TERMS OF BUSINESSThe Financial Services Authority is a watchdog that regulates financial services. It requires us to provide you with information to enable you to decide if our services are right for you.
This page formally details the terms of business under which our company operates and provides information about our company status, the services offered and our business approach. Please read this page and should you have any queries about the content or require any further information, please contact us (link to Contact Us page).
Northcott Beaton Ltd is an independent intermediary authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Our FSA Register Number is 306740 and we are permitted to advise, arrange and administer non-investment insurance mediation contracts on behalf of our customers, and potential customers. Should you wish to, you can check our firm's details on the FSA’s Register by visiting the FSA’s website (link to http://www.fsa.gov.uk/) or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234.
We are a wholly privately owned independent insurance intermediary.
We offer a wide range of personal and commercial insurance products and have access to leading insurers in the market place. We can provide you with details of these insurers when we discuss your individual requirements and, should you wish, we can provide you with a list of the insurers used for the different types of insurance contracts that we can arrange for you. For some types of contracts, we select from one or a limited number of insurance providers who specialize in those areas. For example, we offer travel insurance products only from Fortis Insurance; and we offer Uninsured Loss Recovery insurance only from Motassist Ltd. Where selection is made from only one or a limited number of insurance providers, we will inform you of this.
We will act as your agent and advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your insurance needs for the type of insurance contract required. Unless we advise to the contrary, we will provide you with advice and information based upon a fair analysis of the insurance market. We will use our insurance knowledge and experience and, depending upon the type of product or service, will be able to select insurance contracts from a sufficiently large panel of insurers in each section of the general insurance market. We will accept responsibility for the advice provided and for arranging your insurance. We fully endorse the principles and good business practice embodied in the regulatory requirements to ensure that the sales, advisory and service standards associated with arranging general insurance for our clients are of the highest standard. We offer a comprehensive range of sales and advisory services to help meet your general insurance needs including: advising on your insurance requirements, arranging your insurance cover with insurers to meet your requirements, helping with any ongoing amendments that you may have to make, the issue of certain policies on behalf of insurers and assisting you making claims to your insurer. We will give you full details of the types of insurances offered and the conditions applicable before you make any commitment.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
It is your responsibility to provide complete and accurate information to insurers when you take out your insurance policy, throughout the life of your policy, and when you renew your insurance. It is important that you ensure that all statements you make on proposal forms, claim forms and other documents are full and accurate. We would draw your attention to the importance of full disclosure when you sign the declaration on the insurer’s proposal form. It is essential that you advise us promptly of any changes when they occur that may affect your policy, such as changes of address, convictions, changes of vehicle, purchases made etc. Any failure to disclose material facts or any inaccuracies in your answers could invalidate your policy or could mean that part or your entire claim may not be paid. If you are unsure as to whether or not a fact should be disclosed, please ask us and we will be happy to advise.
All our quotations are guaranteed based on the information provided by you. Quotations will remain valid until the end of the calendar month in which you have received them, unless otherwise advised, providing there are no changes in the details or circumstances upon which the quotation has been based. We do, however, reserve the right to withdraw quotations before they are taken up and to apply any changes notified to us by insurers after the quotation was given.
In addition to the premiums charged by insurers, we make (at our discretion) the following charges to cover the administration of certain aspects of arranging your insurance: Lost Certificates £15, Unpaid Cheques £10, Additional Premiums £35, Cancellations £25. We do not refund commission, as this was earned on arranging the policy (unless you are replacing the policy through our company). Any additional charges and their purpose will always be advised to you in advance. Further details on the company’s charging arrangements are available to you on request and will be advised when dealing with your insurance arrangements.
We accept payment by guaranteed cheque or cash. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers' instalment schemes or a credit scheme that we have arranged with Amber Credit and this will involve additional payments to cover the cost of the credit advance. We will give you full information about your payment options and details of any credit payments when we discuss your insurance in detail.
STATUTORY TRUST ACCOUNT AND RISK TRANSFER
We hold all premiums that you pay to us in a segregated statutory trust bank account prior to onward payment to your insurance company. Any premium refunds or claims money that may be due to you from the insurer during the life of your insurance policy will also be placed in this account prior to payment. Where we collect and hold money as agent of an insurance company, we may place client money in a separate trust account prior to onward payment to the insurance company. Under this arrangement, your money is adequately protected to the extent that the insurer deems that when premiums are paid to us as agent that they have been received by the insurer. Additionally, any claims and premium refunds will only be treated as being received by the customer when they are actually paid over. The trust accounts will be managed in strict compliance with FSA requirements to ensure that client money is protected and forwarded to the insurer as they become due and payable. Interest will not be paid to customers in respect of money held in a client bank account.
We may keep certain documents such as your insurance policy or certificate while we are awaiting full payment of premiums. In these circumstances, we will ensure that you receive full details of your insurance cover and will provide you with any documents that you are required to have by law.
You have the right to cancel your policy for a period of 14 days for general insurance contracts; and 30 days for protection-only contracts, from the day after the day you receive the policy document from us. We will provide you with more information regarding cancellation and details on how you may exercise your rights when we send you your policy documents. Where cancellation is made after this cooling off period, most insurers charge short period cancellation rates and the refund of premiums allowed for the unexpired period of cover will depend upon the circumstances. You may incur a charge to cover the cost of administration. No refunds are likely on short term policies (less than 12 months), or if a claim has been made or is pending. In the event of cancellation, we reserve the right to deduct from any premium refund the commission received for arranging this cover. Interest charges are not refundable. Uninsured Loss Recovery, Legal Expenses and Breakdown policies run concurrently with the main policy and cannot be cancelled, therefore no refund is allowable for these types of policies. Please note that if you wish to cancel your policy, you must first contact us. You must return the policy and any current certificates together with written instructions before we cancel cover. Cancelling a direct debit mandate does not cancel the policy. If you do not pay the full premium for the period of cover, a recovery agency may be used and costs incurred will be added to the debt.
Our company is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which provides our customers with further protection. This means that our customers may be entitled to compensation from the compensation scheme in the event of the company being unable to meet its liabilities. Further details can be provided on request. The FSCS only applies to eligible claimants, which normally covers private individuals and small businesses with turnover of less than £1m.
Northcott Beaton Ltd and the insurers we act for aim at all times to provide a high standard of service. If, however, you should wish to make a complaint about our service, we have a formal complaints procedure. In the first instance, you should address your complaint orally to Northcott Beaton Ltd, telephone 01392 426046, or in writing to: Northcott Beaton Ltd, Complaints Department, 70 Fore Street, Heavitree, Exeter, Devon EX1 2RR. As an FSA authorized intermediary, we have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which provide a disputes resolution facility for settling complaints. Further details of this and the company complaints procedure can be found in the How To Complain leaflet which will be issued with your policy documents. We will deal with any complaints promptly and welcome the opportunity to resolve any problems and improve the standard of services offered to our clients. The FOS facilities are only available to eligible complainants. They do not apply to commercial customers with turnover in excess of £1m.
Where you are making a claim under your policy, we will provide you with a claim form, if appropriate, and advice on how to progress your claim. We will assist you in pursuing your claim and facilitate the prompt settlement of your claim. Please ensure that you seek our advice before responding to a third party regarding a claim.
All personal information is treated by us as confidential and is processed in accordance with the relevant legislation. We will not use or disclose personal information without your consent, other than in the normal course of arranging and administering your insurances, except where we are compelled by law (including by regulators or law enforcement agencies) to disclose such information. In such instances, personal information held by us may be disclosed on a confidential basis, and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, to such parties. We may use the information we hold about you to provide you with information about other products and services that we offer which we feel may be appropriate to you.
THE DATA PROTECTION ACT
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to see personal information about you that we hold in our records. If you have any queries, please write to us at Northcott Beaton Ltd, Complaints Department, 70 Fore Street, Heavitree, Exeter, Devon EX1 2RR.
Thank you for taking the time to read these terms