Terms of Business
This document sets out our commitment to you as our client and sets out the principles we follow in doing business with you. By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurances, you are providing your informed agreement to these Terms of Business.
If you have any questions about any aspect of our Terms of Business or our relationship with you, please contact us.
The Financial Services Authority
With effect from 14th January 2005 we, Motts Godwin Insurance Services (MGIS) are authorised by Financial Services Authority (FSA) to sell general insurance products. Our FSA register number is: 306552, and you can check this on the FSA's register by visiting the FSA's website or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234.
Helping you decide
Our service includes: introducing; advising you on your insurance needs; arranging your insurance cover with insurers to meet your requirements; and helping with the administration and performance of general insurance contracts.
Typically our role is to advise you, and after we have assessed your needs, to make a suitable recommendation. In some instances, having asked some questions to narrow down the selection of products, we may not provide any advice beyond the product details, you will then need to make your own choice about how to proceed, and we will confirm separately whether any advice or recommendation has been made before finalising your insurances.
We will not provide further advice or recommendations following the arrangement of the insurance cover, unless you notify us of a material change or circumstances, or formally request that we review your insurance arrangements. At renewal, unless we give an alternative quote, or are requested to by you, we will not offer advice or make recommendations.
Our product range and the insurers used
We offer an array of general insurance products and have access to a range of insurers with whom we may place your insurance. We will usually act independently as an intermediary on your behalf utilising a range of insurers. However, depending on the type of insurance or the nature of the risk there may be instances where we offer a quotation based on a limited panel of insurers or where specific facilities or arrangements have been made with a particular insurer, group of insurers, or other intermediary. We will make it clear to you where our proposals include these facilities or 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 will not in any circumstances guarantee the solvency of any insurer.
The capacity in which we act for you
In providing our service, we may sometimes act as an agent of the insurer. We will confirm the capacity in which we will act for you before undertaking any relevant transactions on your behalf.
Statement of Demands and Needs
Our Statement of Demands and Needs sets out our understanding of your requirements from a policy. Based on these requirements we will detail the contract(s) most suitable for you. In instances where multiple contracts are available, all of which could be said to meet your requirements, we will initially offer cover on the basis of the most competitive premium. If an insurance contract is a personal recommendation of a particular policy/insurer we will explain why the contract is suitable based on such factors as the costs, exclusions or additional benefits that may be applicable.
Confirmation of Cover
We will provide you with written confirmation that cover has been put in place, including the term of the insurance(s) and the insurers involved within 7 working days of the date when cover began for retail customers and 30 elapsed days for commercial customers - unless agreed otherwise.
Payment for our services
We reserve the right to make charges, in addition to any commission received from insurance premiums, for the arranging, amending, renewing and cancelling of any policy of insurance. Details of the total price paid, including any fees, taxes and charges made will be declared on any correspondence with you before your insurance arrangements are concluded.
In good time before the conclusion of each insurance contract, or upon renewal, where applicable we will remind you of your right to be informed of the level of commission which we received from underwriters. You are are entitled, at any time, to request information regarding any commission which we may have received as a result of placing your insurance business.
How to pay
We offer various methods by which to pay your insurance premium as well as various instalment plans; in the case of multiple instalments, all payments are due 30 days apart. Alternatively you may wish to pay by direct debit, details of which are available separately. Your quotation will provide details of your total premium(s), however should you require further details with regards to alternative payment schedules or methods please contact us and we will be happy to provide this information (if available).
Premiums are due from the moment insurance comes into force. So that we can settle with insurers promptly, we ask that you pay the premiums due within the terms specified on the cover/debit note or covering letter. In certain circumstances, insurers may impose specific terms requiring payment of the premium by a certain date. It is your responsibility to pay premiums on time as required by any policy conditions or in accordance with any instalment arrangement you may have agreed with us. Please be aware that if you do not make payment by the appropriate date, insurers may cancel the policy from the date when cover originally came into force.
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 premium and handling refunds due to clients. In these circumstance such monies are deemed to be held by the insurer(s) with which your insurance is arranged. For the purpose of some transactions, client money may pass through other authorised intermediaries before being paid to the insurer.
Instructions and Cancellation
Instructions related to any new business or mid-term adjustment can typically be made via telephone communication, however, to avoid any misunderstandings we would ask you to confirm your instructions to us in writing (by letter, email or facsimile) as soon as possible. This is in addition to any additional documentation that may be required in connection with a particular action.
In the event of cancellation, charges for our services will apply in accordance with our Tariff of Fees and we will not impose a penalty. In many instances cancellations will require the return of any relevant certificate of insurance, or a completed lost certificate declaration, and as such can only be finalised following receipt of a written request. In circumstances where we feel we cannot continue providing services to you, we will give you a minimum of 7 days notice.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, if our relationship ends, any transactions previously initiated will be completed according to these Terms of Business. 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 before the policy would normally expire. You will be liable to pay for any transactions concluded prior to the end or our relationship and we will be entitled to retain commission received for conducting these transactions, together with a proportion of, or all fees charged by us for services provided.
Disclosure of Information
It is important that you understand that any information, statements or answers made by you to us, or your insurer, are your responsibility and must be full and correct; whether or not proposal forms, statements of fact or claim forms are applicable or completed.
Any failure to disclose facts material to the insurer, or any inaccuracies in your answers may invalidate your insurance cover in part or in whole. Insurers have the right to void the policy and return the premium. This means there is no longer an insurance policy and no claims will be paid. It is therefore extremely important that you take care when providing information to enable the insurers to consider the risk, regarding the accuracy and completeness of that information.
Information is material if it would affect the insurer's estimate of the risk involved, or if the misrepresentation/non-disclosure induces the insurer to enter into the contract of insurance on particular terms.
The duty of disclosure arises not only when the insurance is first taken out and every time you renew or amend it, but also at anytime during the period of insurance. If you are unsure whether a fact is material or not, it should be disclosed.
Please contact us immediately if you need to make mid-term changes to your policy so that we can obtain approval of the changes from the insurers and any further information required. You must also inform us immediately of any changes in circumstances which may affect the services provided by us or the cover provided by your policy.
Renewals - Maintaining Insurance Cover & Contract Certainty
In order to protect your interest of maintaining insurance cover on your policy it is essential that you complete your arrangements prior to the renewal date of the policy. If the renewal date falls on a weekend, it is important that we receive your instructions during the previous working week (Mon-Fri) in order that we can ensure the renewal instruction is processed by the appropriate insurer. Unless stated otherwise there is no automatic extension or days of grace.
Awareness of Policy Terms
When a quotation is provided or a policy is issued, you are strongly advised to read all documents carefully and 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. If you are in doubt over any of the policy terms, conditions, or risk details; please seek our advice promptly.
To make sure you get the best offer from any of our insurers, or to ascertain the most appropriate payment options, now or at any renewal or at any time and to protect customers from fraud and to verify your identity, an insurer 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 applications proceed.
As the credit checks carried out relate to insurance propositions, they are highly unlikely to impact lending decisions. The public and private data checks both leave a footprint on your credit history. The public check is only visible to you whereas the private data check is also visible to other organisations. These checks are already widely used within the insurance industry e.g. by RSA Group including MoreThan; RBSI Group including Direct Line, Privilege and Churchill; Admiral Group including Diamond and Elephant and also the price comparison websites. By agreeing to the terms and conditions you agree to these uses of your information
Proposal Forms/Statements of Facts
For most classes of insurance, we will ask you to complete a proposal form. We are happy to provide you with advice on completing the form, but we cannot complete it on your behalf. In certain instances the proposal form may be partially pre-filled, however you should still thoroughly check the form for accuracy. In the case of Statement of Facts the document should (typically) be retained for your own records if all details are found to be correct, any errors or changes should be notified to us as normal. Renewal of an existing policy typically will not require an updated form. In all circumstances you should still pay particular attention to the duties of disclosure, as it is essential that we and/or the insurers be informed of all material facts before placing any cover on your behalf.
It is essential that immediate notification is received in the unfortunate event that you have to make an insurance claim. When reporting a claim, you must include all material facts concerning the claim. Your policy documents will describe the procedures and conditions in connection with making a claim along with details of any insurer helpline for advice.
Cooling Off Period
We will give you enough information and help so you can make an informed decision before you make a final commitment to buy your insurance policy. However, a personal lines/retail client has a right to cancel a non-investment insurance contract. For a general insurance contract you will have 14 days to change your mind and cancel the insurance contract from the date you receive the policy documentation. This does not apply to travel and baggage insurance policies or similar short-term insurance policies of less than one month's duration. Any request to cancel must be received in writing prior to the expiry of the cooling off period.
Customer Protection Information
Complaints - Formal Complaints Procedure
It is our intention to provide you with a high level of customer service at all times. If you do feel, however that you have cause to be unhappy in any way with your insurance cover or our service, please contact our Mr. D Motts either verbally or in writing, who will take details of your concerns and try to rectify your complaint.
We take your complaints seriously and will endeavour to respond to any complaint immediately. Where this is not possible we will acknowledge in writing, and attempt to address your concerns within five working days. If our investigations take longer, we will provide a full response within twenty working days or explain our position and provide timescales for a full response. If we believe that the complaint does not relate to the activities of MGIS we will inform you in writing within five working days of receipt of the complaint and where possible provide details of to whom the complaint should be directed.
After our final response has been issued, if you still cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), for an independent assessment and opinion 1. The FOS Consumer Helpline number is 0845 080 1800 and their address is: Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR
Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
We are covered by the FSCS. The FSCS is the UK's statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms. They may be able to pay compensation to customers if an authorised firm is unable or likely to be unable to pay claims against it, usually because it has gone out of business or is insolvent. 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 an upper limit 2. For compulsory classes of insurance, insurance advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, without an upper limit 3. Further information about the compensation scheme is available from the FSCS website or on 020 7892 7300.
Conflict of Interests
Occasions can arise where we, 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.
Use of Personal Data
We will process any personal information we obtain in the course of providing our services to you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In administering your insurance it will be necessary for us to pass such information to insurers and other product or service providers which my also provide us with business and compliance support.
We may also disclose details to relevant parties, as necessary, to comply with regulatory or legal requirements. We may contact you or pass your details to other companies associated with us in order to promote products or services which may be on interest to you. We will not otherwise use or disclose the personal information we hold without your consent.
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 its being processed by us in arranging and administering your insurances.
Subject to certain exceptions, you will be entitled to have access to your personal and sensitive personal data for which you will be charged a fee of £10. If at any time you wish us or any company associated with us, to cease processing any of the personal data or sensitive personal data we hold, or to cease contacting you about products and services please write to us.
Retention of Documentation
We will maintain records of the insurance contract(s) we arrange on your behalf and we will take appropriate steps to ensure that any money, documents, other property or information that we handle or hold for you is secure. Any placing and claims records will be kept in accordance with best practice within the insurance industry. We will automatically schedule records to be destroyed after these periods unless advised to do otherwise. You are advised to keep copies of documentation sent to or received from us (including this document) for your own protection. Please do consult us if you are in doubt on any aspect.
Language Used, Governing Law & Statutory Rights
The English language will be used for all communications, the contractual terms and conditions, and any information we are required to supply to you, before and during the duration of the contract. We undertake our activities as an insurance intermediary in accordance with the Laws of England and Wales and any disputes will be governed and construed in accordance with these laws.
Your normal Statutory Rights are not affected by this agreement.
If you have any questions about any aspect of our Terms of Business or our relationship with you, please contact us.
- Access to the FOS is available for complainants coming within one of the following categories at the time we receive their complaint:
- Consumers (eg. private individuals)
- Before 1st November 2009 - businesses with a group turnover of under £1 million.
- From 1st November 2009 - businesses emploing fewer than 10 persons and with a turnover or annual balance sheet not exceeding €2 million
- Charities with an annual income of under £1 million
- Trustees of a trust with a net asset value of under £1 million
- General insurance advice and arranging: unlimited (for business conducted on or after 14 January 2005). 90% of the claim with no upper limit. Compulsory insurance is protected in full. For more details visit the FSCS Insurance Limits page.
- Insurance Business: unlimited. 90% of the claim with no upper limit. Compulsory insurance is protected in full. For more details visit the FSCS Insurance Limits page