Terms of Business
The purpose of this Terms of Business document is to set out the services we provide. If there are any terms which you do not understand, please ask us for further information.
Definitions. “We / us / our” means Arlington Insurance Services Ltd, Goldsmiths House, 137-141 Regent Street, London W1B 4HZ, and 68 Old Market Street, Bristol, BS2 0EJ. “FCA” means the Financial Conduct Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HS. Tel 020 7066 1000 Fax 020 7066 1099
Regulation. We are authorised and regulated by the FCA. Our Financial Services Register number is 442301. You can check this on FCA’s register by visiting their website www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6768.
Status. We are an independent intermediary (broker) acting on your behalf. Our service includes advising you on your insurance needs, arranging cover with insurers to meet your requirements and assisting you with any alterations necessary to the insurance we have arranged on your behalf. We sell and advise on a wide range of both personal and commercial insurance products and provide advice or information on the basis of a fair analysis of the market from a wide range of insurers. We may issue quotations, policy documentation and handle claims on behalf of some insurers. We will advise you if we need to arrange your insurance through another intermediary regulated by FCA.
Your Duty to Provide Information. The Insurance Act 2015 requires you to make a fair presentation of risk information to insurers. You must make a reasonable search within your business to identify and verify that information relevant to the risks concerned is disclosed. This must include knowledge of “senior management” of your business and those involved in buying insurance (including us as your brokers). Reasonable enquiries must also be made of any relevant third parties involved with your business, including external consultants, contractors and anyone insured by the policy.
Risk information should be clearly seen by insurers and brokers and not masked in large amounts of information. You must highlight unusual activities and/or known areas of concern that could affect insurers’ judgement and assessment of risk. It is your duty to take reasonable care to answer all questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge and to provide complete and accurate information to insurers when you take out your insurance policy, throughout the life of your policy and when you renew your insurance.
If you do not, your insurance policy may be cancelled or treated as if it never existed or your claim may be rejected or not paid in full. It is important that all statements you make on proposal forms, claim forms and other documents are full and accurate. If a form is completed on your behalf, you should check that the answers shown to any of the questions are true and accurate before signing the document. You are advised to keep copies of correspondence or documents sent to us. If you are in any doubt as to whether information is material, you should disclose it.
If you fail to make a fair presentation or risk (and this is not deliberate or reckless) and the insurer would have charged additional premium if it had been aware of the relevant material facts, the insurer has the right to reduce the amount to be paid on any claim during the period of cover in proportion to the amount of premium that would have been charged. This remedy is often referred to as ‘proportionate reduction of claim’ or ‘proportional settlement’.
Please do consult us if you are in doubt on any aspect. Failure to provide requested information to your insurers could invalidate your insurance cover and mean that part or all of a claim may not be paid.
Awareness of policy terms. When a policy is issued you are advised to read it carefully. It is that document, the schedule and any certificate of insurance that is the basis of the insurance contract you have purchased. Please ask our advice if you are in any doubt over the terms or conditions.
Charges. We normally receive commission on each policy, which will be a percentage of the insurance premium (before Insurance Premium Tax). This percentage varies depending upon the product and the provider. We may also charge a fee at inception and renewal to cover additional administration during the term of the policy such as advice, mid-term adjustments and claims assistance. We reserve the right to negotiate additional fees for any extra work or services undertaken. In the event of the cancellation of a policy most insurers do not allow refunds if there has been a claim during the current period of insurance, and any refunds that are given are normally calculated on a ‘short period’ scale, because the insurers’ costs are similar whether the policy has run for one month or twelve. Similarly, we reserve the right not to refund commission because this has been earned by us for arranging the policy. Such remuneration is only earned on the basis that it does not detract from our obligation to act in our client’s best interests at all times. You are entitled at any time to request information regarding earnings that we, or any other intermediary, have received as a result of placing your business. In addition to commission from insurers, we may also receive payments based on volumes of business or profitability of the account placed with them. These payments can vary from year to year. Such remuneration is only earned on the basis that it does not detract from our obligation to act in our client’s best interests at all times.
Premiums and Financial Aspects. Premiums are paid into our Non-Statutory Trust client bank account (which has been set up in accordance with the strict rules laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority). We are required to inform you that we may use your individual premium to settle premiums due under other policies (including those payable by other clients). We normally settle insurers’ accounts monthly and our commission is only received when payment is made. If we place your business through another intermediary regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, your premium will be passed to that intermediary. We are the agent of insurers for the collection of certain premiums. We normally accept payment by bank transfer (BACS) or cheque. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ instalment schemes or a credit scheme that we have arranged with a third party finance provider. We will give you full information about your payment options and details of the interest payable when we discuss your insurance in detail. If any interest accrues on the premium paid this will be credited to a client account if this exceeds £20.00.
Credit terms. Unless otherwise agreed we require full payment of the premium within 14 days of commencement of cover or your renewal date. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ instalment schemes. We will give you full information about your payment options and details of the interest payable when we discuss your insurance in detail.
Claims. If you have a potential claim under your policy you must notify this either to us or your insurers immediately. Failure to do so may invalidate your claim. In the event of an emergency occurring outside our normal business hours your policy may contain emergency telephone help lines and advice. Please do not admit liability for any incident until you have spoken to us or your insurers.
Documents. We reserve the right to retain certificates or other documents until all payments due under the policy have been made. Facilities may be available for payment of premiums by instalments. Full details will be given when we discuss your insurance. If instalment facilities are used we may retain documents until we have received acceptance and/or payment from the finance provider. Where we retain documents we will provide details of your insurance cover.
Insurers. It is our normal practice to assess on a regular basis the financial strength of the financial institutions that we introduce to our clients. This process involves monitoring the financial ratings supplied by independent rating agencies such as Standard and Poor’s and/or Moody’s along with other publicly available information. The ratings applied to each firm are a reflection of the agencies’ views on the medium to long term ability of each firm to meet its obligations to its policyholders. Where an insurer achieves or exceeds our minimum requirements, we place it on our acceptable list. It should be noted that whilst we take every care to promote only the strongest institutions, we are unable to guarantee the financial strength of any insurance company.
Complaints. It is our intention to provide you with a high level of customer service at all time. However, if at any time you are dissatisfied with the service we provide, we have a formal complaints procedure. You should, therefore, take the following course of action:
In the first instance you should discuss your complaint with the member of staff with whom you have been dealing. If you remain dissatisfied, please write to, or telephone Paul Stoner, Managing Director, Goldsmiths House, 137-141 Regent Street, London W1B 4HZ. Telephone: 020 7734 3346. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and advise you who is conducting the investigation in the matters which you have raised. We will provide a formal response within 20 working days from initial receipt of the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved within this timescale we will explain why and specify the likely timescale for resolution. If we cannot settle your complaint, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. We will advise you if you are able to refer any complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
If your complaint involves an insurer we will still acknowledge the complaint and pass it onto them for their response.