Watson Laurie Ltd – Terms of Business

Watson Laurie Ltd (No. 2281004). Registered in England at Watson Laurie House, 232/236 St George’s Road, Bolton BL1 2PH. Telephone Number 01204 387111.

The information contained in this document is confidential and may be read, copied or used only by the intended recipients. If you have received it in error, please contact the sender immediately by returning the document or by telephoning the number above, and please destroy the document and do not disclose any of its contents to anyone.

Firms who advise on Insurance are either independent advisers or representatives of one company. Your adviser is independent and will act on your behalf in advising you on Insurance products. Because your adviser is independent, he or she can advise you on the products of different insurance companies. We do not deal with all companies but a selected panel.

We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Registration Number 302901). The website address is www.fca.gov.uk, and the telephone number is 0845 606 1234.

Customer Classification

A private customer is a personal client or a micro enterprise with turnover and or balance sheet total under 2 million euros or equivalent sterling at the time the complaint is made and with fewer than ten employees. All other clients are corporate clients.

Objectives and Restrictions

Following the issue of this letter, any subsequent advice or recommendation offered to you will be based on your stated objectives, acceptable level of risk and any restrictions you wish to place on the type of policies you are willing to consider. Unless confirmed in writing, to the contrary, we will assume that you do not wish to place any restrictions on the advice we give you, and you will wish us to provide renewal terms when the contract falls due, unless you advise us to the contrary.

Services

The company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We are bound by the rules of the FCA. Our permitted business is advising, arranging, dealing as an agent and assisting in the administration and performance of general insurance contracts.

We provide access to a wide range of general insurance products, services and advice to commercial clients and consumers. We select personal and commercial insurance products from a range of insurers, but for certain products, we may only deal with a single insurer or select from a limited number of insurers. You may ask us for a list of the insurers we deal with for these products. We will give you further information about this before we finalise your insurance arrangements. Our role is to advise you, and after we have assessed your needs, to make a suitable recommendation. In situations where we are able to arrange insurance for you but not offer advice, we shall confirm the position to you in writing. We will not provide further advice or recommendations following the arrangement of insurance cover, unless you notify us of a material change of circumstances or formally request that we review your insurance arrangements. At renewal, unless we present you with a quote for cover with an alternative insurer, we will not offer advice or make recommendations (unless you request this during the renewal process).

  • We will explain the main features of products and services that are available including all-important details of cover and benefits, together with significant exclusions, conditions and other obligations.
  • We undertake to keep our clients fully informed of any material changes in their insurance covers. Similarly, we ensure that all relevant information is passed to insurers as soon as we are notified.
  • If we take over the servicing of insurance policies which were not arranged by us, we do not accept any liability for any loss arising out of any advice provided to you by any other party, nor for any errors, omissions or gaps in your insurance protection. Should you have any concern regarding any aspect of a policy which has been transferred to our control, you should contact us without delay. Otherwise we will endeavour to review your insurance arrangements promptly when details of cover are obtained from your insurers.
  • As a Chartered Insurance Broker we adhere to the CII Code of Conduct.

Written Instructions

We will normally require you to give written instructions in order for us to carry out transactions on your behalf. However, in cases of emergency we will act upon spoken instruction, subject to confirmation in writing.

Remuneration

We derive income from commission and/or fees paid to us in respect of transactions in general insurance. We shall tell you the amount and frequency of commission payable to us on request. Typical commission may be 17.5% for Property, 10% for Employers Liability, 15% for Public Liability and 10% for Fleet.

If there are any return premiums, we reserve the right for these to be made to you net of our commission.

If we receive commission or other form of benefit from another intermediary, we will inform you, if you ask us to do so. We reserve the right to share any commission or fees received by us with other third parties.

Alternatively, if you or we propose to operate on a fee basis, we will agree its basis, frequency and method with you in writing before we carry out any chargeable work.

If we arrange for you to affect a policy from which we receive commission and subsequently you cease to pay premiums which result in us refunding the commission which has been paid to us, we reserve the right to charge you a fee to recompense us for the time spent in advising you and arranging the policy. We shall not charge any fee if you exercise your right to cancel the policy in accordance with the cancellation notice sent to you by the product provider.

Watson Laurie Ltd may occasionally receive additional benefits/payments from certain insurers/providers, dependent upon such factors as size and profitability of our account by way of underwriting profit shares, volume over-riders or premium finance earnings. However, Watson Laurie Ltd conducts business on a fair analysis basis of the insurance market and therefore, is not tied only to those insurers. For certain specific insurances Watson Laurie Ltd offer products from a limited number of insurers, details are available on request.

In addition we will earn interest on insurance monies passing through our insurance bank account.

Any interest earned on client money held by us and any investment returns on any segregated designated investments will be retained by us for our own use.

Accounting to Customers

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we will confirm to you in writing the basis of our reason for recommending the transaction executed on your behalf.

We will also make arrangements for all your policies to be registered in your name, unless you first instruct us otherwise in writing. We will forward to you all documents as soon as practicable after we receive them; where a number of documents relating to a series of transactions is involved, we will normally hold each document until the series is complete and then forward them to you.

Right to Withdraw

You will be advised at the point of sale where a right to withdraw applies and the relevant circumstances.

Unsolicited Real Time Financial Promotions

As an established customer, the company may, on occasion, need to contact you either by telephone or letter as part of our business relationship within any twelve-month period.

Conflicts of Interest

We offer independent advice, but occasions can arise where we or one of our customers will have some form of interest in business that we are transacting for you. If this happens, or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other customers conflict with your interests, we will inform you in writing and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

We maintain professional indemnity insurance in excess of the minimum requirements of the FCA.

Limitation of Liability

For the purposes of the following limitations of liability, “you” means you, the client for whom we have agreed to provide services, and also includes, if we are found to owe any legal duties to them, any of your related or associated companies and/or any members, officers, employees or consultants of yours or any of your related or associated companies.

Nothing in terms of business limits or excludes our liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence, for any damage or liability incurred as a result of our fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or any liability arising out of our failure to comply with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) or any rules laid down by the FCA.

We warrant that we will provide our services to you with reasonable skill and care. All other warranties, conditions and other terms implied by statute or common law are, to the fullest extent permitted by law, excluded from these terms of business.

(i) We will not be liable for any loss incurred as a result of the provision by you to us of incorrect or inadequate information.

(ii) You agree that you will not make any claim or take any action personally against any of our individual members, officers, employees or consultants. However, this does not alter any liability that we as a company may have for the negligence of any of these individuals.

(iii) We will not be liable to you for any loss of anticipated revenue or savings or loss of profit.

(iv) We will not be liable to you for any loss of contracts or business opportunities.

(v) We will not be liable to you for any loss of goodwill or damage to reputation.

(vi) We will not be liable to you for any indirect, special or consequential loss or damage, costs, expenses or other such claims for compensation whatsoever (whether caused by our negligence of that or any of our individual members, officers, employees or consultants or otherwise) which arises out of or in connection with the services we provide, or agreed to provide, to you.

(vii) We are required by the FCA to maintain a certain level of professional indemnity insurance and in any event the total liability of us and our members, officers, employees or consultants in respect of each and every claim shall be limited to the sum of £5,000,000. For these purposes, a “claim” means any claim or demand (whether for compensation, damages or otherwise) made by you against us and/or one or more of our members, officers, employees and consultants. If a number of claims arise directly or indirectly from the same cause of event, then they will be treated as one claim, rather than a series of claims and regardless of whether the multiple claims are made by the same or different claimants.

(viii) In relation to “Regulated Activity” as defined in the FSMA, we will only deal with third parties who are authorised and regulated to carry on such activities and will not knowingly deal with any unauthorised third party.

We will take reasonable steps to check that any client or other party that requires authorisation under the FSMA to carry on their business is authorised and regulated to do so by the FCA. We do not accept any liability for the failure of any other party with whom we have a trading relationship to possess the necessary authorisation by the FCA or any consequences arising out of the failure of the third party to comply with FSMA or the rules laid down by the FCA.

Client Money

We hold client money in a separate client bank account with National Westminster Bank Plc, this is a statutory trust account.

Clients’ Assets

We do not hold clients’ assets for safe-keeping. We may hold policy documents, certificates or contract notes or similar documents on a temporary basis only.

Making a Complaint

If you should have any complaint about the advice you receive or a product that you have bought, please write to the Managing Director of Watson Laurie Ltd, 232/236 St George’s Road, Bolton BL1 2PH. If you feel that your complaint has not been sufficiently handled, you may subsequently complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR – Telephone No. 0207 964 1000. If you are a personal customer or a micro enterprise with turnover and or balance sheet total under 2 million euros or equivalent sterling at the time the complaint is made and with fewer than ten employees, please refer to our full complaints procedure enclosed.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

If you make a valid claim against the company in respect of insurances we arrange for you and we are unable to meet our liabilities in full, you may be entitled to redress from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Details of the cover provided by our scheme are given in a leaflet, which we will send you at your request. Further information is available from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Record Keeping

We keep records of all our business transactions.

Termination of this Agreement

You or we may terminate our authority to act on your behalf at any time without penalty. Notice of this termination must be given in writing. The termination will be without prejudice to the completion of transactions already initiated, if this is the case.

Proposal Form

With certain classes of insurance, we will have to ask for a proposal form to be completed. We will be happy to provide advice and assistance, although we cannot complete the form on your behalf.

Duty of Disclosure

The law imposes onerous duties upon anyone entering into an insurance contract and anyone acting on his/her behalf. For example, a proposer has a duty to disclose all facts or circumstances that may influence the underwriter in deciding whether to accept the insurance, impose special terms or charge an increased premium. The duty arises not only at inception of the contract, but also claims at renewal and throughout the life of the policy. Similarly, the duty applies to the submission and substantiation of all claims.

It is important that you read all insurance and any associated documents issued to you and ensure that you are fully aware of the cover, limits and other terms that apply.

Particular attention must be paid to conditions, clauses and warranties (whether expressed or implied) contained within the insurance we have arranged. Failure to comply can result in the insurer automatically terminating your policy. Further, where the insurance has been placed with conditions, it may be invalidated or coverage prejudiced whilst the condition is outstanding.

If you are unsure whether information or a change in circumstances may be material, you should disclose it.

Confirmation of Cover

We will provide you with written confirmation that cover has been affected and the terms thereof as well as the Insurers involved. These will normally be sent to you within fourteen days of inception of cover.

You agree to review all information upon receipt and advise us immediately if the details of the cover or the participating Insurers, do not meet with your approval, or do not reflect the instructions previously given to us, and particularly if any required cover is excluded.

You agree that it is solely your responsibility to ensure that cover has been affected on the correct terms.

Where a full policy wording is necessary, this will be forwarded as soon as practicable and normally within thirty days of inception of cover.

Settlement Terms

We will be responsible for issuing invoices for all new and renewal premiums and mid-term alterations as soon as practicable after inception or renewal or on receipt of closing documentation from the market. We will remit premiums to Insurers in accordance with the agreed terms of trade.

You will be responsible for paying promptly all of our invoices for premiums, duties, fees and tax to enable us to make the necessary payments to Insurers. If premiums are not paid within our credit terms we reserve the right to cancel or void the insurances we have arranged on your behalf after 7 days written notice.

For the avoidance of doubt, we have no obligation to fund any premiums, duties, fees and taxes on your behalf and have no responsibility for any loss which you may suffer as a result of Insurers cancelling the policy or taking any other prejudicial steps as a result of the late payment of such sums if such delay is attributable to you.

In certain circumstances Insurers may impose a specific premium term, whereby they require payment of premium by a certain date. We must stress that breach of that term may enable Insurers to void the policy from inception of cover. You agree that the settlement of premiums in good time is your responsibility, e.g. premium payment warranty.

Claims

It is essential that claims, or circumstances which could rise to a claim, are notified immediately. Such notification should include all material facts concerning the claim. The Policy Wordings describe in detail, the procedures and conditions attaching to making a claim.

Where agreed, we will provide a claims handling service for as long as you remain a customer of Watson Laurie Ltd, and we will:-

  • If you require us to do so, give you guidance in pursuing a claim under the policy; handle claims fairly and promptly and keep you informed of their progress.
  • Inform you in writing if we are unable to deal with any part of the claim.
  • Account to you, without unavoidable delay, once a claim has been agreed and settled.

We reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee for our services if, for whatever reason, you cease to be a customer with us, but wish us to handle claims on your behalf and if we agree to handle such claims.

Claims settlement will be dependent upon collection from Insurers. Part payments may be made during the collection process, and we cannot be responsible for the wrongful non-payment or delay in payment of any claim by the Insurers.

Retention of Documentation

We will maintain records of the insurance contracts(s) that we arrange on your behalf and our policy is to maintain placing and claims records in accordance with best practice within the insurance industry. We will automatically destroy records after this period unless you advise otherwise. We are happy to provide this service free of charge for as long as we remain your placing broker. It is your responsibility to retain copies of your Employers’ Liability Certificates.

Insurers Market Security

As a Broker we utilise UK based Insurers to obtain the best terms and conditions for clients.

In selecting security, a wide variety of factors including financial statements of the Insurer in question are taken into account. However, we cannot guarantee the future ability of any Insurer to meet policyholder obligations and therefore, the final decision on the suitability of any Insurer rests with you. If you have any concerns about the security offered, please contact us immediately to discuss the matter.

In some instances, covers may be placed via another broker. This could be a Lloyd’s broker who has exclusive access to a particular Lloyd’s Syndicate, or a broker who has access to scheme facilities which are advantageous to our client. Where this occurs, we will advise you.

Customer Service

As an FCA regulated company, we apply the standards set out within the FCA regulations. We will be pleased to send you a copy of the relevant code upon request, or you can readily view a copy by visiting their website at www.fca.gov.uk.

We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service to our clients.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

Watson Laurie Ltd will treat any personal (or other information received by us from you, about you) with the utmost respect, and where appropriate, in accordance with data protection legislation, including the Data Protection Act 1998.

Information provided by you, or which is obtained from other sources in the course of our dealings with you, may be used by Watson Laurie Ltd to facilitate the provision of services applied for or requested.

We may use that information to advise you of our services, which may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to receive further information, please write to us as Watson Laurie Ltd, Watson Laurie House, 232/236 St Georges Road, Bolton BL1 2PH.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are entitled to a copy of your personal data held by us, upon written request and a payment of a fee.

Governing Law

These Terms of Business and any accompanying or associated letter 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.