About us
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About us3

Terms of Business

GENERAL INSURANCE TERMS OF BUSINESS

AVAILABILITY - You can download a copy of this document here.

LANGUAGE USED - 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.

APPLICABLE LAW - This Terms of Business is subject to English Law and the jurisdiction of the English Courts.

THE REGULATOR - The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an independent watchdog that regulates financial services.

The FCA has authorised Cotters Insurance Services Ltd to advise, arrange, deal in and assist with the placing and administration of all types of General Insurance policies and Pure Protection policies. We are also authorised by the FCA to undertake certain Consumer Credit activities. Our FCA Register number is 308455 and you can check our status and permissions on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND DATA PROTECTION - We aim to process your data responsibly, fairly and in strict accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) effective from 25th May 2018 and the Data Protection Act 2018. These regulations require wider disclosure of compliance than the previous DPA, including (but not limited to):

Our lawful bases of processing;

  • The information we collect and how we use and share that information;
  • How long we keep information for, including the purposes (e.g. administer your policy);
  • The technical and organisational measures we have in place to safeguard your information;
  • Your individual rights; and
  • Our approach to marketing

To enable you to easily access details on the areas listed above, we issue a separate Privacy Notice. This forms part of the correspondence we provide to you when you take out your policy and again is included when we communicate with you about the renewal of a policy; alternatively, a copy can be found at www.cotters.co.uk

It is vitally important to take time to read this document carefully as it contains full details of the basis on which we will process (such as collecting, using, sharing, transferring) and store your information. It is also your obligation to ensure you show this notice to all parties related to this insurance arrangement. If you have given us information about someone else, you are deemed to have their permission to do so.

If you have any questions, including requesting a copy of the privacy notice, or require any further information about our approach to the GDPR you can e-mail insurance@cotters.co.uk or write to our Compliance Officer, Park House, Sandy Way, Grange Park, Northampton, NN4 5EJ

MARKETING - Separately we will always ask for your permission (consent) to contact you, including the means to contact you (such as by phone, or e-mail, SMS text, or post) to tell you about;

a) new products or services we have or are developing;
b) trialing products and services which we think may improve our service to you or our business processes;

We will typically ask for your permission when you first contact us, but you will maintain the right to easily withdraw your consent whenever you wish (unsubscribe).

We will regularly review your consent to check that your relationship with us and the processing and the purposes have not changed.

We will have processes in place to refresh your consent at appropriate intervals, including any parental consents and act on withdrawals of consent (unsubscribe) as soon as we can and not penalise you if you choose not to give or later choose to withdraw your consent.

OUR SERVICE - We are an independent insurance intermediary, who acts on our customers’ behalf in arranging insurance; we will advise you separately prior to the commencement of each contract if this alters. Our services include: advising you on your insurance needs, arranging your insurance cover with insurers to meet your requirements, and helping you with any ongoing changes you have to make. As part of our service, we will assist you with any claim you need to make and tell you what your responsibilities are in relation to making claims.

If you mislay your policy at any time, we will issue a replacement policy document, if you request it.

Whose products we offer

We usually offer advice from a range of insurers, representing a fair analysis of the market, however, under certain circumstances we may only deal with a limited panel, or single insurer. We will confirm, for each individual policy we provide you with, the basis of our advice. In certain circumstances we will use the services of another intermediary to place your insurance and in these circumstances we will state the name of the intermediary we use and the name of the risk carrier in the form of “underwritten by”

The service we will provide you with for

Motor Legal Expenses policies arranged with Auto Legal Protection Services Ltd we will not give advice as to the suitability of the product. For all other products we will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your demands and needs. This may include checking information that we already hold about you and your existing insurance arrangements with us and other parties. Our advice will be confirmed in a demands & needs and suitability statement, giving reasons for our recommendation.

WHAT YOU WILL PAY FOR OUR SERVICES - We usually receive a commission from the insurer with whom we place your business. We also receive commission for arranging finance agreements for the payment of premiums and we may also receive commission or fees for passing introductions to other professionals. In addition, we may charge a fee to commercial customers which will be based on the individual circumstances of the case. The breakdown of the fee to be charged will be provided in writing to the commercial customer prior to making a commitment and detailed as a separate item in the relevant correspondence if cover is issued.

For consumers we may charge an administration fee of up to £100 for arranging or renewing your general insurance, and this will be advised to you before any commitment to purchase a policy is made. The specific charge and purpose of any additional charges will always be advised to you in advance.

Occasionally we may arrange a policy on which we earn no commission (a ‘net-premium policy’) and in these cases we will advise you of the arrangement fee before you take the policy out. Specific charges, which apply to individual policies, will be advised to you prior to the commencement of each contract applicable to that policy.

Prior to the conclusion of each insurance contract, or upon renewal, we will remind commercial policyholders of their right to be advised 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. Return premiums, for all customers, will be refunded to you net of our commission

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT - Our aim is to provide a first class service, however, if you need to make a complaint, please contact us either in writing to The Compliance Manager, Cotters Insurance Services Ltd, Park House, 4 Sandy Way, Grange Park, Northampton, NN4 5EJ or by Telephone 01604 666777.

We will respond to you promptly and provide you with a copy of our full complaints procedure. We will endeavour to resolve the matter by no later than the close of business on the third working day following receipt. If this is not possible, we will investigate further, keeping you reasonably informed as to progress and aim to provide a final response no later than 8 weeks.

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.

The FOS Consumer Helpline is on 0800 023 4567 (normally free for people phoning from a "fixed line" (for example, a landline at home) - but charges may apply if you call from a mobile phone.

Alternatively you can contact The Financial Ombudsman Service at Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR.

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

CANCELLATION - Please contact us if you wish to cancel any policy that we have arranged for you. Customers acting outside their trade or profession (Consumers) will usually have a legal right to cancel policies for any reason, subject to no claims having occurred, within 14 days of receiving the full terms & conditions. You will always be advised where this Right applies. A charge may apply for the period of cover provided and, in addition, an administration charge may apply. Consumers who cancel under this right must do so in writing, prior to expiry of the 14-day cancellation period, to our usual office address.

FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME (FSCS) - We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). You may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Full details and further information are available from the FSCS. The FSCS is the UK’s statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms, like us. The FSCS can pay compensation 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. Insurance advising and arranging is covered for 90% of the claim, without an upper limit. For compulsory insurances (for example, motor insurance and employers’ liability insurance), insurance advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, without an upper limit. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS.

PAYMENT OPTIONS - We normally accept payment by cheque or the following credit/debit cards – Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ instalment schemes or a credit scheme, which we have arranged with an established insurance premium finance provider. We will give you full information about your payment options and the appropriate finance agreement including interest charges, when we discuss your insurance in detail. Please note that we only use Close Premium Finance and Premium Credit for the provision of premium finance facilities. Please Note: Your policy cover will cease if you fail to keep up payments on an instalment agreement or premium finance facility related to it.

INFORMATION ON TREATMENT OF PAYMENTS MADE TO US - Under the terms of our agreements with the Insurance companies with whom we place business, we normally receive premiums you pay to us as Agent of the Insurer. In certain circumstances you may have the additional protection of insurance companies accepting that monies paid to us are treated as being received by them (Risk Transfer) Please ask for details. All insurance premiums you pay to us are protected in a Statutory

Trust Client Bank Account until we pay insurers. By holding your money in a statutory trust client bank account this means that in the event that this firm becomes insolvent your money remains protected. We do not pay any interest on premiums held by us in the course of arranging and administering your insurance. In arranging your insurance we may employ the services of other intermediaries who are regulated by the FCA and your premium may be passed to these intermediaries for payment to insurers.

YOUR DUTY TO GIVE INFORMATION

FOR CONSUMERS “an individual who enters into the contract wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to the individual’s trade, business or profession”
Your duty to give information - When applying for or amending your insurance policy, we and / or your insurer will ask a number of questions to assess the risk prior to agreeing cover. It is your duty to ensure that you answer all questions raised by insurers or us honestly and reasonably. These questions are designed to enable us or the insurer to obtain a comprehensive picture of the nature of the risk to be insured, and only by asking such questions and receiving answers which are given honestly and with reasonable care, can we or the insurer be in a position to offer terms which are designed to meet your demands and needs.

The reason why this is extremely important is that if you fail to tell us or the insurer something when asked, or, if you answer carelessly or act deliberately or recklessly in making misrepresentations when answering questions, your policy may leave you with no insurance protection; insurers may not pay a part or all of your claim and may cancel your policy. You may find it difficult to re-arrange cover because you did not tell an insurer everything when asked, and you will have to disclose this fact when you re-apply for insurance. FAILURE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS HONESTLY AND REASONABLY, WHEN ASKED, MAY LEAVE YOU WITH NO COVER AND A CLAIM NOT PAID.

FOR COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS “an insured who enters into the contract wholly or mainly for purposes related to trade, business or profession”

Your duty to give information - It is important that you understand your duty to provide all materially important information, fully, completely and accurately to us and your insurers not only when you take out your insurance, but also throughout the life of your arrangement, at the annual renewal or at any other time when changes occur.

Materially important information is any information that could influence an insurer’s decision to accept your risk including the cost of your insurance. For example, details of previous insurance claims that you have made, or reported. Personal information about you, such as Criminal Convictions (you have a duty to give this information even when the insurance relates to a business and not you). General information about the risk, such as the construction of a building, (for example, concrete floor, timber frame with brick, stone, and a slate roof) if you are not sure how much information to provide or do not understand the question please ask.

The reason why this is extremely important is that if you fail to tell us something, your policy could leave you with no insurance protection; insurers may not pay any claims and could cancel your policy. You will find it difficult to re-arrange cover because you did not tell an insurer everything, and you will have to disclose this fact when you re-apply for insurance. FAILURE TO DISCLOSE THESE FACTS MAY LEAVE YOU WITH NO COVER AND A CLAIM NOT PAID.

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