Terms of Business
Accepting our Terms of Business: By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurances, you are providing your informed agreement to these Terms of Business. We draw your particular attention to:
The section headed ‘Use of personal data’, specifically the paragraph explaining how ‘sensitive personal data’ will be used and the sub-section titled ‘Credit checks’;
The section headed ‘Handling money’, which explains our terms for handling client money in a Non-Statutory Trust account
For your own benefit and protection, you should read these terms carefully. If you are unsure about any aspect of our Terms of Business or have any questions regarding our relationship with you, please contact us at the above address.
The Financial Conduct Authority: Northern Risk Solutions are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), registration number is 305140. Our permitted business is introducing, advising, arranging, dealing as agent, and assisting in the administration and performance of general insurance contracts and credit broking and debt administration in relation to insurance instalment facilities. You can check this on the FCA’s register by visiting the FCA’s website or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.
Our Service: Our role is to advise you and, after we have assessed your needs, to make a suitable recommendation. In some circumstances we do not provide advice and we will therefore confirm in separate documentation whether or not any advice or recommendation has been made before finalising your insurances.
Where appropriate we are able to offer the insurers own direct debit facilities. We also are able to offer an independent instalment facility with Premium Credit Ltd., in order to pay the insurance premium by regular premiums, we do not offer advice in relation to this but we may ask some questions to narrow down the selection of options available; you will then need to make your own choice about how to proceed.
We select personal and commercial insurances from a range of insurers, but for certain products, we only select products from a limited number of insurers or only offer products from a single insurer. We will give you further information about this before we finalise your insurance 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 do not guarantee the solvency of any insurer we place business with.
Complaints: It is our intention to provide you with the highest level of customer service at all times, however, if you should feel dissatisfied with your insurance cover or the level of service provided please contact us at the above address. We will follow our complaint handling procedures: A summary of these procedures is available upon request. If you are still not satisfied, you may be entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). For further information you can visit the FOS website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Access to the FOS is available for complainants coming within one of the following categories at the time we receive their complaint:
Consumers (private individuals acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual's trade, business, craft, or profession)
Businesses employing fewer than 10 persons with a turnover or annual balance sheet total 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
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for our insurance mediation activities. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. If you are eligible to claim from the FSCS, compensation is available in relation to insurance advising and arranging as follows:
90% of the claim, without any upper limit;
100% of the claim without any upper limit for
compulsory classes of insurance (such as Third Party Motor or Employers Liability); and
‘pure protection’ contracts, professional indemnity insurance, and general insurance claims arising from the death or incapacity of the policyholder owing to injury, sickness or infirmity, all where the insurance intermediary has failed to pay money to an insurer, pay away money it has received from an insurer, or has failed to take steps to allow the insurer to effect the contract of insurance.
Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS on 0800 678 1100 (freephone) or 020 7741 4100 or www.fscs.org.uk.
Payment for our services: We normally receive commission from insurers, product providers and where applicable finance providers. We also charge you for handling your insurances which are on display in our office and will be disclosed to you prior to the conclusion of a contract. For commercial customers in good time before the conclusion of each insurance contract, or upon renewal, we will remind you of your right to be informed of the level of commission which we receive from underwriters. You are entitled, at any time, to request information regarding any commission which we may have received as a result of placing your insurance business.
We also draw your attention to the sections headed ‘Cancellation of insurances’ and ‘Ending your relationship with us’.
Handling money: 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 premiums and handling refunds due to clients In these circumstances such monies are deemed to be held by the insurer(s) with which your insurance is arranged. However, if Risk Transfer does not apply, such monies will be held by us in a Statutory Trust account set up in accordance with FCA rules. Interest earned on monies held in such a Statutory Trust account will be retained by us. For the purpose of some transactions, client money may pass through other authorised intermediaries before being paid to the insurer.
Cancellation: You should make any request for the cancellation of a policy in writing and any relevant certificate of insurance must be returned to us or to the insurer concerned. Consumer clients have a cooling period of 14 days in which they will not be charged providing there is no pending or actual claims. In the event of cancellation, charges for our services will apply in accordance with our Payment of Our Services section, however, we will retain commission and/or fee which will be notified to you prior to finalising your instructions. 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 expires.
Ending your relationship with us: Subject to your immediate settlement of any outstanding premiums and fees, you may instruct us to stop acting for you and we will not impose a penalty. Your instructions must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt.
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. You will be liable to pay for any transactions concluded prior to the end of our relationship and we will be entitled to retain commission received for conducting these transactions, together with all fees charged by us for services provided.
Your responsibilities: If you are a consumer, you are responsible for answering any questions in relation to any proposal for insurance cover honestly and to the best of your knowledge, providing complete and accurate information which insurers will require. This also applies to your responses in relation to any assumptions you may agree to in the process of applying for insurance cover. This is particularly important before taking out a policy but also at renewal or if you make a mid-term amendment to your policy. If you fail to disclose information, or misrepresent any fact which may influence the insurer’s decision to accept the risk or the terms offered, this could invalidate the policy and mean that claims may not be paid.
If you are a commercial customer you have a duty to give a fair presentation of risk to the insurer. This means that you should disclose every material circumstance relevant to the risk being insured following a reasonable search within your business to identify and verify such information. This should include information which you and where applicable your senior management, persons responsible for arranging your insurance or other relevant third parties know or ought to know and should include all information that would influence the judgement of the insurer or that would put the insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries.
Examples of material circumstances are:
Special or unusual circumstances relating to the risk;
Any particular concerns which led you to seek insurance cover for the risk; and
Anything which those concerned with the class of insurance and field of activity in question would generally understand as being something that would be dealt with in a fair presentation of risks for this type of insurance.
The information must be presented in a way which would be reasonably clear and accessible to a prudent insurer. If you are unsure whether to disclose any information you should speak to us. You need to take into account the size & complexity of your business, and allow yourself sufficient time before your renewal date to consider and / or assess your insurance requirements.
Failure to provide a ‘fair representation’ may result in a number of remedies by the insurer. If the breach was deliberate or reckless the insurer can void the contract and keep the premium. If the breach was not deliberate or reckless the insurer can void the contract, proportionately reduce a claim settlement or amend the insurance policy terms and conditions then review the merits of a claim on this basis.
You should therefore always provide complete and accurate information to us when we ask you about the insurance risks your business faces before taking out a policy, at renewal and throughout the life of the policy. This also applies to your responses in relation to any assumptions you may agree to in the process of applying for insurance cover.
You must check all details on any proposal form or Statement of Facts and pay particular attention to any declaration you may be asked to sign. It is important that you read all insurance documents issued to you and ensure that you 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 or mean that claims may not be paid.
You must inform us immediately of any changes in circumstances which may affect the services provided by us or the cover provided by your policy.
If you are unsure about any matter, please contact us for guidance.
Confidentiality and Data Protection: All information about you and your business will be treated as private and confidential. We will only use and disclose the information we have about you in the normal course of arranging and administrating your insurance and arranging premium finance. 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 data which we do not charge. 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 product and services please write to us at the above address.
We, and other firms involved in arranging your insurance (insurers, other intermediaries or premium finance companies) may use public and personal data from a variety of sources including credit reference agencies and other organisations. The information is used to help tailor a price, to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you and to help prevent fraud. Any credit reference search will appear on your credit report whether or not your application proceeds. If you have any questions about this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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.
Notification of Incidents/Claims: It is essential that you notify us immediately of all incidents or circumstances that may result in a claim against your insurance policy. You must do so whether you believe you are liable or not. Any correspondence received by you relating to a claim should be passed to us immediately, without acknowledgement.
Awareness of Policy Terms - When your policy is issued, you are strongly advised to read it carefully, as it is that document, the schedule & any certificate of insurance that is the basis of the insurance contract you have purchased. If you are in doubt over any of the policy terms & conditions, please seek our advice immediately.
Terms of Payment: New Policies - Immediate payment on the inception date of the policy. Mid-term adjustments - Payment within seven days of the alteration. Renewals - payment due by the renewal date. Payments can be made in either cash or cheque.
It is essential that the above payment terms are met in order that the insurer may be paid within their given credit periods. Failure to pay within these credit periods may result in the cancellation of a policy. Any return premium due from the insurer will be refunded only once it is received by Northern Risk Solutions and the funds have cleared in the account. Any amount of interest earned from a trust account is retained by Northern Risk Solutions.
Where a policy has been arranged with an insurer via another broker, then the premium received from the client will be forwarded to the broker who will in turn settle it to the insurer.
Debt Recovery: If for any reason you default on a payment of any kind, we will hold you liable for our debt recovery costs. If any direct debit or other payment due in respect of the credit agreement you enter into with Premium Credit Limited (PCL) to pay insurance premiums is not met when presented for payment or if you end the credit agreement with PCL or if you do not enter into a credit agreement with PCL we will be informed of such events by PCL. If you do not make other arrangements with us to pay the insurance premiums you acknowledge and agree that we may, at any time after being so informed, instruct on your behalf the relevant insurer to cancel the insurance (or, if this occurs shortly after the start or renewal of the insurance, to notify the insurer that the policy has not been taken up) and to collect any refund of premiums which may be made by the insurer and if any money is owed to PCL under your credit agreement pay it to PCL or if PCL have debited us with the amount outstanding use it to offset our costs. You will be responsible for paying any time on risk charge and putting in place any alternative insurance and/or payment arrangements you need.
Our liability to you: Northern Risk Solutions shall only be liable to you for any reasonably foreseeable losses, damages, costs or expenses arising directly from breach of contract, breach of duty or fault, negligence or otherwise, in connection with this Engagement. Northern Risk Solutions shall not be liable to you in any circumstances for any special, indirect or consequential loss.
The liability of Northern Risk Solutions whether in contract or in tort, in negligence, for breach of statutory duty or otherwise in respect of any claim or series of claims shall not exceed the lesser of £2,000,000 or the amount, if any, recoverable by Northern Risk Solutions by way of indemnity against the claim or claims in question under professional indemnity insurance taken out by Northern Risk Solutions and in force at the time that the claims or (if earlier) circumstances are reported to the Insurers in question.
In respect of any loss suffered by you, for which Northern Risk Solutions and any other party are (on any basis) liable, the liability of Northern Risk Solutions shall be limited so as to be proportionate to the relative contribution of Northern Risk Solutions to the overall fault giving rise to the loss in question.
The preceding three paragraphs shall not apply to any liability arising as a result of fraud or wilful default on the part of Northern Risk Solutions nor to any liability which cannot lawfully be excluded or limited, nor to the extent that the exclusion or restrictions of such liability would not be permitted by virtue of the FCA’s regulatory requirements.
If the performance of any part of the Engagement by any party is prevented, restricted or delayed by reason of any cause beyond the reasonable control of that party (including (without limitation) fire, flood and other Act of God, industrial action including strike and lock out, riots, war, armed conflict, trade sanctions, contamination, disease and epidemic, interruption or failure of a utility service, failure of computer or other machinery, and change in law or regulatory requirements) the party so affected shall, upon giving written notice to the other party or parties, be excused from such performance to the extent of such prevention, restriction or delay, provided that the affected party shall use commercially reasonable endeavours to avoid or remove such causes of non-performance or to find an alternative manner or means of performance and shall continue performance as soon as reasonably practicable after such causes are removed. Upon such circumstances arising, the parties shall discuss what, if any, modifications of the terms of this Engagement may be required in order to arrive at an equitable solution.