future reference. A copy of the completed application form (if applicable) will be supplied on request within a period of three months after its completion. COMMERCIAL CLIENTS’ DUTY OF DISCLOSURE

It is your responsibility, throughout the lifetime of a policy and at renewal, to provide us and your insurers with complete and accurate information. You should check details on any forms that have been completed on your behalf to ensure they are correct.

All material facts should be disclosed, relating to the insurance cover we arrange for you. Material facts are those which are likely to affect both the assessment and acceptance of risks being insured. If you are unsure whether a fact is material, you should disclose it. Failure to provide full and accurate information may invalidate your cover, thus any future claim may be declined. If you are in any doubt as to what may constitute a material fact then please don’t hesitate to ask us.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION

To help make sure you receive a competitive quotation, offer of appropriate payment options, protection against fraud and to verify your identity, 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 application proceeds.

All information on our records relating to you will be treated as private and confidential and will only be disclosed to others such as our business partners, insurers, credit providers and other third parties who are directly involved in the normal course of arranging and administering your insurance.

We may use the data we hold about you to provide you with information of products and services we consider may be appropriate. Please notify us in writing if you do not want to receive such information.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to ask us for a copy of any personal information about yourself that we hold on our records. Please contact us if you require any more information.

FEES AND CHARGES

Where we arrange cover which is subject to no commission or a low commission payment from insurers, we will charge an arrangement fee. We will always advise you of the actual amount when we are providing you with a new or renewal quotation.

We usually receive a commission from an insurer when placing your business and from a finance company when arranging finance for you. We occasionally receive additional remuneration from insurers, finance providers and other associated business partners for business we place with them. Please feel free to ask us for any further information.

HOW AND WHEN TO MAKE PAYMENTS

You must provide the premium due in cleared funds in accordance with the amounts and payment dates specified in our invoice. Failure to meet the payment date may lead to insurers cancelling your policy. We accept payment by cheque, bank transfer and by monthly direct debit instalment facilities. With the latter, these include payment plans offered by insurers or more flexible facilities via a third party premium finance company. We will assess your requirements regarding payment options with you when we arrange your insurance and will provide a recommendation accordingly. We will advise you of the relevant charges. All offers of instalment facilities are at our own discretion.

Clients who have previously defaulted on instalments may not be offered this facility again. Insurers and Finance Companies apply their own charges for payment defaults and these will be advised to you when the agreement is set up. Please note that cover will cease if you fail to keep up payments under a credit agreement.

HOW YOUR PAYMENTS ARE HANDLED - Statutory Trust Account

We hold all client money which includes money collected for onward transmission to insurers and refund payments to clients, in a client bank account with an approved bank under a statutory trust arrangement in accordance with Financial Conduct Authority rules.

In some circumstances we may need to use another intermediary to arrange your insurance and as a result we pass money through other authorised intermediaries before finally paying it to the insurer.

Any monies held when acting as agent of the insurer is deemed as having been received by the insurer. This money is also held in the same client account.

It is our policy to retain any interest that may be earned on monies held in our client account.

CANCELLATION RIGHTS

Your policy document will provide you with specific information on your full rights to cancel your insurance. A personal policy which lasts for more than one calendar month offers you the facility to cancel the cover (providing there have been no claims) within 14 days from the policy start date or the date when you receive the full policy documentation from us or your insurers, whichever occurs later. You will be entitled to a refund of premium less our administration charge and a charge by your insurer for the time your insurance cover was in place.

Please contact us in writing or by e-mail should you want to exercise your right to cancel.

REFUND PROCEDURES (outside of cancellation rights)

Where you cancel your personal insurance outside of the 14 day cancellation period or where you cancel your commercial policy at any time, we reserve the right to charge for our time in providing you with advice and for the administration costs involved. This results in us retaining our original commission and fees.

For some insurance contracts, insurers will not provide refunds for midterm cancellation of cover. We will advise you of this if it affects you.

Taking in to account the administration costs when amending your policy, we do not provide refund payments of less than £10.00

RENEWAL OF CONTRACT

We write to you in good time before your renewal date, offering you renewal terms or in situations where we are not inviting renewal, we will advise you. Renewal of the contract is based on the information you supplied when we arranged your current contract along with any amendments you have made during the period of cover. It is vital that you advise us of any changes to your requirements.

Where we offer you renewal terms and your insurance is paid by monthly direct debit instalments, in the absence of a response from you we will deem this as your consent to renew the cover automatically. This will ensure that you are not in a position without insurance cover.

NOTIFICATION OF CLAIMS OR INCIDENTS

Many insurers provide a 24 hour helpline in respect of claims. Please consult your policy document 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 or ourselves. In some circumstances, late notification can result in a claim being rejected.

If you receive any correspondence from a third party in relation to your claim, please pass it to us or your insurer immediately and unanswered.

If you require any assistance regarding a claim or incident, please do not hesitate to contact us.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Our company ethics and culture towards customer service means that we never deliberately put ourselves in a position where our interests’ or our duty to another party prevents us from discharging our duty to you.

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 we will ask for your consent to proceed.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES

Our aim is to provide all of our clients with an excellent level of service. However we recognise that there may be an occasion, when you do not feel satisfied with the service you have received from us. We take complaints very seriously and with this in mind we have developed a Customer Complaints Procedure which lets you know how you can get in touch with us and how we will deal with your complaint or issue.

Should you need to make a complaint, please contact our Complaints Manager, Mark Ramsbottom using any of the following methods:

In writing to the Complaints Manager – IMI Insurance Brokers Limited,
Ashfield House,
Windermere Avenue,
Menston,
West Yorkshire,
LS29 6NR
By telephone – 01943 816866
By fax – 01943 817940
By email – info@imiinsurance.co.uk
In person by visiting our office (see above for address)

We will endeavour to resolve your complaint by the close of business of the next business day. However, if this is not achievable, you can be assured that we will deal with your complaint promptly and fairly, in line with our formal complaint handling procedures outlined below:

  • Within five business days of receipt of your complaint, we will write to you acknowledging your complaint. In this letter we will provide you with details of who is handling your complaint
  • We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint as our investigations proceed
  • We aim to provide a final response to your complaint within eight weeks from receipt of your complaint
  • If we cannot provide you with a final response within eight weeks from the date of receipt of your complaint, we will outline the reasons for the delay and provide you with an indication of when you can expect a response

If you are in any way dissatisfied with our final response, or if we have been unable to provide our final response to you within 8 weeks of receiving your complaint, you may be eligible to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS offer a free and independent service for resolving disputes and you may contact the FOS by:

  • Calling their consumer helpline on 0800 0 234 567 (free for people phoning from a "fixed line" (for example, a landline at home) or 0300 123 9 123 (free for mobile-phone users who pay a monthly charge for calls to numbers starting 01 or 02)
  • Writing to South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR
  • emailing complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

SOLVENCY AND COMPENSATION

We do not guarantee the solvency of any insurer we place business with.

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for insurance mediation only; this does not extend to consumer credit lending i.e. credit broking / lending. The FSCS is the UK's compensation fund of last resort for clients of authorised financial services firms. You may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and circumstances of the claim. Insurance advising and arranging is covered for 90% of the claim with no upper limit, although compulsory insurance is protected in full.

Further details regarding the FSCS can be obtained from their website www.fscs.org.uk

TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT

Our agreement may be terminated by either one of us giving 14 days notice in writing to the other. You will be liable to pay for any outstanding transactions or adjustments prior to termination without any penalty fee as long as these are settled immediately on termination. We will be entitled to retain any fees or commission payable in relation to business transacted prior to date of the termination.

LAW AND JURISDICTION

These terms of business are 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.