Summers & Company
Terms of Business
Law and Language
This Terms of Business is subject to English Law and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. We will use the English language for all communications, the contractual Terms and Conditions, and any information we are required to supply to you, before and for the duration of the contract.
The purpose of this agreement is to set out our professional relationship and detail the services Summers & Company will provide to you. For your own benefit and protection, you should read all of the information carefully. References to “Summers & Co”, “Summers Insurance”, “the company”, “we”, “us”, “ourselves”, “our”, “the firm”, “they”, “agent”, “this firm” and “appointed broker” means Summers & Company.
References to “you”, “client(s)”, “your”, “customer(s)”, “policyholder”, “our customer(s)”, “the customer”, “they”, “retail clients” and “consumer” refer to you the client, the insured and / or their appointed agent.
This is our standard client agreement upon which we intend to rely (Terms of Business). For your own benefit and protection you should read these terms carefully and if there are any you don’t understand please don’t hesitate to ask us for an explanation.
If you do not agree to any part of the information, please inform us in writing. We assume that you accept the terms of this agreement unless we hear from you in writing.
In the interests of security, staff training and to generally improve our service please be aware that telephone calls may be monitored and / or recorded.
Summers & Company is located at Ground Floor Offices, Walford Mill Studios, 91 West Borough, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1PT. The firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is an independent watchdog that regulates financial services. Our FCA Financial Services Firm Registration Number is 307664 and you can check that we are authorised and regulated and our status and permissions by visiting the FCA website at https://register.fca.org.uk/ or by contacting the FCA on 0800111 6768.
Services such as valuations and risk management are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) therefore does not apply.
The FCA has authorised us 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 to undertake the following Consumer Credit Activities – Credit Broking (where we act as a credit broker).
In arranging insurance for our customers, we act as an Independent Intermediary. Our service includes establishing your requirements, advising you on your insurance needs and helping you with any ongoing changes you need to make. We can also assist you with making a claim. All personal and sensitive information about our customers is treated as private and confidential.
We provide advice based on a fair and personal analysis of a sufficient number of similar contracts available in the market. This applies in all cases unless we advise you to the contrary. However, for certain products e.g. Legal Expenses and Travel policies, we only deal with a limited number of providers. You may request a list of these providers. For scheme policies we only deal with one selected insurance company and you may request the name of the insurer we use. When quoting, the name of the insurance provider is always given.
Summers & Company cannot be accountable for omitting to advise on products they do not have access to, are unfamiliar with, have been withdrawn and / or insurance products that in hindsight and / or retrospect a Client might have needed. This includes but is not limited to, pandemics, diseases and illnesses diagnosed and not yet diagnosed, terrorism, environmental, man-made or natural disasters, valuations, modifications, new legislation, inventions and technology etc.
It should be noted that while we take every care to promote only the strongest institutions, we are unable to guarantee the financial strength of any insurance company and/or other facility providers that we use. We endeavour to assess the financial strength of the Insurance Companies and other intermediaries that we deal with. The process usually involves general observation of the financial ratings applied by independent rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and A M Best published with other readily available information within industry guides, newsletters, and press releases. Whilst we take care to deal with companies that maintain reasonable solvency margins, we cannot guarantee their financial ability to pay claims.
We can act both as agent of insurer, and on behalf of you, the customer. Whilst we act in the capacity of agents for our product providers (i.e., the insurance companies we do business with) we are required to have in place appropriate governance controls to help us meet our regulatory objectives. We endeavour to have in place effective organisational controls, including appropriate supervision, to ensure we manage any and all conflicts of interests which may arise or may be identified from time to time, this includes gifts and benefits granted and accepted, which may damage the interests of our relationship with either our distributors or our customers. 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 “Money, Account and Financial Aspects” section).
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. We will 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. If we are unable to provide renewal terms prior to your renewal date we will inform you and request your consent to seek an extension from the insurer which may incur a time on risk charge or to renew without renewal terms.
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, as well as 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.
Insurance policies taken out, amended or renewed through our online / remote service (i.e. without communicating in writing or speaking to one of our advisors) will be on a non–advised basis. We will provide you with information only; including generic comparisons between different insurers, you will need to make your own choice as we will not provide you with any advice or specific recommendations. This means information will be provided in order for you to make an informed decision about any insurance transactions undertaken by you. You should therefore ensure such transactions are suitable for your needs.
Explanation of the Contract
We shall: –
- identify the insurance company or underwriter;
- explain all the essential provisions of the cover afforded by the policy or policies which we are recommending, ensuring, as far as possible that the prospective policyholder understands what they are buying;
- draw specific attention to any restrictions and exclusions applying to the policy;
- if necessary, obtain from the insurance company specialist advice in relation to items (2) and (3) above;
- not impose any charge in addition to the premium required by the insurer without disclosing the amount and the purpose of such charge; and
- as an independent intermediary, disclose our commission upon request.
Disclosure of Underwriting Information
Our primary aim is to ensure, for any customer (or potential customer) that we act honestly, fairly and professionally and in the customers best interest including giving customers information they might need to understand the relevance of any information we provide, as well as objectively giving that information when it is most useful to a customer to enable informed decision making.
It is your responsibility to provide complete and accurate information to insurers when you take out your insurance policy and when you subsequently renew. This applies whether a proposal form is required by the insurer or not.
We shall, on obtaining the completion of the proposal form or any other material, ensure that the consequences of non-disclosure and inaccuracies are pointed out to the prospective policyholder.
Consumers – In assessing your demands and needs we will ask you a number of questions.
It is your responsibility to ensure you give us complete and accurate answers to any such questions, not only when you take out your policy, but also when you decide to renew or make any changes during any term of a contract of insurance (this applies to any changes in information relating to any individual named on the policy.)
We will endeavour to make a specific personalised recommendation for product suitability based on our understanding and appraisal of your demands and needs requirements. Where we provide you with specific advice, we will give you the relevant information you require, honestly, fairly, and professionally and in a way that is in your best interests (i.e., we will endeavour to alert you to important terms and conditions about the contract of insurance, and we will provide you that information when it is most relevant). This may include information about comparable products between different product providers, all of which will help you to decide whether to go ahead with any particular contract of insurance.
Non-Consumers – If you are dealing with us in a commercial capacity, you will be under a duty to make a fair presentation. You are therefore required to disclose any matter which you know or ought to know that would influence the judgement of an insurer in deciding whether to insure the risk and on what terms.
If you are unsure whether matter is relevant or not you should provide sufficient information so as to put an insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries if necessary.
We will endeavour to make a specific personalised recommendation for product suitability based on our understanding and appraisal of your demands and needs requirements.
Where we provide you with specific advice, we will give you the relevant information you require, honestly, fairly, and professionally and in a way that is in your best interests (i.e., we will endeavour to alert you to important terms and conditions about the contract of insurance, and we will provide you that information when it is most relevant).
This may include information about comparable products between different product providers, all of which will help you to decide whether to go ahead with any particular contract of insurance.
Our Product Selection (Fair Analysis)
We offer 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 and personal analysis of the market. Sometimes we may only approach a specified number of insurers, known as a Panel, or in some cases, we may only approach one insurer. In either case, we will endeavour tell you the basis as part of our selling process. On request we will also provide a list of the companies that form the Panel we have approached at quotation stage.
Where we are appointed to service insurance policies, other than at their inception or renewal and which were originally arranged by another party, we shall not be liable during the current insurance period for any loss arising from any errors, omissions or gaps in your insurance cover or advice not provided by us. Should you have any concerns in respect of the policy, which has been transferred to us, or if you require a review of your insurance arrangements you must notify us immediately in writing.
Any information we provide on insurance regulatory and tax issues will be based on information available publicly and from our experience of working on similar matters. We are not qualified to provide and will not provide financial, legal, accounting, valuation, regulatory or tax advice and / or services.
Money, Account and Financial Aspects
We hold money that you pay to us in accordance with the regulator’s rules or under a risk transfer agreement with insurers. The premiums you pay to us are held in a specific Statutory Trust Client Bank Account with our bank which is separate from any other monies held by us. This allows us to use the money held in trust on behalf of a client for paying that clients’ premium to an insurance company and to pay premium refunds or claims we receive from that insurance company to the client, once the premium / refund has been received from that insurance company. We cannot use that client’s money to pay another customers premium or refund.
The effect of this is that if Summers & Company cannot meet its obligations, this money cannot be treated by any creditor of the firm as being our money. Under these arrangements we are acting as an agent for the insurer when collecting premiums thus protecting your position as the insurer treats your premium as being paid to them once you have made your payment to us. Until payment is made by the client and written confirmation of cover and / or certification (including Motor) is received by the client from Summers & Company it cannot be assumed that covers are in place.
Interest received on balances held in this Statutory Trust Account is for Summers & Company’s account and no client shall have any entitlement to such interest or any part of it. By accepting these Terms of Business you are giving your express agreement to Summers & Company to operate it’s client money arrangements and interest policy in the way outlined above. By holding your money in this way, it 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 endeavour to 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 U.K. please inform us in writing.
We usually receive a commission from the insurance provider with whom we place your business. This is expressed as a percentage of the premium you pay and in such a case, the commission will be paid to us when the insurer has received cleared funds from us in respect of the premium due under your policy. 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.
This means that the amount you pay for credit and the overall cost of arranging your insurance will vary according to the interest charged by the lender and the amount of commission we earn.
Using premium finance makes the overall cost of the insurance more expensive. A full breakdown of the cost of your insurance will be provided as part of your new business or renewal quotation before you make a decision whether to proceed. The cost of credit may also be provided for more details please contact us in writing.
We may also receive a commission or fee for passing introductions to other professional firms, plus profit share payments from certain insurers when targets are met.
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 our arrangement fee before you take the policy out.
Specific charges and / or fees which apply to individual policies will be advised to you prior to the commencement of each contract applicable to that policy. The specific charge / or fee and purpose of any additional charges / fees will always be advised to you in advance. In addition, we may also charge you a fee for arranging, amending, providing duplicate documents or cancelling your insurance and full details will be provided to you at the outset. You are entitled at any time, to request in writing, details of the level of commission or fees earnt that we may have received from insurers / third parties in placing your insurance business.
Fees, Charges and Administration Fees
Commercial New Business & Renewal Premiums include a 5% Broker Fee (£25 Minimum and £250 Maximum). A £25 Fee will be charged for policy alterations, cancellations and replacement documents.
For Retail clients we charge an arrangement fee for New Policies and Renewals of £20 and a £20 fee will be charged for policy alterations, cancellations and replacement documents.
Green Cards could be subject to a fee.
Premium rebates will be returned net of commission and any fees when received from the insurer in accordance with FCA regulations.
Policies voided or cancelled from inception by insurers will be treated as a cancellation and we will retain any commission and fees before returning the net premium to you. By accepting these Terms of Business, you agree that we may retain the portion of the premium that relates to commission and fees that would have been due to us.
You will receive a specific quotation which will tell you about any other fees relating to your particular insurance policy.
We will provide you with full details of all the payment options available to you when we provide you with your insurance premium.
You must settle the premium(s) due in cleared funds in accordance with the amounts and payment dates specified in our correspondence with you. Failure to meet the payment dates may lead to insurers cancelling your policy, thus leaving you without insurance cover.
Summers & Company will not send an unsolicited email that provides new bank details or implies that we have changed our bank. We will not accept responsibility if you transfer money into an account that is not legitimate. Please do not disclose or forward our bank details to any third party. We will not accept funds from any third party without prior arrangement and approval.
If you choose to enter into a finance arrangement, your details will be passed to a third party (insurer or lender) to enable them to contact you. You should contact us in writing at the address given in this document if you do not want your details passed to that party. This finance arrangement will be subject to interest charges and / or fees 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 policy holder and the finance company direct, not Summers & Company 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. We use Premium Credit for the provision of premium finance facilities or insurers own facilities.
We only offer a form of auto renewal to policies paid via Premium Credit. All the methods by which a client is able to take out a new policy can be accessed to cancel the policy. Summers & Company does not charge additional fees for providing or cancelling auto renewals. A clients policy is not auto renewed if an alternative is offered.
Important: Your policy cover will cease if you fail to keep up payments on an instalment agreement or premium finance facility related to it.
Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)
Your premium detailed in the policy will include IPT at the prevailing rate. Should the rate of IPT be amended by the government your premium will be amended by the insurer to reflect the change. Some policies are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) not IPT and should the rate of VAT be amended by the government your premium will be amended by the insurer to reflect the change.
We shall not withhold from the policyholder any written evidence or documentation relating to the contract of insurance.
If you mislay your policy / documentation at any time we will arrange a replacement on request, a fee will be charged for this service.
Where appropriate, we shall provide the policyholder with the means to make direct contact with the insurer / relevant claims service which will also be provided on the policy documentation (the claims service could be based off shore).
Your policy document details all the claims conditions and we would recommend that you familiarise yourself with these. One of the conditions is the requirement to notify any losses and / or complete all claim forms promptly, as failure to do so may invalidate your policy. Certain claims e.g. theft, loss of money or malicious acts must be immediately reported to the Police and you will be provided with a Police incident reference. You must request and retain any documentation relating to the claim including quotes, receipts and photos etc.
First Notification of Loss (FNOL) is your responsibility as the policyholder, which will ensure that the correct details are reported at the time of the claim however, as part of our service and whilst we are your appointed broker, on your instruction we can help with the claims process, but it remains your responsibility to have read, understood and / or queried all documentation on receipt.
If you are unsure whether a matter constitutes a claim or not, please contact us in writing, and we will advise you. We cannot act on behalf of an insurer and can never commit an insurer to paying out in respect of a claim.
You should not however, admit liability or agree a course of action, other than emergency measures carried out to minimize the loss until you have agreement from your insurer.
In order to obtain the most attractive premium and terms from certain insurers and / or to assess a client’s credit rating for premium payment, the insurer or the credit provider will carry out a Credit Check. Unless you indicate to the contrary these Credit Checks will be used at inception of the policy and at each and every subsequent renewal and / or amendments.
Professional Indemnity Cover
We shall obtain, and maintain in force, professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the requirements of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Limit of Liability – This clause restricts the amount that may be recoverable because of our negligence. Other than injury or death of any person (for which no cap on liability will apply), our liability to you for the services we provide shall not exceed £3,000,000 for each and every claim which is in the aggregate for Pandemic related claims.
Summers & Company’s Terms of Business constitutes the entire agreement between us and supersede and extinguish all previous agreements (including but not limited to any that may have been previously provided by us) promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between us whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter. You acknowledge that in entering into these Terms of Business you cannot rely on and shall have no remedies in respect of, any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that are not set out in these Terms of Business. You agree that you shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in these Terms of Business. Nothing in this clause shall limit or exclude any liability for fraud.
Your Right to Cancel
Please note our commission and where appropriate charges and fees are fully earned from the date the insurance commenced and will not be refundable in the event of a cancellation, avoidance or early termination of a policy. (Applicable to Consumers only) Please contact us in writing 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 and Conditions. We will endeavour to advise you where this right applies. A charge may apply for the period of cover provided and, in addition, an administration charge will apply as shown in the Fees, Charges and Administration Fees section. Cancellation under this right must be in writing, prior to expiry of the cancellation period, to our usual office address.
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, please let us know as soon as possible, by calling our main office telephone, 01202 870700, writing to Summers & Company Ground Floor Offices, Walford Mill Studios, 91 West Borough, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1PT or e-mailing [email protected]
If you are unhappy with the policy which has been sold to you we would ask you to let us know immediately in writing. We promise to let you have full details of the name, address and other contact points for the insurance company in question, which under the terms of the Association of British Insurers Code must investigate your complaint and let you know the outcome.
If you cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Ombudsman is not empowered to review all complaints, so we will tell you, as part of our complaints procedure, whether this service will be available to you and give you details of how to use this service.
If we are unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction by the end of the third business day following receipt of a complaint, 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 the position at 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 0800 023 4567. 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 complaint’s 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 and www.fscs.org.uk
The FSCS is the UK’s 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.
You may cancel this agreement with us at any time. You must provide at least 7 days written notice of instructions. We also reserve the right to cancel this agreement at any time. In any event, we will aim to provide you with reasonably sufficient time to re-arrange your insurance and will notify you of termination in writing together with an explanation if appropriate. We reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee.
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 1998 (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulation Act 2018 (GDPR) even when you are no longer a customer and only share information if we are required to do so by law, or regulation.
Your Data – We aim to process your data responsibly, fairly and in strict accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.
The GDPR modernised data protection law requiring enhanced disclosures about what we do with your information 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, 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
As with many organisations, and to ensure Customers can easily access details on the areas listed above, we have developed a separate Privacy Notice which can be found at: http://summersinsurance.co.uk/privacy-policy/
It is vitally important to take time to read our Privacy Notice carefully as it contains full details of the basis on which we will aim to process (i.e., collect, use, share, and or transfer) and store your information. It is also your obligation to ensure you show our Privacy 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 obtaining a copy of our Privacy Notice, or any further information about our approach to the GDPR you can write to us at Ground Floor Offices, Walford Mill Studios, 91 West Borough, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1PT or email [email protected]
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 Ground Floor Offices, Walford Mill Studios, 91 West Borough, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1PT.
In distributing any marketing, we will endeavour to act honestly, fairly, and professionally and in the best interests of a customer or potential customer, including asking you separately for your permission (consent) to contact you, and the means to contact you (such as by phone, or e-mail, push notifications, SMS text, or post) to tell you about:
- new products or services we have or are developing;
- trialling products and services which we think may improve our service to you or our business processes;
- offer you rewards;
- enter you into a competition.
We will typically ask for your permission when you first contact us, but you have the right to easily withdraw your consent whenever you wish (unsubscribe). We will endeavour to regularly review your consent to check that your relationship with us and the processing and the purposes have not changed.
We have processes in place to refresh your consent at appropriate intervals, 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.
It is important that you understand you have the right to withdraw or alter your marketing preferences at any time either using the subscription link contained in any electronic marketing, by calling our main office telephone 01202 870 700 or writing to Ground Floor Offices, Walford Mill Studios, 91 West Borough, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1PT http://summersinsurance.co.uk/
Method of Communication – Whilst you do have a choice in the way we communicate with you, we will principally provide you with information using postal services (we may also e-mail or use some other means to enable you to access information electronically). During the process of dealing with us you will be given an option to receive information in this way, meaning if you would like information in an electronic format please contact us in writing and we will be happy to provide it.
Summers Insurance and Summers & Co are trading styles of Summers & Company