Terms of Business
The Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services. Pounder Insurance (NE) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our FCA Register number is 568134 and you can check our status at www.FCA.org.uk/firms or by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 1234.
Our permitted business includes advising, arranging, dealing in and assisting with the placing and administration of all types of General Insurance policies
Confidentiality and Data Protection
We will treat all your personal information as private and confidential to us and anyone else involved in the normal course of arranging and administering your insurance, even when you are no longer a customer. We will not give anyone else any personal information except on your instructions or authority, or where we are required to do so by law, or by virtue of our regulatory requirements. We may use information we hold about you to provide information to you about other products and services, which we feel may be appropriate to you. 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 our usual office address.
We are an independent insurance intermediary, who acts on our customers’ behalf in arranging insurance and we will advise you separately prior to the commencement of each contract if this alters. Our services include: advising you on your insurance needs; arranging your insurance cover with insurers to meet your requirements; and helping you with any ongoing changes you have to make. As part of our service, we will assist you with any claim you need to make and tell you what your responsibilities are in relation to making claims.
If you mislay your policy at any time, we will issue a replacement policy document, if you request it.
Whose products we offer
We usually offer advice from a range of insurers, representing a fair analysis of the market for Motor, Household and Commercial Insurance. We only offer products from a limited market for Breakdown, Travel and Caravan Cover. In some cases we may only deal with a single insurer. We will confirm, for each individual policy we provide you with, the basis of our advice. In certain circumstances we will use the services of another intermediary to place your insurance and in these circumstances we will state the name of the intermediary we use and the name of the risk carrier in the form of “underwritten by”.
The service we will provide you with
We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your demands and needs. Our advice will be confirmed in a demands & needs and suitability statement, giving reasons for our recommendation. In respect of Legal Expenses/Motor Breakdown policies you will not receive advice or a recommendation from us and you will then need to make your own choice about how to proceed.
What you will pay for our services
We usually receive a commission from the insurer with whom we place your business. We also receive commission for arranging finance agreements for the payment of premiums and we may also receive commission or fees for passing introductions to other professionals. In addition, we normally make the following charges to cover the administration of your insurance:
Arranging new policies Up to £250.00
Renewals Up to £250.00
Mid-term adjustments £10.00
Mid-term cancellations and other refunds are refunded NET of commission. We will in addition, charge up to £25.00 administration fee.
Replacement/duplicate certificates or cover notes £10.00
Bounced Cheques £10.00
Consumer policies cancelled during the ‘Right to Cancel’ period will be subject to an administration charge of £15, in addition to the premium charged by the insurer for the period of cover provided.
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 the arrangement fee before you take the policy out. Specific charges, which apply to individual policies, will be advised to you prior to the commencement of each contract applicable to that policy. The specific charge and purpose of any additional charges will always be advised to you in advance. Prior to the conclusion of each insurance contract, or upon renewal, we will remind commercial policyholders of their right to be advised of the level of commission which we receive from underwriters. 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.
What to do if you have a complaint
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 you need to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact us either in writing to: The Complaints Manager, Pounder Insurance (NE) Ltd, 5 Blandford Place, Seaham, Co Durham, SR7 7EL or, by telephone / fax on Telephone 0191 5130066 or fax 0191 5130774. We will provide you with a copy of our full complaints procedure and respond to you promptly. We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint and aim to make a final response to you within eight weeks, or keep you informed as to why this is not possible. In the event that your complaint relates to activities or services provided by another party, we will ensure that your complaint is appropriately forwarded in writing, and will track the progress of the complaint and responses of that party. After our final response has been issued, if you still cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service, for an independent assessment and opinion.
The FOS Consumer Helpline is on 0800 023 4567 (free for people phoning from a "fixed line" (for example, a landline at home) or 0300 123 9 123 (free for mobile-phone users paying monthly charge for calls to No’s starting 01 or 02 and their address is: Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London E14 9SR. www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Your right to cancel (applicable to consumers only)
You have a legal right to cancel your policy for any reason, subject to no claims having occurred, within 14 days of receiving the full terms & conditions. You will always be advised where this Right applies. A charge will apply for the period of cover provided and, in addition, we make an administration charge as detailed above. If you wish to cancel a policy you must advise us in writing, prior to expiry of the 14-day cancellation period, to our usual office address.
Are we covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
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 are available from the FSCS. The FSCS is the UK’s statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms, like us. The FSCS can pay compensation if an authorised firm is unable or likely to be unable to pay claims against it, usually because it has gone out of business or is insolvent. Insurance advising and arranging is covered for 90% of the claim, without an upper limit. For compulsory insurances (for example, motor insurance and employers’ liability insurance), insurance advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, without an upper limit. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS.
Handling client money and/or insurer money
Pounder Insurance (NE) Ltd acts as the agent of Insurers in the collection of money. This means that when you pay us the money it is then taken as payment of the premium due and automatically becomes Insurer money. This is an excellent safeguard for you as it means that your money or Insurance cover is not at risk if we become insolvent. When we collect this money it is held in a special Client Bank Account for the benefit of the relevant Insurer. Interest will not be paid to customers in respect of money held in client bank accounts.
Pounder Insurance (NE) Ltd may allow other brokers to hold or control client money, but only if the firm transfers the client money for the purpose of a transaction for a client, through or with that Broker.
We normally accept payment by guaranteed cheque or the following credit/debit cards – Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro. You may be able to spread your payments through insurers’ instalment schemes or a credit scheme, which we have arranged with an established insurance premium finance provider. We will give you full information about your payment options and the appropriate finance agreement when we discuss your insurance in detail. Please Note: Your policy cover will cease if you fail to keep up payments on an instalment agreement or premium finance facility related to it.
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.
The English language will be used for all communications, the contractual terms and conditions, and any information we are required to supply to you, before and during the duration of the contract.
This Terms of Business is subject to English Law and the jurisdiction of the English Courts.
Information on how we treat payments you make to us
Under the terms of our agreements with the Insurance companies with whom we place business, we normally receive premiums you pay to us as Agent of the Insurer. In certain circumstances you may have the additional protection of insurance companies accepting that monies paid to us are treated as being received by them (Risk Transfer) Please ask for details. All insurance premiums you pay to us are protected in a Statutory Trust Client Account until we pay insurers. We do not pay any interest on premiums held by us in the course of arranging and administering your insurance. 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.
Your duty to give information
When applying for or amending your Insurance policy, we and or your Insurers will ask a number of questions to assess the risk prior to agreeing cover. It is your duty to ensure that you answer all questions raised by Insurers or us honestly and reasonably. These questions are designed to enable us or the Insurer to obtain a comprehensive picture of the nature of the risk to be insured, and only by asking such questions and receiving answers which are given honestly and with reasonable care, can we or the Insurer be in a position to offer terms which are designed to meet your demands and needs.
The reason why this is vital and extremely important is that if you fail to tell us or the Insurer something when asked, or, if you answer carelessly or act deliberately or recklessly in making misrepresentations when answering questions, your policy may leave you with no Insurance protection; Insurers may not pay a part or all of your claim and may cancel your policy. You may find it difficult to re-arrange cover because you did not tell an Insurer everything when asked, and you will have to disclose this fact when you reapply for Insurance.
Commercial customers – please ask us for your own Terms of Business.