Terms of business
Terms of business
The following Terms of Business Agreement sets out the basis on which Scout Insurance Services Limited t/a Unity Insurance Services, referred to as ‘Unity’, ‘We’, ‘Us’, ‘Our’ will provide business services to you as a consumer or commercial client of the firm. Please contact us immediately if there is anything in these terms of business which you do not understand or with which you disagree. We are happy to answer any questions and willing to explain these terms and the reasons for them.
YOU ARE DEEMED TO HAVE ACCEPTED THESE TERMS OF BUSINESS UNLESS YOU ADVISE US OTHERWISE WITHIN 7 DAYS OF RECEIPT.
Telephone 0345 040 7702
Address Suite 8, The Quadrant, 60 Marlborough Road, Lancing Business Park, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8UW Business Hours 9am – 5pm Monday - Friday
Unity Insurance Services is a trading name of Scout Insurance Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Scout Association, a registered Charity no. 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland). Registered office: Gilwell Park, Chingford, E4 7QW. We are registered in England and Wales (Company No: 5038294) and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our Firm Reference Number is 312976. We are permitted to arrange, advise on, deal as an agent of insurers and clients and assist in claims handling in respect of non-investment insurance policies. You can check these details online using the Financial Services Register at https://register.fca.org.uk/ or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768. We are also authorised by the FCA for consumer credit broking.
We offer a wide range of insurance products and have access to leading insurers in the marketplace. The advice given by the firm 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 which the firm does not give a personal recommendation on the basis of a fair and personal analysis, 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 we offer you. We will explain the main features 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 for you after we have assessed your needs, or advise you if we are unable to place your insurance. In some circumstances we provide information only and do not therefore make a personal recommendation. The documentation we provide will make it clear whether the sale is provided on an advised or non-advised basis. We will also make clear in our documentation prior to conclusion of the contract areas where we are acting as agent for the customer, the insurer or both.
Limitations and Exclusion 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 the acts or omissions of our senior management, employees and any appointed representatives shall be limited in all circumstances to £5,000,000 per claim. 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.
Your duty of disclosure
Consumers: You must take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer. This means that all the answers you give and statements you make as part of your insurance application, including at renewal and when an amendment to your policy is required, should be honest and accurate. If you deliberately or carelessly misinform the insurers, this could mean that part of or all of a claim may not be paid.
Commercial customers: Where we arrange insurance wholly or mainly for purposes related to your trade, business or profession, you have a duty under The Insurance Act 2015 to make a fair presentation of the risk. This means that you must disclose every material circumstance which you and/or your senior management and/or anyone responsible for arranging your insurance know or ought to know. Alternatively, you must disclose sufficient information which would put the insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries for the purpose of revealing those material circumstances. You are expected to carry out a reasonable search in order to make a fair presentation of the risk and will be deemed to know what should reasonably have been revealed by the search.
Your duty of fair presentation applies at the start of the policy, at renewal and when any variation of the policy is arranged. If you fail to make a fair presentation, the insurer may refuse to pay your claim or reduce the settlement amount, depending on the circumstances.
How to cancel
Please contact us immediately if you wish to cancel any insurance policy we have arranged for you. You may have a right to cancel a policy without penalty within the first 14 days (or, in some cases, longer). Please refer to your policy documentation for further details. If you cancel within this initial cancellation period (where this applies) you will receive a pro rata refund of premium from the insurer. However, insurers are entitled to make an administrative charge.
If you choose to cancel other than within an initial cancellation period you may not receive a pro-rata refund of premium.
Terms of Payment
Our payment terms are as follows (unless specifically agreed by is in writing to the contrary):
- New policies: immediate payment on or before the inception date of the policy
- Alterations to existing policies: immediate payment on or before the effective date of the change
- Renewals: due in full before the renewal date
If payment is not received from you in accordance with the above terms, 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.
When renewal is invited and the policy is paid by monthly direct debit, we will issue a notice to you. To ensure you are not left without cover, the absence of a response to this notice will be deemed as your consent to cover being renewed automatically.
If you choose to pay for 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. If you have any queries or questions, either about the service provided by the finance provider or their terms and conditions you should in the first instance contact them. Where your policy is paid via the finance provider and you choose to renew your cover, we will again continue to pass your details to them. 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 of such events by the finance provider.
In certain circumstances we 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, if you do not make other arrangements with us to pay the insurance premiums you acknowledge and agree that we may, at any time after being informed of non-payment under the credit agreement, instruct on your behalf the relevant insurer to cancel the insurance and to collect any refund of premiums which may be made by the insurer and use this refund to offset the amount levied by the finance provider on the firm. You will be responsible for paying any time on risk charge and putting in place any alternative insurance and/or payment arrangements you need. Upon receiving your strict acceptance to pay for insurance premiums through the finance provider, we will instruct them to proceed with your application for credit. This process will involve the provider searching public information that a credit reference agency holds about you and any previous payment history you have with that provider. The credit reference agency will add details of your search and your application to their record about you whether or not your application is successful. Please read carefully the pre-contractual explanations and the information regarding the cost of credit (including any representative examples). Together they provide important information in relation to the credit facility available from the finance provider.
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
Protecting your information
We take your privacy extremely seriously and we will only use your personal details in line with our Privacy Notice. Please read our Privacy Notice carefully which can be found on our website https://www.unityinsuranceservices.co.uk/privacy-policy and contact us immediately if you have any queries. Where necessary, for example where we would like to use your data for some marketing purposes, we shall ask for your specific consent to do so. Your personal information includes all of the details you have given us to process your insurance policy (we will not ask for more information than is necessary). We may share your data with Third Parties for the provision and ongoing performance of your insurance policy. Your data may be transferred outside the UK. We will not sell, rent or trade your data under any circumstances. All of the personal information you supply to us will be handled strictly in accordance with the applicable Data Protection regulations and legislation.
BY ACCEPTING THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS YOU AGREE TO THESE USES OF YOUR INFORMATION.
How to claim
It is essential to notify us immediately of all incidents that may result in a claim against your insurance policy. You must do so whether you believe you are liable or not. Any letter or 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. Your policy summary and/or policy document will provide you with details on who to contact to make a claim. Claims payment will be made in favour of you. If you require a payment to be made to a third party then you must confirm the required payee name and details and provide a brief explanation for your request. Please contact us for guidance on claiming under your policy.
Fees and charges
In addition to the amount charged by insurers we also make charges to cover the administration of your insurance. We will advise you of the actual amount of any charges/fees at the time of quotation or renewal. These charges/fees may be subject to change during the year, however, any charges/fees that have been agreed and advised at the inception of a policy will remain current until the expiry or renewal, at which time any changes to the charges/fees will be advised. To the extent that it is not possible for an amount to be given we will provide the basis for its calculation.
These charges/fees are non-refundable.
Any applicable insurance premium tax will be shown on the documentation we provide to you.
If you pay your premium by instalments we shall inform you of any additional fees, charges or interest as part of your credit arrangements.
Our earnings will either be commission, payable by the insurer to us, or a fee, as outlined above. We also have arrangements in place with some insurers where we may receive remuneration from them which is in addition to the commission and fees already mentioned. You are entitled, at any time, to request information regarding any commission which we may have received as a result of placing your insurance business or arranging premium finance.
Please be assured that at no time will the way in which we are remunerated conflict with our responsibilities to meet your needs and treat you fairly.
At times it may be appropriate (and for your benefit) for us to use other parties such as wholesale brokers, excess and surplus lines brokers, underwriter managers, managing general agents or reinsurance intermediaries. These parties may also earn and retain commissions or fees for their role in providing products and services for you.
Where a policy is cancelled before renewal, 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.
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 could result in us reducing the amount refunded to you by the FULL amount of the commission 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 due in full on inception of the policy. This means that no refund will be paid if the policy is cancelled before renewal. We will advise you if this affects you.
In view of the cost involved in making changes to your policy, we will not issue refunds of £1 or less. This limit also applies where you overpay for your policy.
In respect of some classes of insurance we may operate block insurance arrangements in order to provide competitive terms. This is where we place all insurances of a certain type with one insurer who can provide particularly competitive terms for all our customers. On occasions it will be necessary for us to transfer such blocks from one insurer to another where this is beneficial for our clients. This Terms of Business Agreement constitutes both your acceptance that we may do this and your prior request for us so to do.
Protecting your money
Prior to your premium being forwarded to the insurer (or forwarded to you in the event of a premium refund) we generally hold your money as an agent of the insurer with which we arrange your insurance. Where we hold premium as the agent of the insurer it is regarded as received by the insurer. If we are not acting as an agent of the insurer when we receive your premium, we shall hold it as client money in trust for you within a client bank account with an approved bank. Our client bank account(s) may contain other clients’ money and money we hold as an agent of insurers. In line with strict FCA rules, our client bank account(s) is/are rigorously monitored in order to segregate and safeguard client money. We reserve the right to retain interest earned on our client bank accounts. We may transfer your premiums to the insurer through another party, such as a broker or underwriting agent for the purposes of effecting a transaction.
By accepting this Terms of Business Agreement, you are giving your consent for us to treat your money in this way. Please notify us immediately if you have any objection or query.
It is our intention to provide a high level of 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 complain, you may do so by contacting us using the contact details on the first page of this document. Should you not be satisfied with our final response, you may be entitled to refer the matter subsequently to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service by telephone on 0800 0 234 567 and further information is available at http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/. If you do decide to refer any matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service your legal rights will not be affected. We will provide a summary of our complaints handling procedures should you make a complaint which we cannot resolve informally and at any other time, upon your request.
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Insurance advising and arranging is covered for 90% of the claim, without any upper limit. For compulsory classes of insurance, insurance advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, also without any upper limit. The compensation scheme does not apply to consumer credit. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100 or by visiting http://www.fscs.org.uk/
Money laundering/Proceeds of crime
We are obliged to report to the National Crime Agency any suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing activity and we are prohibited from disclosing any such report.
Adequacy of insurance values
It is the responsibility of the insured to ensure that all sums insured and policy limits are adequate. Whilst we seek to assist in establishing and maintaining insured values and indemnity limits we cannot accept responsibility for their accuracy. It is strongly recommended that the appropriate Professional (e.g. Surveyor/Accountant) be consulted to ensure that the sums insured and limits under the policy are suitable.
Conflicts of interest/Customer’s best interests
As insurance brokers we generally act as your agent in advising you, arranging your insurance and assisting you in the event of a claim. In certain circumstances we may act for and owe duties of care to insurers and/or other parties. Where we become aware of any actual or potential conflict of interest, we will inform you of the situation, the options available to you and obtain your consent before we proceed.
The insurers we use are regulated and are required to have adequate capital resources. However, we cannot guarantee the solvency of any insurer we place business with. An insolvent insurer may be unable to pay claims or may be unable to pay them in full and you may have to pay a further premium to pay for alternative insurance cover.
You or we may terminate authority to act in connection with your insurance arrangements at any time. Notice of termination must be given in writing and will be without prejudice to the completion of any transactions already commenced. Any business currently in progress will be completed unless we receive instructions to the contrary. Any premiums or fees outstanding will become payable immediately. In circumstances where we feel we cannot continue providing services to you, we will give you a minimum of 7 days’ notice.
Law and jurisdiction
These Terms of Business shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.