Wedding Insurance Group - Terms of Business
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The only insurer in the UK dedicated to
providing the widest insurance cover for
the wedding industry

THESE TERMS OF BUSINESS APPLY UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED IN WRITING

Wedding Insurance Group and Abbeyfields Insurance are trading names of Abbeyfields Services West Midlands Limited.

Website: http://www.weddinginsurancegroup.co.uk
Email: info@weddinginsurancegroup.co.uk
Website: http://www.abbeyfieldsinsurance.co.uk
Email: info@abbeyfieldsinsurance.co.uk Telephone: 0121 550 2380 / 0800 699 0659

The regulator

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an independent watchdog that regulates financial services. Our Financial Services Register number is 556042 and you can check our status and permissions at https://register.fca.org.uk/ or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

Our activities

The FCA has authorised us to advise, arrange, deal in and assist with the placing and administration of all types of General Insurance policies.

We are also authorised to undertake the following Consumer Credit Activities:

  • Credit Broking (where we act as a Credit Broker).

Our service

We can act both as agent of insurer, and on behalf of you, the customer. We have in place management controls to deal with any conflicts of interest that might arise. Unless we advise you otherwise, we are acting on your behalf. We also act on behalf of insurers when collecting premiums under risk transfer (see section titled ‘Money’). We will ask questions to enable us to assess reasonably your insurance requirements; this may include checking information that we already hold about you and your existing insurance arrangements with us and other parties.

Where we provide you with advice and guidance, after assessing what you want and need and recommend a suitable policy based on our experience of dealing with similar risks this will be deemed as an advised sale. Where we provide you with information only including single insurer scheme products, you will need to make your own choice, as we will not provide you with any advice or specific recommendations. This is deemed a non-advised sale. We will confirm to you the level of service we are providing as part of our sales process. In all cases our service will include arranging and administering your insurance, including helping you with on going changes. If we use the services of another intermediary to place your insurance we will advise you of the name of the intermediary we use and the name of the insurer.

Our product selection

Abbeyfields Insurance offers products from a wide range of insurance companies. Our selection usually involves presenting to a reasonable number of insurance companies that will insure for the risk at hand, and this is called a fair analysis of the market.

Wedding Insurance Group may only approach one or two insurers and this is a limited Panel, or in some cases, we may only approach one insurer, in either case, we will tell you the basis as part of our selling process. You can also request a list of the companies that form the Panel we have approached.

Confidentiality and data protection

We will exchange the information that you provide to us with insurance companies and other brokers or agents for the purposes of obtaining quotations and arranging cover, this may result in a credit check to confirm your identity and minimise the risk of fraud. We will treat all information as private and confidential, and in strict accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA), even when you are no longer a customer and only share information if we are required to do so by law, or regulation.

Under the DPA, you have a right to a copy of any personally identifiable information about you that we hold in our records, you can obtain details by writing to us at the usual address. A nominal charge might apply in providing the information to you.

We will, in addition use information for marketing similar products or services by us and carefully selected companies. Contact may include SMS text, post, telephone or e-mail. You have the right to opt out at any time. Please view our Privacy Policy for more details.

Money

We will hold money that you pay to us in accordance with the regulators rules or under a risk transfer agreement with insurers. This will include holding your money in the following ways.

A non-statutory trust insurer bank account in accordance with our agreements with Insurance Companies that transfer the risk of money we receive from customers to them, these agreements deem any money you pay to us, to be received by them and they will bear the risk of any losses in the event that our firm becomes insolvent. This includes claims money or premium refunds we receive prior to being paid to you.

By holding your money in this way, means that in the event that this firm becomes insolvent your money remains protected. 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. These firms are also required to hold clients money in a separate trust account. We will also inform you if at any time we are required to pass your premium to firms that operate outside the UK where the protection may be different. Should you not wish us to pass premiums to a firm outside of the UK, please inform us.

Our remuneration

We usually receive a commission from the insurance provider with whom we place your business, and in such a case, the commission will be paid to us either when we are in receipt of cleared funds from you (or the premium finance company, if one has been used) or, when the insurer has received cleared funds from us in respect of the premium due under your policy. The individual agreements we have with each insurer will determine which of the two methods above is used to make this transfer of commission.

We also receive commission for arranging finance agreements for the payment of insurance premiums and this is usually expressed as a percentage of the individual loan and is paid to us directly by the premium finance provider. We may also receive a commission or fee for passing introductions to other professional firms. We may charge you a policy fee for arranging your insurance and full details will be provided in your documentation. Currently our policy fees range up to £45.00 depending on the policy type. In addition, all policy adjustments and alterations, will incur an administration charge of £15.00. In respect of Cancellations a £30.00 cancellation fee is applicable.

Payment options

We will provide you with full details of all the payment options available to you when we provide you with your insurance premium.

If you choose to enter in a finance arrangement, your details will be passed to a third party (insurer or lender) to enable them to contact you and you should contact us at the address given in this document if you do not want your details passed to that party. This finance arrangement may be subject to interest charges that we will confirm to you when providing the full details.

Importantly, the arrangement you will enter into will be with the finance company not us. It is an entirely separate contract irrespective of the insurance contract. In the event of your failure to meet with the contractual obligations regarding payment the finance provider could approach the insurer to seek a termination of the insurance contract to recoup their outstanding finance arrears. You will be liable to pay their costs and charges if you do not keep up your repayments and cover is cancelled under your policy. This is because the agreement is between you, the policyholder and the finance company direct, not us or the insurer.

It is important that you read the finance agreement that is sent to you before you agree to enter into such an agreement. We do not charge any fees to you for introducing you to a credit provider.

If you are a consumer as defined under the Consumer Credit Act, you will have the benefit of a 14-day cooling off period.

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.

Your right to cancel

Please contact us in writing if you wish to cancel a policy that we have arranged for you. You may cancel the policy within 14 days of the start date of the policy (the cooling-off period) subject to no claims. After this period you or insurers may cancel the policy by giving relevant written notice as per the policy terms and conditions. Insurers will give a refund of premium for the remaining period subject to no claims. Our charges are separate from insurers and if the policy is cancelled at anytime these will not be refunded.

Claims

In the event of a claim, call a member of our team directly on 0800 699 0659 or 0121 550 2380 and we will talk you through our simple claims process.

Complaints

Our aim is always to provide our customers with a first-class service; however we are aware that, occasionally, it is possible that we may fail to meet your expectations. If for any reason we have not met your expectations, let us know as soon as possible, by calling our main office telephone 0121 550 2380, or write to Mrs Lyn Bird, Abbeyfields/The Wedding Insurance Group, Falcon House 10, Bloomfield Street West, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 3RD or email info@weddinginsurancegroup.co.uk

If we are unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction by the end of the next business day, we will formally investigate the matter. You will receive an acknowledgement of the matter together with a copy of our complaints process promptly and certainly within 5 working days. We will then aim to investigate and provide a resolution as quickly as possible, informing you of a final response no later than 8 weeks.

If you are not happy with our response, or the position after a period of 8 weeks, you may be eligible to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for an independent assessment and opinion.

The FOS Consumer Helpline is on 0800 023 4567 (free for people phoning from a "fixed line" (for example, a landline at home) or 0300 123 9123 (free for mobile-phone users paying monthly charge for calls to Numbers starting 01 or 02). Alternatively you can contact them at Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9SR www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

If we are unable to meet our obligations, you may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS. If we have advised or arranged insurance for you this will be covered for 90% of a claim, without any upper limit, however claims under compulsory insurance, professional indemnity insurance and certain claims for injury, sickness or infirmity of the policyholder are protected at 100%. Further information is available from the FSCS helpline on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100 and www.fscs.org.uk.

The FSCS is the UKs statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms. Compensation is usually payable if an authorised firm is unable or unlikely to pay claims usually because it has ceased trading or become insolvent

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON THE INSURANCE ACT

A fair presentation of the risk

Imagine that your policies underwriter is shut in a room with no windows to the outside world. They are presumed to know general information about your trade but know nothing about your business other than what you tell them in filling out questionnaires and volunteering information. The objective of a fair presentation is to give underwriters all the information needed to quote a premium and decide what terms to offer you. So, answer the questions carefully and advise them of:

  • Things that will increase the risk of a loss
  • Your plans for the business
  • Any unusual processes or systems that are not normal for the trade
  • Why you are changing insurers (if that is the case)

Consider also that the underwriter will want to know about anything that calls into question the integrity of the firm, its senior management, directors and owners. Convictions, bad debts, court judgements, censure or accusations by authority, investigations by authority and so on. Imagine all those things you might want to know about someone you were employing to look after your firms finances and cash or something or some person who is precious to you.

The point about the fair presentation is that it is far better to get everything out at the time of quotation than to let the insurer find things out at the time of a claim.

A reasonable search

The discipline created by the Act is a good one in that you are required to make enquiries of anyone who might be able to give material information. This will include Directors, senior management, shop floor managers, and agents of the firm such as solicitors or accountants. As your insurance broker we can help you devise a suitable list of people and the words to use to make enquiry of them.

Accuracy and clarity

No more hastily completed questionnaires; The Act places a responsibility on the insured to be clear and accurate in giving answers. If you have any points you wish to raise about the questions that are asked of you or there is anything you do not understand then please ask us to advise you. It is no longer possible to simply send documents to an insurer and expect them to look through them to find material facts. You have to tell them what to look for.

Claim payments

As long as you are honest and not reckless, the claims payment situation has improved for you and this is outlined below.

Warranties

Similarly, the treatment of warranties has improved in your favour and the changes are detailed on the following page. One major new responsibility is that you will have to tell insurers if you ever breach a warranty during the policy year, so you are going to have to make a note if that happens. (See the following page).

Claims remedies

As long as you are honest and not reckless (not caring) in helping the insurer understand the risk they are covering, then the Act provides you with what should be fairer treatment if your presentation is not fair. If you have been fraudulent or reckless in your presentation then the underwriter may have a right to avoid the policy from inception, pay no claims and keep the premiums.

The insurer will look at the risk at the time of a claim and if you have not made a fair presentation and in the absence of dishonesty or recklessness, they will have three options:

  • To suggest that they would have charged more premium and reduce your claim proportionately;
  • To suggest that they would have written the policy but on different terms, in which case they can rewrite the policy from inception and apply those terms;
  • To suggest that they would not have insured you at all and avoid the policy from inception and give you back your premiums.

NB/ Insurers can apply these remedies even if the non-disclosure or misrepresentation has nothing to do with the loss (See the following page for examples).

Warranties and conditions

A warranty or condition precedent to liability has to be complied with literally or the insurer might have the right to avoid the policy and not pay any claims. Some warranties must be complied with at all times and others you must be complying with at the time of a loss.

An insurer may only take action on a breach of warranty if the breach was causative of a loss. If a warranty is partially causative, then the insurer might reduce a claim rather than not pay it at all. In the past an insurer could refuse to pay a claim if you breached a warranty at any time and even if the breach had nothing to do with the loss. As the insurer has lost that rather strict right, it is likely to be material to the underwriter if you have failed to comply with any warranty as required.

NB/ It is important that you develop a system of making a note if a warranty is ever breached during the year.

Contracting out

It is possible to "contract out" of the new Act. As your insurance broker, we will advise you if this applies to you.

EXAMPLES PAGE

Proportionate remedies

  • You innocently forget to tell the insurer that you had two fire claims in the last five years with another insurer, not just one. The insurer is not too concerned as they were small losses but imposes a £5000 excess from inception. Your claim is reduced by £5000.
  • You fail to tell the insurer that a director of the firm has had two County Court Judgements for unpaid debts to the Council and Electricity Board in the previous 12 months. The insurer has a rating manual that shows they would have loaded your premium by 25% if they had known this information and the claim is reduced by 20%. (Claim divided by 1.25)
  • You decide not to tell the insurer about the fact your MD has been charged with theft, as the premium might be too high for you to afford. This is a fraudulent hiding of a material fact (deliberate and dishonest) and the insurer avoids the policy from inception, keeps the premiums and reports the matter to the Police authorities.

Warranties and conditions precedent

A warranty should be complied with in strict accordance with the wording and if it is not at any time, then you should make a note and tell the insurer or us at next renewal. Some warranties define the risk as a whole and a breach could lead to non-payment or reduction of any claim. Others are suspensory conditions and you will only be penalised if there is a breach at the time of a claim and the breach affects a loss.

  • There is a warranty that you keep the burglar alarm turned on at all times when the premises are unoccupied. There is a burglary, which would have been prevented if the alarm had been active, but it was not. The Insurer will not pay the claim.
  • There is a similar warranty, which you are not complying with at the time that a tile falls off your roof and hits a passer-by. There is no connection between the breach and the loss so the claim should be paid.
  • You breach a burglar alarm warranty but rectify it by the time of a burglary. The insurer should pay your claim.

There are other examples but as you read all these examples it should be clear to you that if there is any hint of a problem at the time of a claim, you will need expert advice.