TERMS OF BUSINESS
1 Our Status:
OIS (UK) Ltd t/a Oak Insurance services is a specialist Insurance Intermediary and we are authorized and regulated by FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and bound by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Our FCA reference number is 313771 (you may check this on the FCA Register at www.fca.org.uk/register) and therefore we may act on your behalf as an agent to arrange your non-investment insurance contracts.
2 Accepting our Terms of Business:
By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurance requirements, you are providing your informed agreement to these Terms of Business. For your own benefit and protection, we advise that you should read these terms carefully. If you are unsure of any aspect of our Terms of Business or have any queries regarding our relationship with you then please contact our office as above.
3 Our Services:
We offer a wide range of insurance products with access to leading insurers and scheme providers in the market. We aim to offer the highest standards of service in establishing appropriate cover to meet your requirements and needs.
Our permitted business is introducing, advising, arranging and dealing as agent, assisting in the administration and performance of general insurance contracts and credit broking in relation to insurance related installments facilities. Having assessed your needs, we can advise you on your insurance requirements, arrange insurance cover with Insurers/Underwriters to meet those requirements, following your agreement. We will assist you with any on-going changes you wish to make during the course of your contract. We will ensure, as far as we are able, that the product(s) or service(s) we offer match your requirements. If it is not practical to match all your requirements, we will prove adequate detail so that you can make an informed decision as to how you should proceed.
4 Awareness of Policy Terms:
We strongly advise our clients to read their policy documents carefully to ensure that the details are correct and if there are any errors or omissions found then we should be notified immediately in order that we can inform the Insurer/Underwriter/Broker to rectify these. If you are not clear about the meaning of any particular part of the documentation then please call our office for clarification.
5 Our Product Range and the range of Insurers used:
We select personal and commercial insurances from a range of insurers/underwriters/brokers though for certain products we may 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 finalize your insurance requirements. At any time you may ask for a list of the insurers that we deal with in respect of your business.
We are in a position to assist with the finance of your annual premium via some Insurers or more often with Close Premium Finance. They will charge an interest for their services. We will be able to provide more accurate information at the time of the insurance is in place. Close Premium Finance will write to you following the placing of your business. If we propose using another intermediary to help place your business, we will confirm this to you in good time before any arrangements are finalized.
6 Market Security:
We will use reasonable endeavours to monitor the financial strength and security of the Insurers that we recommend to you however, we cannot guarantee the future ability of any Insurer/Underwriter/Broker to meet policyholder obligations and therefore the final decision of the suitability of any Insurer/Underwriter/Broker would rest with you the Client.
A liability for the premium, whether in full or pro-rata, may arise under policies where a participating Insurer becomes insolvent or delays making a claims settlement we do not accept liability for any unpaid amounts. If you have any concerns over the security offered, please contact us immediately.
7 Duty of Disclosure:
It is your responsibility to provide complete and accurate information to Insurers when you take out an Insurance policy throughout the duration of the policy and also when you renew your insurance. Failure to disclose any material information to your Insurer may invalidate your Insurance cover and may result in part of or all of your claim not being paid. It is important that you ensure that all
statements that you make on proposal forms or agree to on Statement of Facts, claim forms and other documents are true and accurate. If a form is completed on your behalf you should check that the answers shown to any questions are true and accurate before signing the document. You should inform us immediately of any changes in circumstances that may affect the services provided by us or the cover provided by your policy. If you are in any doubt about whether any information is material or not you should disclose it.
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 insurers cannot meet their 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 with no upper limit
• 100% of the claim without any upper limit for
o Compulsory classes of insurance (such as Third-Party Motor or Employers Liability); and
o ‘Pure protection’ contracts, professional indemnity insurance and general insurance claims arising from the death or incapacity of the policyholder due to injury, or sickness, or where the insurance intermediary has failed to pay money to an insurer, pay 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 FSCS on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100 or www.fscs.org.uk
9 Information on Costs:
We may apply charges to cover the administration of your insurance in the following circumstances:
Arranging a new policy and/or renewal, Mid-term adjustments and/or cancellation,
Replacement/duplicate or cover note, copy of policies requested by other parties, e.g. banks,
solicitors, lenders and recovering uninsured losses from third parties. These charges are in addition to
those that may be applied by Insurers, Underwriters or Issuing Agents.
On a return premium, we repay commission on the amount to your insurer and this will be deducted
from the final amount to you. If cover that we negotiated or arranged is transferred to another
intermediary, we reserve the right to charge a fee for our services. Such a fee will not exceed the
commission that we would have earned on arrangement of cover. See section (13).
10 Terms of Payment:
Our payment terms are as follows (unless specifically agreed by us in writing to the contrary):
New policies: immediate payment on or before the starting date of the policy.
Alterations to existing policies: immediate payment on or before the date of change.
Renewals: due in full by the renewal date.
We normally accept payment by the following terms:
• Credit/Debit card (a 2% charge may be made if this option is preferred, to cover our facility costs)
• Subject to status you may also be able to spread your payments through insurer installment
schemes or a credit scheme, which we have arranged with a finance provider on your behalf.
We will give you full information about your payments options when we discuss your
insurance in detail. Interest will be charged by the finance provider if this option is taken up.
• On certain occasions we may accept full premium payment to be divided by 3 consecutively dated cheques i.e. 01 January, 01 February, 01 March. We will not charge any interest for this facility. In the event that payment is not received from you in accordance with any the above terms, we will take whatever steps we deem necessary to mitigate our position including County Court proceedings, after due notice has been given. This may include cancellation of your policy/policies. This could invalidate your insurance cover and could mean that part or all of a claim may not be paid. A Time on Risk charge will also be made by Insurers, which will be passed on to you. This will be on top of any other charges incurred to redeem the outstanding premiums. County Court proceedings will involve extra costs and could lead to your black listing with other credit approving agencies.
11 Notification of Incidents:
It is essential that you immediately notify us of all incidents that may result in a claim against your insurance policy. You must do so whether you are liable or not. Any letter of 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. A delay in notification of a claim incident may result in prejudicing your claim and possibly invalidating it.
Your policy document will generally give you details on whom to contact in order to make a claim. If this information is not provided, or you require assistance, please contact us. We will then advise you as to what action is required and by whom. You will be required to provide full details of your claim. You will be advised as to how you should do this.
13 Cancellation of Insurance Policies:
You should make any request for the cancellation of a policy in writing and any Motor Insurance Certificates must be returned to us immediately. In the event of cancellation, charges for our services will apply. The terms and current circumstances of your policy may allow Insurers to retain the premium in full or to charge short-term premiums in the event of cancellation. We do not refund commission on return premiums or any installment charges that may have been made.
14 Termination of Authority:
You may terminate our authority to act on your behalf with 14 day notice or as otherwise agreed without penalty. Notice of this termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt. Termination is without prejudice to any transactions already initiated, which will be completed according to these terms of business unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any transactions or adjustments effective prior to termination and we will be entitled to retain any and all fees or brokerage payable in relation to policies placed by us prior to the date of termination.15 Confidentiality and Personal Data Protection:
All information we hold about you will be treated as confidential and kept securely. We will only use and disclose the information we have about you in the normal course of arranging and administering your insurance. We may pass information about you to credit reference agencies for the purpose of arranging payments by installment and also pass to them details of your payment record with us. We may also use the information we hold about you to provide you with information on other products and services we can offer, which we feel may be appropriate to you. If you do not wish to receive marketing information from us, or for us to disclose information about you to other parties for marketing purposes please write to us at the above address. Under the data protection Ace 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018, you have rights of access to any personal information we hold about you in our records. If you have any queries concerning this please contact us at the above address.
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 in any way, or with the levels of service we have provided, then you should contact our office within fourteen days by phone or in writing or email or in person. If you are still not satisfied by our response, you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (except in the case of commercial customers with a group annual turnover of £1,000,000 or more, or trustees with a net asset value of £1,000,000 or more. If we receive a complaint that does not relate to any general insurance product or activity or should more appropriately be referred to another organisation, we will advise you in writing within 5 working days. Wherever possible we will provide details of how your complaint should be redirected.
You will receive a quotation valid for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of issue of the quotation. which will tell you the total price to be paid and which identifies any fees, taxes and charges separately from the premium, before your insurance arrangements are concluded.
18 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 insurers 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 the FCA rules. Interest earned on monies held in such a Statutory Trust account will be retained by us. For some transactions, client money may pass thorough other authorised intermediaries before being paid to the insurer.
19 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 response 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 judgment of the insurer or that would put the insurer on notice that it needs to make further inquiries.
Examples of material circumstances are: Special or unusual circumstances relating to the risk; any particular concerns which lead you to seek insurance cover for the risk; and Anything which those concerned with the class of insurance and field of activity in questions 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 and 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 claims 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.
20 Governing Law:
This Terms of Business shall be governed by and construed in accordance with, the Laws of England and Wales and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.
21 Conflict of interest:
Occasions can arise where we, or one of our 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 insurances and we will detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment. Version (2) 25.05.2018
22 General Data Protection Regulation 2018