Terms of Business and Anti Bribery and Corruption Policy

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Terms of Business

 

Introduction

Please read this document carefully as it sets out the terms on which we agree to act for our clients and contains details of our regulatory and statutory responsibilities.  Please contact us immediately if there is anything in these terms of business which you do not understand or with which you disagree.

 

Coops Insurance, 137 Church Hill Road, Cheam, Sutton, Surrey, SM3 8NE. Tel: 02086413131 Email: insurance@coops.co.uk

 

Status As An Independent Intermediary And Regulatory Authorisation

Coops Brokers Limited t/a Coops Insurance is an independent insurance intermediary and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our FCA Register number is 726010, which may be checked on the FCA’s register by visiting the FCA website, www.fca.org.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768. The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services. It requires us to give you this document. Please use this document to decide if our services are right for you.

 

Permissions: We are permitted to arrange, advise on, deal as an agent of insurers, assist in claims handling, help with mid-term adjustments, introduce to an insurer/premium finance provider(s) and arrange lending facilities in respect of general insurance policies on behalf of our clients.

 

Product Range: Our role is to provide personal lines and commercial insurance products. We have access to leading insurers and select your insurance product through our panel of insurers/financial providers, a list of which is available upon request. We will advise you and make a suitable recommendation after we have assessed your needs. We will explain the main features of the products and services that we offer you including details of the provider, main details of cover and benefits, any unusual restrictions or exclusions, any significant conditions or obligations and the period of cover. If we propose using another intermediary to arrange your insurance, we will confirm this in writing in good time before conclusion of contract. In situations where we are able to arrange insurance for you but do not offer advice, we shall confirm the position to you in writing. We will not in any circumstances act as an insurer nor guarantee or warrant the solvency of any insurer.

 

Our Advice

Upon assessment of your requirements, we will make a recommendation on an advised basis for a particular insurance product. Our advice will be confirmed in a demands and needs statement which will clearly state the reasons for our recommendation. In some circumstances we may not provide you with advice, (non advised basis) for example: If we renew your insurance cover with your existing insurers without re-broking your insurance,and where no recommendation or opinion on the product’s suitability has been provided; and/or if we simply provide you with information on a product. If we do not provide you with advice will always make this clear to you in our documentation.

 

Consumers Duty to Take Reasonable Care: You are responsible for providing the complete and accurate information, which insurers require in connection with any proposal for insurance cover. Your policy document will state your customer classification. You must take reasonable care to provide complete, accurate and honest answers to the questions we ask when you take out, make changes to, and renew your policy.Please also tell us if there are any changes to the information set out in the Statement of Fact, certificate of insurance (if applicable) or on your schedule.If any of the information provided by you changes after you purchase or renew your policy and during the period of your policy please provide us with details.If any of the information provided by you is not complete and accurate:Your insurer may cancel your policy and treat it as if it never existed; or your insurer may refuse to pay any claim, or your insurer may not pay any claim in full, or your insurer may revise the premium and/or change the compulsory excess, or the extent of the cover may be affected.

In respect of motor policies, it is an offence under the Road Traffic Acts to provide incomplete or inaccurate information to the questions asked in your application for the purpose of obtaining a certificate of motor insurance. Insurers recommend you keep a record (including copies of letters) of all information provided to them or us for your future reference. A copy of the completed application form (if applicable) will be supplied on request within a period of three months after its completion. If you are unsure about any matter, please contact us for guidance.

 

Commercial Clients’ Duty of Disclosure: It is your responsibility, throughout the lifetime of a policy and at renewal, to provide us and your insurers with complete and accurate information. You should check details on any forms that have been completed on your behalf to ensure they are correct. All material facts should be disclosed, relating to the insurance cover we arrange for you.  Material facts are those which are likely to affect both the assessment and acceptance of risks being insured.  If you are unsure whether a fact is material, you should disclose it.  Failure to provide full and accurate information may invalidate your cover, thus any future claim may be declined.  If you are in any doubt as to what may constitute a material fact then please don’t hesitate to ask us.

 

Confidentiality of information: To ensure you get the best offer from our insurers now or renewal or at any time and to verify your identity a number of our insurers may use a credit reference agency when providing quotations. Their search will appear on your credit report whether your quote application is successful or not. As well as these searches, insurance companies may use a credit check to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you. This credit check will also appear on your credit report whether or not your application proceeds. If you do not provide consent for us to issue such a search, then please contact this office. 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 third parties. Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to ask for a copy of personal information that we hold on you.

 

Our Charges:

 

New business charge 20% of the annual premium subject to a minimum of £35.00
Renewal charge 20% of the annual premium subject to a minimum of £35.00
Any mid term adjustments £50.00
Cancellations £50.00 + commission clawback (Refer Cancellations)
Replacement lost certificates £15.00
Bounced cheque: £6.50
Direct debit facility: 12.50% of the balance of the annual premium after deducting the deposit
Direct debit facility: 14.50% of the balance of the annual premium if no deposit is paid
There are no additional charges for low or non commission policies

 

The fees may be subject to change and are non refundable. Where there are changes, we will confirm this clearly and the actual amount will always be disclosed to you before you commit to purchasing the product. We usually receive a commission from an insurer when placing your business and from a finance company when arranging finance for you (this is usually expressed as a percentage of the individual loan and paid directly to us by the premium finance provider. You can ask about our earnings). We occasionally receive additional remuneration from insurers, premium finance providers and other associated business partners for business we place with them. We take any commission once we receive your payment as cleared funds and prior to payment of the premium to the insurer. We may occasionally receive additional remuneration from certain insurers for insurance policies we place with them, finance providers, claims management services and others.  

 

Payment terms: We normally accept payments by cash (subject to a limit), cheque, debit card, credit card or by bank transfer. It is sometimes possible to spread payments through an insurer’s installment scheme or a credit facility that we have arranged with our preferred premium finance provider/select number of premium finance providers and acceptance will be subject to a credit check. If you choose to pay for your insurance premium through our selected premium finance provider/one of our preferred premium finance providers (you are entitled to ask us for a list of providers) we will provide you with a breakdown of costs of your monthly installments and a document outlining key features of the credit agreement. 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 may result in the automatic termination of your insurance and could mean that part or all of a claim may not be paid.

 

Handling money and/or insurer money: We collect and hold money as an agent of the insurer in a non-statutory trust account as to pay insurance premiums only. All of the money to pay insurance premiums is held in this way. When acting as an agent of the insurer (when operating on a risk transfer basis) your payment to our company is deemed as having been received by the insurer. No interest will be payable to customers in respect of the client account. Any interest earned will remain in the ownership of Coops Insurance. We may pass the money you pay us to another intermediary and we will only do this where it is a necessary part of the process of arranging cover for you. We do not make payments outside of the UK

 

Cancellation of insurance within the cooling off period: Your policy document details you rights to cancel your insurance once you have taken it out. Depending on the type of policy you have purchased, you may be entitled to cancel within 14 days of either conclusion of the contract or receiving your policy documentation, whichever occurs later subject to no claims having been made. This is often referred to as a cooling off period. If the policy is cancelled within the cooling off period you will be responsible for paying a cost to ourselves for the work involved in arranging your policy along with a time on risk charge and any administration charge levied by the insurer. Your policy document will provide you with specific information on your full rights to cancel your insurance. Please contact us in writing to the office address above or by e-mail should you want to exercise your right to cancel before the 14 days elapse.

 

Cancellation of insurance outside of the cooling off period: Some insurers for commercial business do not provide a refund if a policy is cancelled before renewal however, we will always advise you of this before conclusion of the contract. Any refunded amount payable will be less our charges (please refer to ‘Our Charges’ ). To enable your insurer to process the cancellation, you will need to return certificates and any official documents to our office within 30 days of your notice to cancel. Cancellation refunds are not given after a claim has been submitted to your insurer and otherwise calculated on a short period scale weighed in favour of the insurers as their costs are similar whether a policy has run for one day or a year this may allow insurers to retain the premium in full or charge short-period premiums in the event of cancellation. We do not refund commission since this was earned for arranging the policy (unless you are replacing the policy through our agency) and commission is considered as earned directly payment or a proportion of payment has been made and do not refund new business charges or installment charges. In view of the cost involved in making changes to your policy, we will not issue refunds of less than £20.00.

 

Renewal of Contract: We write to you in good time before your renewal date, offering you renewal terms or in situations where we are not inviting renewal, we will advise you.  Renewal of the contract is based on the information you supplied when we arranged your current contract along with any amendments you have made during the period of cover.  It is vital that you advise us of any changes to your requirements. Where we offer you renewal terms and your insurance is paid by monthly direct debit instalments, in the absence of a response from you we will deem this as your consent to renew the cover automatically.  This will ensure that you are not in a position without insurance cover.

 

Claims: You should take note of the required procedures in the event of a claim, which will be stated in the policy documentation. Insurers require immediate notification of a claim or circumstances that might lead to a claim. You may contact us should you require any assistance with the claim and you must not acknowledge any correspondence you may receive from any other party in the event of a claim.

 

Conflict of interests: Occasions can arise where we or one of our associated companies, clients or product providers will have a potential conflict of interest with business being transacted for you. If this happens and we become aware that a potential conflict exists, we will write to you and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions, and detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.

 

Bribery & Corruption: Please be aware that current UK money laundering regulations require us to obtain adequate ‘Know Your Client’ information about you. We are also required to cross check you against the HM Financial Sanctions List as part of the information gathering process. We are obliged to report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency any evidence or suspicion of financial crime at the first opportunity and we are prohibited from disclosing any such report. We will not permit our employees or other persons engaged by them to be either influenced or influence others in respect of undue payments or privileges from or to insurers or clients. Coops Insurance has the appropriate systems and procedures in place as so to comply with the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010.

 

Complaints and Compensation: We aim to provide all of our clients with an excellent level of service.  However, we recognise that there could be an occasion when you do not feel satisfied with the service you have received from us.  We take complaints very seriously and with this in mind we have developed a Customer Complaints Procedure which lets you know how we will deal with your complaint or issue.

Should you need to make a complaint, please contact our Complaints Manager using any of the following methods: In person, in writing – Coops Insurance 137 Church Hill Road Cheam Sutton Surrey SM3 8NE. By telephone – 02086413131 or email – insurance@coops.co.uk. We automatically provide a copy of our Customer Complaints Procedure to a complainant upon receipt of a complaint. We respond to complaints within 5 working days and we aim to settle complaints within 8 weeks.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) offer eligible complainants a free independent service for resolving disputes. You may contact the FOS by: Calling their consumer helpline on: 0800 0 234 567 (free for people phoning from a “fixed line”), or0300 123 9 123 (free for mobile users who pay a monthly charge for calls to numbers starting 01 or 02)Writing to them at: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR. Or Emailing: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk Further detailed information about the FOS, including a description of eligible complainants, can be found: In our Customer Complaint Procedure. In the FOS’s leaflet ‘Your Complaint and the Ombudsman’ which we can provide you with or it is available to download from the Financial Ombudsman Service website: http//www.fos.org.uk.

 

FSCS: We do not guarantee the solvency of any insurer we place business with. We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for insurance mediation only; this does not extend to consumer credit lending i.e. credit broking/lending.  The FSCS is the UK’s compensation fund of last resort for clients of authorised financial services firms. You may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and circumstances of the claim. Insurance advising and arranging is covered for 90% of the claim with no upper limit, although compulsory insurance is protected in full. Further details regarding the FSCS can be obtained from its website www.fscs.org.uk

 

Termination of authority: You or we may terminate our authority to act on your behalf with 14 days notice or as otherwise agreed without penalty. Notice of this termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt. Termination is without prejudice to any transactions already initiated, which will be completed according to these terms of business unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any transactions or adjustments effective prior to termination and we will be entitled to retain any and all fees or brokerage payable in relation to policies placed by us prior to the date of termination.

 

Governed by the laws of England and Wales in the event of a dispute. V:3 20/04/215

 

Coops Insurance Terms of Business V6 May 2017

 

Anti–bribery and Corruption Policy

 

Introduction: The Bribery Act 2010 has been introduced to help combat bribery and corruption.  It applies to all commercial organisations in the UK and overseas companies that have a presence in the UK with effect from 1st July 2011.

The Act makes the following activities illegal

 

promising, offering or giving of a bribe (active bribery)

requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a bribe (passive bribery)

bribery of a foreign public official

failure to prevent bribery by a commercial organisation

 

Our company culture and ethics mean that we do not bribe or use any other means to improperly influence the decisions of clients, potential clients or government officials. We do not offer or provide bribes directly or through a third party. We do not bribe even where it might be a generally accepted practice, when competitors do so, or for any other reason.

 

What is a bribe?: Under the Act a person is guilty of an offence where they offer, promise or give a ‘financial or other advantage’ (for example cash, gifts, corporate hospitality, provision of free services such as training or letting someone off paying an outstanding debt) that is

 

intended to make someone perform a function or activity improperly, or reward them for having done so, or

offered or given knowing that it would be improper for them to accept it.

In addition, a person who receives or potentially will receive a bribe is guilty of an offence if that person requests, agrees to receive or accepts a financial or other advantage:

if the person intends that a function or activity is improperly performed;

if the request, agreement or acceptance itself is the improper performance of a function or activity;

as a reward for the improper performance of a function or activity,

or where a relevant function or activity is improperly performed by a person in anticipation or in consequence of requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a financial or other advantage.

 

The Act also provides that a commercial organisation is guilty of an offence if a person associated with that organisation (for example, employees, agents or subsidiary companies) bribes another person with the intention of obtaining or retaining business or a business advantage.

 

Gifts and Entertainment: It is not necessarily the case that we can no longer accept what would be considered as an insurance industry norm of gifts and entertainment.  However, we should ensure they are proportionate and reasonable to accept considering the purpose of the gift/entertainment and the nature of the relationship with our providers/clients. If the gift or entertainment being offered is unusually high in value with regard to the business relationship then these could well be construed as inappropriate and raise a question as to whether this could in fact be a bribe.Our Gifts and Entertainment Policy requires our employees to refer any gift over the value of £20 before accepting it.  Any gift or entertainment, including those that are declined, must be recorded on our Gifts and Entertainment Log.

 

Penalties: Any person found guilty of a bribe can be subject to an unlimited fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 10 years.  Our senior management can also be open to such punishment as well as enforcement action from the FCA if the bribe was committed by one of our employees or business associates. Naturally, our professional reputation would be at risk if found guilty of committing a bribery offence and indeed may involve the FCA withdrawing our authorisation.

 

Avoiding Prosecution: It is essential to demonstrate adequate procedures are in place to help prevent a bribe being committed.  This includes through our company, employees or business associates such as insurers, other intermediaries, Appointed Representatives, Introducer Appointed Representatives and anyone else with whom we have a direct contractual relationship. Our firm could face prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for any form of bribery and/ or corruption where it is in the public interest to do so. The guidance provided by the government does not set out firm rules on how to avoid prosecutions under the Act, but it offers six principles that we should follow when considering our procedures.  These are documented in Appendix 1.

 

Action required by all colleagues: All colleagues should make sure they: Do not accept, give, offer or promise anything of value from/to a client or prospective client unless it is legal, reasonable, and free of any intent or understanding or appearance that it will or could influence a business decision. Be aware that facilitation payments are completely unacceptable unless your personal safety is at risk.   Where such a situation arises, a full, written disclosure of circumstances surrounding the event should be provided to senior management who will decide whether it is necessary to report the event to the Serious Fraud Office. Raise a concern whenever they learn of any sign or “red flag” that a colleague, third party or other agent of our company may be engaged in any attempt to improperly influence a decision of a client or potential client. Never record a transaction in a way that disguises its true nature, such as booking the cost of entertaining a client as a “consulting fee” or a “training expense.” Understand our Gifts and Entertainment Policy and Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy.  Refer to Ian Reynolds if you have any queries.  Failure to comply with these policies could result in instant dismissal. Familiarise themselves with their obligations under the Bribery Act 2010 as stated in their employment contracts and job description.  Refer any donation or sponsorship requests to Ian Reynolds. Do not place business with an insurer, solely based on the fact that they have provided free training; our clients’ requirements must take priority. Never provide government officials with any form of cash, gift, entertainment or reimbursement for promotional, travel or any other expense without reference to Ian Reynolds.

 

All colleagues should be aware of: Requests for payments to a party unrelated to a transaction, or for payments in cash. Third parties or agents who are deemed valuable for their personal ties rather than for their services or who request compensation out of proportion to the value of their services. Requests to engage third parties without a written contract always refer them to Ian Reynolds. Client requirements to engage specific third parties. Client requests for favours, such as job interviews for family members. Gifts or hospitality that could be seen as lavish or inappropriate.  Conditional requests for donations to charities or political parties. Increased checks and supervision Some transactions are more vulnerable to bribery and corruption.  For example, overseas businesses could pose a higher risk so we may require more stringent and comprehensive compliance and supervisory procedures.  Also the types of firm we deal with may be higher risk such as airlines, oil companies, telecommunications providers, financial institutions, public bodies or officials.  Please refer any concerns that you may have with higher risk clients to Ian Reynolds. The use of other intermediaries, joint venture partners and outsourcing partners may also put us at risk.  It is vital that you do not enter in to any new business arrangement with a third party without prior reference to Ian Reynolds.

 

What do you do if you suspect or are offered a bribe? It is important that you report any bribery or corruption related concerns/suspicions, please refer to your manager or another senior manager to discuss your concern.   Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable to do this, please refer to our Whistleblowing Policy which offers further guidance on how to report your concern.

 

Senior Management duties We acknowledge that our senior management team is fully engaged in our ethical approach to business and we communicate clearly too all colleagues that we have zero tolerance to any form of bribery or corruption. Senior management are aware ofthe procedures detailed within this policy and our ‘Anti-Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment and Action Plan’.  In particular, reference to the procedures must be made when:

Recruiting and vetting new employees. Vetting existing employees on an ongoing basis. Considering introducing new employee bonus payments Reviewing management and colleagues expenses. Authorising payments to third parties Authorising sponsorships and donations to charitable and political groups Conducting due diligence checks when: Appointing new third parties such as Introducer Appointed Representatives, Appointed Representatives  Considering a merger or acquisition of a new business Reporting an incident or suspicion The question of whether to report an incident or suspicion to the regulator or one of the prosecuting authorities can be a complicated one, as it often depends on the circumstances.  We will take legal advice on how best to proceed. Generally, any report of suspected bribery or corruption would be made to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the lead authority for domestic and overseas bribery and corruption.  The SFO’s Anti-corruption Team will decide if the matter is best dealt with by the SFO or whether to pass it on to another agency such as City of London Police.  In either case, we will need to consider whether we should report the matter to the FCA, depending on the circumstances.

 

Reports to the SFO can be made via:

Website – https://report.sfo.gov.uk/providing-information-to-the-sfo.aspx

Hotline – 020 7239 7388

 

Record keeping and regular management information (MI) review: It is important that we keep records to show that we are complying with our policy and procedures. For example, where corporate hospitality above a certain level requires sign-off at a senior level, we should keep records that demonstrate that we have complied with that policy in practice. Anti-bribery and corruption is a standing item on our management meeting agenda and minutes are noted accordingly.  During our management information review we consider information relating to: Third parties -  including (but not limited to) new third party accounts, their risk classification, higher risk third party payments for the preceding period, changes to third party bank account details and unusually high commission paid to third parties. Gifts and entertainment  - validity and sign off of any gifts or hospitality over our normal financial limit

Insurer training – observing sudden changes in trends of placement of business with an insurer Sponsorships and donation requests – validity of request, ensuring there is no personal gain as a result of payment

 

Training and communication: It is essential that we provide all of our management and colleagues with initial and annual refresher training regarding anti-bribery and corruption.  We must retain records of those who attended the training to ensure that every colleague is made aware of their obligations.The risks we face and the effectiveness of our procedures may change over time. We will therefore, keep an eye on the anti-bribery steps we have taken to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.  In any event as a minimum, we will review our policy on an annual basis and where we make changes we will make a record of these and communicate them to all colleagues.

 

Appendix 1 – 6 Principles

 

Principle 1                             Proportionate Procedures

                               

A commercial organisation’s procedures to prevent bribery by persons associated with it are proportionate to the bribery risks it faces and to the nature, scale and complexity of the commercial organisation’s activities. They are also clear, practical, accessible, effectively implemented and enforced.

 

Principle 2                             Top level commitment

                               

The top-level management of a commercial organisation (be it a board of directors, the owners or any other equivalent body or person) are committed to preventing bribery by persons associated with it. They foster a culture within the organisation in which bribery is never acceptable.

 

Principle 3                             Risk assessment

                               

The commercial organisation assesses the nature and extent of its exposure to potential external and internal risks of bribery on its behalf by persons associated with it. The assessment is periodic, informed and documented.

 

Principle 4                             Due diligence

                               

The commercial organisation applies due diligence procedures, taking a proportionate and risk based approach, in respect of persons who perform or will perform services for or on behalf of the organisation, in order to mitigate identified bribery risks.

 

Principle 5                             Communication (including training)

                               

The commercial organisation seeks to ensure that its bribery prevention policies and procedures are embedded and understood throughout the organisation through internal and external communication, including training that is proportionate to the risks it faces.

 

Principle 6                             Monitoring and review

                               

The commercial organisation monitors and reviews procedures designed to prevent bribery by persons associated with it and makes improvements where necessary. With these principles in mind we have assessed our exposure to potential bribery and corruption risks and have recorded these along with details of our procedures that we deem adequate, to help prevent any bribery or corruption activity.

 

Coops Insurance Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy V2 Jul 2015