Hepburns Insurance Limited is an independent insurance intermediary, with companies registered in Jersey and Guernsey. The Companies are regulated by the Jersey and Guernsey Financial Services Commissions (JFSC) / (GFSC). This TOBA is in respect of the Guernsey registered company only.
In this document where reference is made to insurance it also means reinsurance.
Our intention in issuing this Terms of Business Agreement is to establish clearly and concisely with you the basis on and extent to which we will provide you with placing services in relation to each insurance that we arrange on your behalf, unless there is a more specific agreement in writing between us. This document also highlights certain important insurance practices and procedures that apply when arranging insurance and provides you with more general information on our services.
We would therefore urge you to read this document carefully, particularly the section entitled Placing Services, as it sets out the basis upon which we will act as your agent in relation to each insurance policy that we arrange on your behalf. If you do not wish our relationship to be governed in such a manner, you need to advise us in writing before we proceed to arrange the insurance.
Quality & Standard of Service In providing you with insurance placing services, we will be acting as your agent, in accordance with your instructions and in a professional and expeditious manner, maintaining quality and standards.
Under the terms of The Insurance Managers and Insurance Intermediaries (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002, The Insurance Intermediaries Rules and Guidance, 2021 and other related guidance we are required to adopt the specific Codes and Practice requirements issued by the GFSC in relation to the operation of our business and the services that we provide.
Managing Your Requirements
We will assign one or more Account Manager(s) to take responsibility for the provision of the insurance placing and claims related services that are described in this document. Such person(s) will be your primary point(s) of contact in relation to insurance that we arrange on your behalf and will ensure, in so far as is reasonably possible, continuity of and accountability for those services.
Establishing Your Needs
In good time before negotiations with the insurer(s) commence, we wish to establish a proper understanding of your requirements. We will assist where necessary in the gathering and collation of material risk information and in its preparation for submission to the insurer(s) who we consider to be appropriate. In that regard, we would draw your attention to the section of this document entitled Duty of Disclosure.
Quoting & Placing
We will seek on your behalf from the insurer(s) competitive indications for insurance and coverage which are, in our opinion, as appropriate as possible to protect against the proposed risk(s), advising you of the terms indicated by the insurer(s) in such a manner as to enable an informed decision to be made on whether to proceed with the insurance.
We will take diligent and timely steps to implement your instructions and, subject to the available insurance market, place all of the required insurance before its intended date of inception, renewal or extension, confirming to you prior to such date the coverage which is in place. If any inability to fulfil your instructions becomes clear to us, we will bring this to your immediate attention.
We will advise you by email or other agreed communication medium of the completion of the insurance arrangement(s). We will then arrange for appropriate documentation to be forwarded to you, which will provide you with formal evidence of the insurance and the amount of premium payable in respect thereof.
Insurance Summary / Cover Note / Risk Register
Is a confirmatory document that provides a summary of the main terms of the insurance and identifies the insurer(s) with whom it has been placed. You should check the document and satisfy yourself that it is entirely in accordance with your understanding and instructions. Any variance should be advised to us immediately and any correspondence should quote our reference. Where a certificate, policy or other evidence or confirmation of insurance is issued in a timely fashion after completion of the insurance arrangements, we will not issue a cover note unless one is specifically requested by you.
Premium Debit Note / Invoice
A premium debit note or invoice indicates the premium charged by the insurer(s) for the insurance, the amount of any rebate or discounts to you and the net amount of premium payable. Where the insurer(s) requires premium to be paid directly to them, this will normally be indicated on the premium debit note or invoice.
Insurance Policy / Certificate
We will seek to obtain and, subject to any lien which we may be legally entitled to exercise, issue to you as soon as practicable any insurance policy or certificate documents which may be required in relation to the insurance. The policy or certificate document will set out comprehensively the terms of the insurance and replaces earlier documentation.
Taxes, Duties & other Charges (Not applicable to insurance policies covering risks located in Guernsey)
Any insurance premium tax, duty or other charge which is payable in addition to the premium and which needs to be remitted to the appropriate authority by the insurer(s), or which is allowed by the insurer(s) to be deducted from the premium payable, will be indicated on the premium debit note or invoice. If a tax, duty or other charge is allowed to be deducted by you from the premium payable, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is remitted to the appropriate authority.
If you require a subsequent amendment to the terms of the insurance, you should advise us in writing at the earliest opportunity, specifying the required changes(s) and enclosing any relevant supporting information. As noted under the section of this document entitled Duty of Disclosure, the duty to disclose material information is continuous, especially when amendments to the insurance are proposed. We will then seek the necessary agreement(s) from the insurer(s) and advise you in writing when the amendment has been effected, or of any inability to effect the required amendment.
An addendum to the cover note, or endorsement to the policy or certificate of insurance, together with a debit note or credit note indicating respectively any additional or return premium due, will be issued to you unless such amendment is reflected within the already issued documentation.
Premium Payment Terms
In order for us to meet the premium payment terms of the insurer(s), premiums must be settled to us as specified in each premium debit note or invoice. In certain circumstances, the insurer(s) will stipulate special premium payment terms or warranties, which, if not met, may affect the validity of the insurance. We will advise you when these special payment terms or warranties apply to the insurance.
Use of Sub-Agents / Overseas Support
Where we consider it to be appropriate and for your benefit, it may be necessary for us to request or recommend another more localised or specialist insurance broker or intermediary to act as our sub-agent and assist in the placement or servicing of the insurance, for example, accessing the Lloyds of London insurance market. In such cases, we will provide specific instructions to meet your insurance requirements. We are obliged by law to advise you that:
(a) insurance money may be passed to another insurance intermediary outside of Guernsey; and
(b) if the money is so passed, the legal and regulatory regime applying to the insurance intermediary with which the insurance money will be held will be different from that of an insurance intermediary located within Guernsey and in the event of the failure of the insurance intermediary the insurance money may be treated differently than it would be if the insurance money were held by an insurance intermediary in Guernsey.
DUTY OF DISCLOSURE
We wish to ensure that all of our clients are aware of their duty of disclosure to insurers.
Non-Consumer (retail / commercial) Policies
You are required to make a fair presentation of the risk to an insurer which discloses every material circumstance which you know or ought to know relating to the risk to be insured, or failing that, sufficient information to alert an insurer that they need to make further enquiries. This includes information known by your senior management and those responsible for arranging your insurance as well as information which would reasonably have been discovered by a reasonable search of information available to you. Disclosure must be reasonably clear and accessible to a prudent insurer. Material representations of fact must be substantially correct and material representations of expectation/belief must be made in good faith. Insurers will not be deemed to have knowledge of any information generally referred to (for example the contents of company websites).
A circumstance is material if it would influence the judgment of a prudent insurer in determining whether to provide insurance for the risk and, if so, on what terms. This duty of fair presentation applies at all times, including in connection with any variations, e.g. changes you wish to make to your policy.
Failure to comply with the duty of fair presentation could mean that your policy of insurance is void or invalidated or that insurers are not liable to pay all or part of your claim(s). The above duty of disclosure is the applicable duty under the laws of England and Wales. As a minimum, we expect you to disclose your information in accordance with the duty set out above.
Consumer (personal) Policies
Consumers must take reasonable care to answer all questions honestly and to the best of their knowledge and belief and not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer. Providing details that are untrue, inaccurate or incomplete may result in the refusal of a claim, alteration of policy terms, insurers reducing the amount of your claim they pay to take account of any increased premium they would have charged and/or your policy being cancelled.
Once cover has been arranged you must immediately notify us of any changes to the information that has been provided to your insurer. Failure to provide complete and accurate answers to the questions that you have been asked may invalidate your insurance cover and mean that a claim may not be paid.
All statements and facts disclosed on proposal forms, claim forms and other documents should be complete and accurate you must always read the Declaration and make sure you understand it before you sign. In completing a proposal or claim form or any other material document relating to an insurance policy, the accuracy of all answers, statements and/or information is the policyholder’s/insured’s own responsibility.
In the event that there is a breach of the duty of disclosure, the insurer may have the right to avoid the insurance from its commencement. Under such circumstance, the insurer(s) would be entitled to seek recovery of any claims already paid by them under the insurance, although at the same time the insurer(s) would generally be obliged to return paid premiums. We have no obligation to return any commission paid to us in arranging or handling the insurance (see Remuneration below).
Conflicts of Interests
Circumstances may arise where we have a potential conflict of interest between us (including our directors and employees) and you, or between you and another of our clients. We always aim to treat you fairly and avoid conflicts of interest. We never deliberately put ourselves in a position where our interests, or our duty to another party, prevent us from discharging our duty to you and always acting in your best interests.
In the event that either we or you identifies a potential conflict of interest in providing the Services under this TOBA, that is a conflict which may harm your interests or may entail a material risk of damage to you, then we will immediately segregate our duties internally and ensure procedures to prevent or control the exchange of information between the relevant parties.
Where a potential conflict of interest cannot be reasonably, properly and independently maintained by internal segregation, then this will be disclosed to you and discussed openly with the aim of achieving a satisfactory outcome. The disclosure to you will include sufficient detail to enable you to make an informed decision.
Claims should be notified either directly to Hepburns Insurance Limited or should you prefer, direct to your insurer(s) without delay.
Negotiation & Settlement
We will diligently pursue the settlement and, where applicable, the collection of any claim under the insurance and seek to secure as full and as reasonable a recovery as we are able within the terms, conditions and limitations of the policy. We will not compromise the amount of any claim settlement without your prior approval. Where applicable, we will provide you with written confirmation of the acceptance of the claim and the amount of settlement proposed by the insurer(s).
Maintenance of Records
We will make, maintain and keep a record of all material particulars relating to the notification, processing and resolution of claims under the insurance for which we provide claims related services. Such records may be kept in paper based, electronic or such other medium as we consider appropriate provided that they are either in a legible form or capable of being reproduced in a legible form.
Services for Insurer(s)
In relation to the claims process, we may provide and may be separately remunerated for limited services to the insurer(s), including but not limited to, claims handling and record retention for the insurer(s) and, in relation to surveyors, adjusters, lawyers, forensic accountants, engineers, recovery agents and other third parties appointed by the insurer(s), by relaying instructions from the insurer(s), disseminating reports and collecting fees or other disbursements. These latter services may also be provided to the insurer(s) during the placing process.
In the event of us not being retained as your appointed advisor, the claims service we promote will be automatically terminated.
Subject to any lien, which we may be legally entitled to exercise, we will fully co-operate in the transfer of files and other documents to which you are legally entitled and which are reasonably necessary for either yourself or another insurance intermediary to assume appropriate responsibility.
DATA PROTECTION AND SECURITY OF INFORMATION
Hepburns Insurance Limited is notified under the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2017. We will take appropriate steps to provide adequate security, taking into account the nature of the data, and the harm to you, which could arise, from disclosure or loss of your confidential documents and / or any information in our possession.
REMUNERATION AND OTHER INCOME
Our principal remuneration for arranging the insurance will be either by way of brokerage commission, being the proportion of the premium paid which is allowed to us by the Insurer(s) for introducing the insurance to them. We may however charge you a fee which may be in addition to commission or partly or wholly instead of commission however when we do charge you a fee this will be identified to you in writing.
In addition to the above, you should be aware that as a result of arranging the insurance, we may receive additional income from the following sources:
Interest earned on monies passing through our insurance broker accounts.We are not obliged to seek your consent to retaining interest where we have reasonable grounds to believe that the interest earned on an individual client transaction will be no more than £20.
Income derived from arranging premium financing.
Fees for services from insurer(s) in support of general business activities
Expense allowances from Insurer(s) for managing and administering certain line slips, covers, binding authorities and other similar facilities, including claims which may arise thereunder. All of which we believe enable more efficient service and competitive terms to be provided to those clients for whom we consider the use of such facilities appropriate.
Contingent commissions (some-times referenced as “incentive” commissions) which can be based on profitability, premium income volume and/or growth, or payable to reflect our processing efficiencies, across a portfolio of business placed with a particular insurer(s).
Our commission and our fees are earned for the policy period and we reserve the right to retain all commission and all fees in respect of the full policy period in relation to policies placed by us, even if the contract is terminated for any reason and even if you choose to appoint another intermediary in our place during the currency of your policy.
Please contact us if you wish to know more.
Notwithstanding the existence of any fees, expenses or contingent commission agreements with an insurer, we recognise that our overriding responsibility is and always seek and act in the best interests of the policyholder, including in fair market analysis and in the selection of the insurer(s). All monies paid to us are held in a segregated ‘Client Account’ prior to settlement of the premium to insurers.
All monies held in this account can be used only to settle insurance company premium statements and as such are held at the risk of insurers.
METHODS OF PAYMENT
Premiums should be settled on an individual debit note or credit note basis unless agreed otherwise with you. Statements of Account are issued periodically where there are monies due for payment to us and we may have monies on account that is owing to you.
All payments should be made in the same currency in which they have been invoiced to you.
Cheques / Bankers Drafts
A cheque or bankers draft should be made payable to Hepburns Insurance Limited, unless otherwise advised. (If you wish to remit by wire transfer, please contact your Account Manager for details of the appropriate account number.
We recognise that communicating by e-mail on a “desk-to-desk” basis is a very desirable method of conducting business. However, if you choose to communicate with us by e-mail, we do have some concerns specific to its use in placing and servicing insurance that we would like to share with you:
Integrity & Receipt
There is no certainty of the completeness, accuracy or even the receipt of a message or data file sent by e-mail. As an insurance intermediary, we are concerned that using e-mail as part of a contractual process creates an exposure for our clients and ourselves as their agent or professional advisor. We are particularly concerned with misrepresentation or non-disclosure of information, where corruption of data during transmission or missing data file attachments may not be immediately obvious to the recipient. This could create a situation, which subsequently affects the legality of the insurance contract.
For important messages we may ask for a confirmation of receipt and we will acknowledge or respond to those that we receive. Hard copies of messages may also be requested or sent where considered appropriate
By unavoidably having to use third party service providers to “deliver” e-mails, confidentiality may be outside of the sender’s control.
Where receipt of a message by a given time/date is critical or the subject matter is of an important nature, such message should be communicated by hand or courier to ensure that it is received and can then be acted upon, alternatively, where email is relied on for such matters, you should verify receipt. Many contracts of insurance have provisions which require notice in writing in order to ensure compliance, particularly in relation to claims advices.
In the absence of any formal contract setting out the terms of communicating by e-mail, it may be questioned in certain jurisdictions as to whether such communications are or will be legally admissible as evidence in any dispute, without considerable supporting evidence as to checks having been made on receipt, security and integrity of the communication.
With knowledge of the potential damage which computer viruses can cause, e-mail users should use their best endeavours to ensure that they do not transmit harmful viruses to other parties.
We will seek to place and service insurance business in the most efficient manner, which increasingly is by means of electronic trading. Therefore, where we consider it appropriate, we will exchange data and text with you, the insurer(s) and other parties connected with the insurance using e-mail, through private insurance market networks and through web-enabled systems accessed via the internet. The exchange of data between Intermediaries and insurer(s) by electronic means has long been a feature of the Insurance Market, principally in relation to accounting and insurance claim processes.
COUNTERING FINANCIAL CRIME AND TERRORIST FINANCING
Hepburns Insurance Limited is required to comply with all appropriate legislation, regulations and guidance notes. Our compliance arrangements are contained within a compliance manual and all our staff are required to fully discharge their responsibilities as contained therein. These responsibilities primarily concern verification of customer identity.
It may well be that we will request personal or corporate details from you and ask for proof of identity in a prescribed format, for example to see your passport or driving licence. Evidence of residence may be required in the form of an original utility bill. We would very much appreciate your assistance in this respect. We will only request such details and verifying documentation from you in circumstances where it is a strict legal requirement and as such are obliged to do so.
If you have a complaint regarding our practices or performance, which you are unable to resolve to your satisfaction, please contact, detailing the nature and underlying circumstances of your complaint:
The Managing Director
Hepburns Insurance Limited
St. Peter Port Guernsey
The Managing Director is responsible for monitoring the quality of our services and compliance with the laws and regulatory practice codes applying to us. He will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five business days and give you our response to your complaint at that time if possible. If investigations take longer you will be provided with a full written response within 20 business days, or the current position of your complaint will be explained and you will be provided with an indication as to when we expect to provide our final response which will be within 40 working days from the date of your initial complaint.
If you are not satisfied with our final response to your complaint, you can refer your complaint to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO). You can contact the CIFO at:
Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO)
PO Box 114
Guernsey local telephone: 01481 722218
Making a complaint against us is in addition to and does not replace your right to seek legal redress against us.
If any part of these Terms of Business is or becomes illegal, invalid or unenforceable then that part shall be deemed to be removed from these Terms of Business and shall not in any way affect the legality, validity or enforceability of the remaining Terms of Business.