Terms of Business
- General Service Principles Applicable to All Service Propositions
- Duty of Disclosure/Utmost Good Faith
- Proposal Forms
- Confirmation of Cover
- Settlement Terms
- Premium Payment Warranties
- Client Money
- Confidentiality & Security
- Money Laundering/Proceeds of Crime Act
- Limitation Of Liability
- Governing Law
Read our Terms of Business below, or download a copy of the PDF version.
CIAT Insurance Services is a trading style of McParland Finn Ltd.McParland Finn Ltd (MFL) of Barlow House, Minshull Street, Manchester, M1 3DZ is an independent Insurance Broker. It is committed to providing you with the highest quality standards when dealing with your affairs. This document sets out the terms on which MFL undertakes to act for you. These are our standard terms and can only be varied with our written agreement. They should be read in conjunction with your individual Client Service Schedule.
Regulatory Status Disclosure
MFL is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services business in the UK. Our permitted business under FCA regulation is arranging general insurance contracts. Our FCA Firm Reference Number is 306684. These details can be checked on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.gov.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0800-111-6768.
As independent insurance intermediaries we act as the agent of our clients. We are therefore subject to the law of agency, which imposes various duties on us. However, in certain circumstances we may also act for and owe duties of care to other parties (for example, where we operate under Delegated Authority arrangements on behalf of insurers).
General Service Principles Applicable to All Service Propositions
In the course of our business dealings with you we undertake to:
a) Ascertain your insurance Demands & Needs to enable us to make professional recommendations to you and to advise you in accordance with your Client Service Schedule and these Terms of Business.
b) Act with reasonable skill and care in all dealings with you.
c) Observe high standards of integrity and deal openly and fairly with you and with insurance markets.
d) Provide the following services to you:
Seek/provide insurance quotations on your behalf;
Place insurance covers in accordance with your instructions;
Administer insurance covers placed on your behalf;
Deal with your queries regarding insurance covers placed on your behalf;
Notify and administer claims advised to us by you under insurance covers placed on your behalf;
Offer general advice relating to the insurance covers placed on your behalf.
Any additional services provided by us would need to be agreed specifically in writing. Please note, in particular, that we do not provide legal advice, although we may recommend to you firms of solicitors from whom such advice may be sought.
e) Explain the main features of insurance products and services we are offering including important details of cover and benefits together with significant exclusions, conditions and other obligations, to enable you to make an informed decision before purchasing such products or services.
f) Give reasons for any recommendations we make to you.
g) Take appropriate steps to safeguard information, money and property held or handled on your behalf.
h) Seek to avoid conflicts of interest, but where a conflict is unavoidable or does arise, explain the situation and manage it in such a way as to avoid prejudice to any party. MFL will not unfairly put its own interests above its duty to any client for whom it acts.
i) Handle complaints fairly and promptly.
Duty of Disclosure/Utmost Good Faith
You and any agent acting on your behalf are required to act with utmost good faith towards both us and insurers at all times, and must disclose to insurers before the contract is finalised all information which is material to the risk, irrespective of any requirement to complete a proposal/application form. If there is any doubt as to whether information is material, it must be disclosed to insurers. The duties of utmost good faith and full disclosure apply before the contract is concluded, at renewal, and on extension or amendment of the policy. In addition, they also apply to the claims process and to any material changes in risk during the period of the policy. The accuracy of all statements, information and answers required by insurers is your sole responsibility. Breach of these duties may entitle insurers to void the policy with effect from inception and to repudiate liability in respect of all claims under the policy.
Please discuss with your contact at MFL if you are unsure whether information may be material or if you have any other query regarding your duties towards either MFL or insurers.
Proposal forms or questionnaires, where required by insurers, must be completed fully and accurately, and signed by you. In the completion of these forms, we would remind you of your duty of utmost good faith and obligation to disclose all material information, as mentioned above. The inclusion of incorrect or incomplete information may result in the denial of a claim or avoidance of the policy. Again, if in doubt as to the materiality of any information, please discuss with us.
Confirmation of Cover
You must confirm your instructions to us in writing to place any insurance (s) on your behalf prior to their inception. Once your instructions have been implemented we will advise you in writing and then forward our cover note, policy or similar document where appropriate in line with market custom. You should examine these documents carefully and advise us immediately if they are incorrect, or do not meet with your requirements or understanding, or if you should be dissatisfied with any of the insurance security. On occasions it may not be possible to comply fully with your instructions, and if this is so, we undertake to advise you promptly of the problem and to take further instructions from you.
It is important to MFL that business is placed with insurers who are of a financial standing and reputation to support the policy being underwritten. MFL cannot and does not guarantee the solvency of any insurer it uses, nor does it rate, assess or approve security. However, it does utilise the security ratings provided by specialist rating agencies such as Standard & Poors for non-U.S. companies and Bests for U.S. companies. Based on the information they provide we may ask you for specific authorisation of the proposed security.
We will issue invoices for the payment of premiums, premium taxes, and any fees as soon as reasonably practicable after the placing of insurance covers. It is essential that payment be made to the payee as specified on our documentation, before the due date. Failure to pay by the due date may result in the insurance being cancelled by insurers. For the avoidance of doubt, we have no obligation to fund any premiums on your behalf.
We normally accept payment by cheque or bank transfer, although instalment facilities can be arranged with finance houses on request. Cheques should be in the currency of our invoice or statement, quoting our reference, and should be sent to The Accounts Manager, McParland Finn Ltd, Barlow House, Minshull Street, Manchester M1 3DZ.
Premium Payment Warranties
Where underwriters have specified a premium payment warranty, we will advise you as soon as possible. Where premium payment warranties apply, premiums MUST be paid to insurers by that date. We will therefore require premium payment AT LEAST FIVE WORKING DAYS prior to this to ensure timely processing. If you do not think you will be able to comply with the premium payment warranty please contact us immediately. Failure to comply with a premium payment warranty will entitle insurers to void your insurance cover from inception date.
You must comply with any warranties (whether express or implied) contained within the insurance we have arranged on your behalf. Failure to comply with a warranty will entitle insurers to void the insurance from inception date. Further, where insurance cover has been placed with an outstanding subjectivity, such cover may be invalidated or prejudiced whilst the subjectivity remains outstanding, and it is incumbent on you to satisfy the subjectivity as soon as possible.
Our normal means of remuneration is from insurer commission earned on insurances placed, or by way of a fee agreed with you. We will not impose any fees or additional charges without disclosing these to you. Where our remuneration is from insurer commission, we will hold the amount of our commission in our statutory trust account as Client Money until we have paid the premiums to insurers net of such commission. You are entitled, at any time, to request information regarding the amount of commission received by us as a result of placing your insurance business.
Where we are acting under Delegated Authority insurance arrangements, our commission will be at an enhanced rate to include additional payment for underwriting, policy production and other administrative duties that would otherwise normally be undertaken by insurers. Our commission or fees are earned on placement of the insurances, and we will be entitled to retain our full remuneration in respect of the full policy period in relation to policies arranged by us, even if cover is cancelled mid-term.
We may also receive remuneration from finance houses by way of administration fees for the processing of monthly premium instalment arrangements. Such fees are included in the instalment charges to customers who opt to pay their premiums by this method. From time to time, some finance houses or insurers may also make additional commission payments to us based upon the volume of business transacted.
Client Money is money of any currency that we receive and hold in the course of carrying out insurance mediation on behalf of our clients (including you), or which we treat as client money in accordance with the FCA’s client money rules. We will hold such money subject to a statutory trust. We reserve the right to retain interest earned on this account.
Most insurers with whom we place business have agreed that we act as their agent for the collection of premiums from clients. This means that payment to MFL is considered by such insurers to be payment to them. Where this is not the case, payment of premiums to insurers is not normally effective until the money has been credited to their account.
Details of any incidents or circumstances that could give rise to a claim MUST be notified to us without delay and all material information disclosed in order for us to inform insurers. You have an obligation to familiarise yourself with the details of all claims handling conditions of the insurance policy or policies issued to you. If you are in any doubt whatsoever as to whether or not a particular circumstance or incident is notifiable under the insurance, you MUST consult us.
We recognise the importance of service and set ourselves high standards.
We do however understand that there may be times when you feel we may not have met your expectations to which we want to know about immediately so that any issues can be resolved quickly.
For the purpose of this procedure, we use the following definition of a complaint, which is “any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of a complainant about the firm’s provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service.”
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A COMPLAINT?
You can make a complaint by contacting us by any of the following means:
In writing to:
The Complaints Officer
McParland Finn Ltd.
By telephone on: 0161 236 2532
By fax on: 0161 236 2583
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your insurance is provided by Underwriters at Lloyd’s you are entitled to refer the matter to the Complaints team at Lloyd’s. Full details of Lloyd’s Complaints procedures are available at: www.lloyds.com/complaints.
In the event that you wish to make a complaint, you may contact us using the information detailed above.
Should you remain dissatisfied with the response that you receive from us, you may if you wish, refer your complaint to Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s will investigate the matter and provide a final response. Lloyd’s contact details are as follows:
Fidentia House, Walter Burke Way, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4RN
Tel: +44 (0)20 7327 5693
Fax: +44 (0)20 73275225
If you remain dissatisfied after Lloyd’s has considered your complaint, you may have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
The contact details for the FOS are:
The Financial Ombudsman Service,
London E14 9SR.
Tel: 0800 023 4567 (calls to this number are free from “fixed lines” in the UK) or 0300 123 9123 (calls to this number are charged at the same rate as 01 and 02 numbers on mobile phone tariffs in the UK).
If you have purchased your policy online you can also make a complaint via the EU’s online dispute resolution (ODR) platform. The website for the ODR platform is: http://ec.europa.eu/odr
Overall responsibility for this policy is assigned to Gary Housecroft, Compliance Director. He will be made aware of all complaints received by McParland Finn Ltd. to ensure that the correct procedures are enforced.
ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR COMPLAINT
If your complaint is relatively straightforward it may be possible to resolve it very quickly. If we are able to resolve your complaint before the end of the third working day after it is received by us, we will send you a ‘Summary Resolution Communication’ promptly, with confirmation of the action we took to resolve your complaint.
In all other cases we will send you a written acknowledgement of your complaint promptly, normally within five working days of receiving it. If you have made your complaint to us verbally, we will confirm to you our understanding of this and ask you to advise us if you do not agree.
INVESTIGATING YOUR COMPLAINT
Your complaint will then be investigated by a senior official of the firm who is not directly or indirectly the subject matter of the complaint and we will not charge you for this work.
In order to reach a fair conclusion, we will review the information available to us, which will include all records on our files along with a report from the individual to whom the complaint relates.
We will endeavour to complete our investigation and reach a conclusion as soon as possible. The length of time this will take will be determined by the complexity of the complaint and the extent of the investigation required. During our investigation we may ask you for additional information to help us to reach a conclusion.
We will keep you updated as to the progress of your complaint and the steps being taken to resolve it. In the unlikely event that we are unable to complete our investigation and issue a final response letter to you within eight weeks of the date of receiving your complaint, we will write explaining why we are still not in a position to make a final response, giving reasons for the further delay and indicating when we expect to be able to make a final response.
If you are an eligible complainant for the purposes of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), we will also inform you that you may at this stage refer the complaint to the FOS if you are dissatisfied with the delay and we will provide you with a copy of the FOS’s explanatory leaflet.
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 on the scheme are available from the FSCS.
Confidentiality & Security
Information provided by you to MFL will remain confidential, and will only be disclosed in the normal course of negotiating, maintaining or renewing your insurances unless you have consented otherwise. Disclosure may also be made to enable the FCA to fulfil its regulatory function, or where we are legally obliged to disclose the information. We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998, and we undertake to comply with the Act in all our dealings with your personal data.
Money Laundering/Proceeds of Crime Act
The United Kingdom Money Laundering Regulations may require us to obtain evidence of the identity of clients for whom we act at the start of a business relationship or in respect of certain transactions. We are obliged to report to The National Criminal Intelligence service any evidence or suspicion of money laundering at the first opportunity and we are prohibited from disclosing any such report.
Limitation Of Liability
We will exercise reasonable skill and care in the performance of all our services for clients, but we cannot be held responsible for advice, recommendations or actions that are based upon incorrect or inadequate disclosure of material information by our clients or their agents. The liability of McParland Finn Limited under this Agreement, howsoever arising, shall not exceed in the aggregate the sum of £10,000,000 or the limit of our Professional Indemnity Insurance cover, whichever is the greater. These limitations of liability shall not apply to liability for personal injury or death arising from our negligence.
These terms of business and any accompanying or associated letter or report shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law, and the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any disputes that may arise out of or in connection with them.