TERMS OF BUSINESS

Applying to general Insurance customers – We recommend that you carefully read these terms that apply to our appointment by you and the services we provide.

Castle Insurance Services (North East) Ltd 15 Marshall Terrace, Gilesgate, Durham DH1 2HX Tel: 0191 3830401

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OUR SERVICE

LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSION OF OUR LIABILITY

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

YOUR DUTY TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION

FINANCIAL CRIME

COMMUNICATIONS / DOCUMENTS

CANCELLATION

COMPLAINTS

FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME (FSCS)

PREMIUMS AND FINANCIAL ASPECTS

CHARGES

REMUNERATION

REFUNDS

CONFIDENTIALITY AND DATA PROTECTION

NOTIFICATION OF INCIDENTS/CLAIMS

TERMINATION OF OUR AUTHORITY TO ACT ON YOUR BEHALF

GENERAL

Castle Insurance Services (North East) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an insurance intermediary. Our firm reference number (FRN) is 501457. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk or by telephoning the FCA on 0800 111 6768.  We offer a wide range of insurance products and have access to leading insurers in the marketplace. The advice given by the firm is on a personal recommendation based on a fair and personal analysis of the market, however for some types of insurance we deal predominantly with a single or limited number of insurers which we have selected as offering value for money and quality service. In circumstances which the firm does not give a personal recommendation on the basis of a fair and personal analysis, we will provide you with the name of the insurers which the firm may and does conduct business with. We will give you details of these arrangements before you make any commitment on any product we offer you. We will explain the main features of the products cover and benefits, any unusual restrictions or exclusions, any significant conditions or obligations and the period of cover. We will make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your needs or advise you if we are unable to place your insurance. In some circumstances we provide information only and do not therefore make a personal recommendation.  The documentation we provide will make it clear whether the sale is provided on an advised or non-advised basis.  We will also make clear in our documentation prior to conclusion of the contract areas where we are acting as agent for the customer, the insurer or both. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of Consumer Credit. 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.

The following provisions set out our entire financial liability to you.

You acknowledge and agree that you shall only be entitled to make a claim against us and not against any individual employee or consultant engaged by us. Our liability for losses suffered by you arising under or in connection with the provision of our services, whether  in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise (including our liability for the acts or omissions of our senior management, employees and any appointed representatives shall be limited in all circumstances to £5,000,000 per claim,  however, our liability for multiple negligence claims arising out of one single cause, is limited to an aggregate amount of £5.000.0000. Any claim or series of claims arising from one act, error, omission, incident, or original cause shall be considered to be one claim. We shall not be liable to you for any loss of profit or loss of business whether directly or indirectly occurring and which arises out of or in connection with the provision of our services.  Nothing in this paragraph shall exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or for loss by our fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation or breach of regulatory obligations owed to you.  You are welcome to contact us to discuss increasing the limitations of our liability and or varying the exclusions set out above.  

(consumer customers only)  Under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representation) Act 2012 it is 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.

(non-consumer customers only) It is your responsibility to provide a fair presentation of the insurance risk based on you conducting a reasonable search for information. This could require you to obtain information from senior managers within your organisation or other parties to which the insurance relates or who carry out outsource functions for your business.  You must disclose every material circumstance which you know or ought to know, or failing that, disclose sufficient information 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.

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 Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) HM Treasury consolidated list of Financial Sanctions Targets in the UK as part of the information gathering process. We are obliged to report to the National Crime Agency and/or Serious Fraud Office 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.

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. If documents are issued by electronic means or via an internet portal, paper documents are available free of charge on request.

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. 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 Charges section. To enable your insurer to process the cancellation, you will need to return certificates and any official documents to our office within 30 days of your notice to cancel.

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:

In writing to the Complaints Manager Mr RP Younger By telephone on 0191 3830401 By e-mail at info@castleinsuranceservices.co.uk In person by visiting our office (addresses above)

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

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.

Our payment terms are as follows (unless specifically agreed by us in writing to the contrary):

New policies: immediate payment on or before the inception date of the policy.  Alterations  to  existing policies: immediate  payment on or before the effective date of the change

Renewals: due in full before the renewal date.  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.

When renewal is invited and the policy is paid by monthly direct debit, we will issue a notice to you. To ensure you are not left without cover, the absence of a response to this notice will be deemed as your consent to cover being renewed automatically.

We can accept payment by cheque, cash, and credit/debit card. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ instalment schemes (varying according to insurer,  written details on request), a credit scheme with a third party finance provider, or by three consecutive monthly payments – payable to us commencing the inception date and due the same date for the next two months.  A charge will be made per instalment depending on premium and will be advised at the time of quotation. These charges will not be included in any cancellation refunds.

Where you choose to pay your premium by instalments, we may use a scheme operated by your insurer, or we may use a Finance Provider selected from a limited panel, and we may receive a commission for introducing you to them. We will give you full information about your payment options when we discuss your insurance in detail. We may keep certain documents, such as your insurance policy documents or Certificate, while we are waiting for full payment of premiums.  In these circumstances, we will ensure that you receive full details of your insurance cover and will provide you with any documents that you are required to have by law.

Protecting your money: Prior to your premium being forwarded to the insurer (or forwarded to you in the event of a premium refund) we hold your money as an agent of the insurer with which we arrange your insurance. Where we hold premium as the agent of the insurer it is regarded as received by the insurer. We may transfer your premiums to the insurer through another party, such as a broker or underwriting agent for the purposes of effecting a transaction.

In addition to the amount charged by insurers we may also make charges to cover the administration of your insurance up to. Any applicable insurance premium tax will be shown on the documentation we provide you. These fees are non-refundable                      

New Business                          £50.00 

Renewal                                   £25.00

Mid Term Adjustments            £25.00

Lost papers or documents      £10.00 

Temporary change                  £25.00

Where we arrange low or non-commission paying products, we will charge an arrangement fee not exceeding 25% of the premium and will advise you of the actual amount at the time of quotation or renewal These fees may be subject to change.  Where there are changes, we will confirm this clearly and the actual amount will always be disclosed to you before you commit to purchasing the product. To the extent that it is not possible for an amount to be given, the firm will provide the basis for its calculation.

In good time before the conclusion of the initial contract of insurance and if necessary, on its amendment or a renewal the firm will advise you: 

  • On the nature/type of remuneration the firm received in relation to the contract of insurance

  • In relation to the contract of insurance the basis/source of the remuneration

  • The basis of a combination of any type of remuneration set out below:

  1. A fee that is remuneration paid directly by you to the firm or;       

  2. A commission of any kind that is a remuneration included in the premium or;    

  3. Any other type of remuneration including an economic benefit of any kind offered or given in connection with the contract.

As insurance brokers our remuneration may be as a fee agreed with you or from commission paid to us by insurers based on the amount they charge you. You are entitled, at any time, to request further information regarding the amount of any commission which we may have received as a result of placing or renewing your insurance cover.  We take any commission once we receive your payment as cleared funds and prior to payment of the premium to the insurer. We may occasionally receive additional remuneration from certain insurers for insurance policies we place with them, finance providers, claims management services and others. Please ask us should you require further information.  Where you choose to pay your premium by instalments, we may use a scheme operated by your insurer, or we may use a Finance Provider selected from a limited panel, and we may receive a commission for introducing you to them. The firm will advise the customer of any commission payable by the lender in relation to a credit agreement where knowledge of the existence or amount of commission could affect the impartiality of the firm in recommending a particular product or have a material impact on the customers transactional decision

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 £25.

We are a data controller for the information you provide to us including individual, identification and financial details, policy history and special category data (such as medical or criminal history). Details of our legal basis for processing your information, along with details of any third-party recipient whom it may be necessary to share your personal data with, in order to fulfil the contract, retention period for data held, security of your data, your rights under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) including the right to complain can be found in our full ‘Privacy Notice’ which can be viewed on our website at www.castleinsuranceservices.co.uk/privacy-policy

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.

You or we may terminate our authority to act on your behalf by providing at least 14 days’ notice in writing (or such other period we agree). Termination is without prejudice to any transactions already initiated by you, which will be completed according to these terms of business unless we agree otherwise in writing.  You will remain liable to pay for any transactions or adjustments effective prior to termination and we shall be entitled to retain any and all commission and/or fees payable in relation to insurance cover placed by us prior to the date of written termination. 

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  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.

Version 17 –  Feb 2021 

Download our Terms of Business here