Terms of Business

The Regulator

UK Special Risks Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our Firms Reference Number is 300289. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk or by telephone to the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

About us

UK Special Risks Ltd is an independent Insurance Intermediary in respect of non-investment insurance and consumer credit.

Our Service

We offer a wide range of insurance products and have access to leading insurers in the marketplace. The advice we provide 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 where we do not give a fair and personal recommendation, 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 offered to you. We will explain the main features and benefits 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 to you after we have assessed your needs or advise you if we are unable to place your insurance. We will make it clear in our documentation prior to conclusion of the contract, those areas where we are acting as agent for the customer, the Insurer, or both. Quotations are usually valid for 30 days.

Terms of Payment

Unless agreed otherwise, full payment is due before inception; prior to renewal; on or before the date of any mid-term alteration. If you choose to pay your insurance premium using a finance provider your details will be passed onto them. We will provide you with a breakdown of the costs of your monthly instalments and subsequently a document outlining key features of their credit agreement with you, including any fees they apply and the cost of default charges. Please read these carefully as they contain important information in relation to the credit facility available from the finance provider. Credit is available subject to status. To use the finance provider’s facility, you must be resident in the UK, aged 18 years or over and hold a bank account capable of supporting direct debit payments. We will inform you if competitive credit terms are available through your insurer and you have the option of source your own credit facilities. When renewal is invited and the policy is paid by monthly direct debit, we will issue a notice to you; unless you advise us to the contrary, cover may be renewed automatically. If payment is not received from you, 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. If any direct debit or other payment due in respect of any credit agreement you enter into to pay insurance premiums is not met when presented for payment or if you end the credit agreement we will be informed and may be contractually obliged by the finance provider to notify your insurer to cancel the policy. Where we are not contractually obliged to do so by the finance provider, and you do not make other arrangements to pay the outstanding insurance premiums you acknowledge that we may, at any time after being informed of non-payment under the credit agreement, instruct the relevant insurer to cancel the insurance and to collect any refund of premiums and use these to offset the amount levied by the finance provider. If this amount is not sufficient to cover all our costs, we reserve the right to pursue any additional debt owed to us through due legal process. Any additional charges or costs incurred including those of the agency and any associated Court costs will be added to the debt.

Remuneration

Upon inception of a contract of insurance and again on its amendment or renewal we will advise you of the nature and source of our remuneration in relation to the contract of insurance. Our remuneration may be derived from a fee paid by you to us; or from commission paid to us by insurers included in the total premium; or a combination of both; or any other type of remuneration given in connection with the insurance contract.

You are entitled, at any time, to request information regarding the amount of commission which we receive 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 if you require further information. Where you choose to pay your premium by instalments, we may use a scheme operated by your insurer, or introduce you to Premium Credit Ltd or Close Brothers. We may receive a commission for introducing you to them. Where this could affect our impartiality in recommending a particular product or have a material impact on your decision to proceed, we will advise you.

Charges

In addition to the amount charged by insurers we may also make charges to cover the administration of your insurance. Dependent upon the type of policy and the work involved we will charge a broker fee and if this is a policy we have underwritten we will charge an underwriting fee. Fees are non-refundable and may be subject to change. The actual amount of any fee will be notified to you before you commit to purchasing the product. Where we arrange low or non-commission paying products, we may charge a fee in lieu of commission not exceeding 40% of the premium and will advise you of the actual amount at the time of quotation or renewal. Any applicable insurance premium tax will be shown on the documentation we provide to you. Other taxes, costs, or both, may apply which are not paid through, or imposed by us.

Client Money

Any payment we receive from you will be held by us to pay insurers on your behalf, in a Non-Statutory Trust Client Money Bank Account held with Barclays. In some cases, by virtue of agreements we hold with insurers, the payment we receive will be held on behalf of the insurer with whom we arrange your policy as their agent. This means that any payment you make to us will be regarded as having been paid to the provider. Refunds of premiums are treated as received by you when they are paid over to you. This is known as Risk Transfer. By operating a Non-Statutory Trust we are permitted to, and may use, such monies to cross-fund clients’ premiums and claims. We settle premiums to insurers after deduction of our commission and in accordance with the terms of our Agreements with those insurers but we will not withdraw our commission until we have received the premium from you. We maintain systems and controls to ensure that we monitor and manage client money transactions and any credit risk arising from the operation of the trust arrangement. No interest will be payable to customers in respect of the client account; any interest earned will be retained by us. We may pass the money you pay us to another intermediary. We will only do this where it is a necessary part of the process of arranging cover for you. Where this includes intermediaries outside the UK, the legal and regulatory regime may be different from that of the UK. In the event of the intermediary failing, money may be treated differently than if it was held by an intermediary in the UK. By instructing us to place insurance on your behalf you give your informed consent to these Client Money procedures. If there are any matters which you do not understand, or do not accept, you should discuss them with us before proceeding.

Duty to Take Reasonable Care (for consumer customers only)

Under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representation) Act 2012 it is your duty a consumer to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to an Insurer. A consumer is defined as an individual who enters into an insurance contract wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to their trade, business or profession. A failure by a consumer to comply with an insurer’s 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 that 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. If a form is completed on your behalf, by signing any document you acknowledge that the information contained therein is fully accurate and complete.

Under the act, an insurer has a remedy against a consumer in respect of qualifying misrepresentations in breach of the consumer’s duty of reasonable care where the insurer deems the misrepresentation to be either deliberate, reckless or careless. If you are in any doubt in relation to your duty to take reasonable care and qualifying representations, please contact us immediately.

Duty of Fair Presentation (for commercial 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 may require you to obtain information from Senior Managers within your organisation or other parties to which the insurance relates. 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 must be made in good faith. If you fail to make a fair presentation of the risk this could 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 null and void by the Insurer with no refund of premium.

If you are in any doubt in relation to material circumstances and/or your duty to take reasonable care please contact us immediately.

Solvency of Insurers

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, should an Insurer become insolvent.

Complaints

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 make a complaint you may do so:

Should you remain dissatisfied with our final response, you may be entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Further details will be supplied at the time we respond to your complaint. Information about the FOS is available at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme – depending upon the type and circumstances of the claim – if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends upon the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available at www.fscs.org.uk

Financial Crime

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 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 to be influenced in respect of undue payments or privileges from or to insurers or clients.

Cancellation

Your policy document details any cancellation rights, known as a “cooling-off” period. 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. If you cancel your policy within this period and the terms of the policy allow, you may receive a refund of your premium. Usually, the Insurer will make a charge for the time the policy was ‘on risk’ however, in some instances a full years’ premium will be payable and there will be no refund. We may also apply an administration charge for cancelling your policy (see Charges). You may need to return the insurance certificate and any other official documents within 14 days together with your written instructions to cancel the policy.

Refunds

Where a policy is cancelled mid-term, 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 paid in full upon inception of the policy. This means that no refund will be paid if the policy is cancelled during the term. In view of the cost involved in making changes to your policy, we will not issue refunds of less than £50

Confidentiality & Data Protection

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 personal data, together with details of any third parties with whom it may be necessary to share that data in order to fulfil the insurance contract; data retention periods; data security and your rights under the General Data protection Regulations (GDPR) can be found in our Privacy Notice available on our website https://ukspecialrisks.co.uk/privacy-notice/. For training and monitoring purposes calls may be recorded.

Limitations & Exclusions of Our Liability

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 acts or omissions of our senior management, employees and any appointed representatives shall be limited to £3m per claim and in the aggregate. 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

General

These Terms of Business supersede all prior arrangements between us relating to our appointment as your agent and constitute an offer by us to act on your behalf in the arranging and administration of your insurance. 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 of Business shall be governed by the Laws of England and Wales or Scotland and the parties agree herewith that any dispute arising out of it shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the relevant court.

In the absence of any other specific instructions from you to us, by conducting business with us you are indicating your acceptance of the above terms and conditions.