TERMS OF BUSINESS – Version 16 –13/6/2022
The purpose of this document is to set out the basis on which National Insurance Limited trading as National Insurance, National Pension Solutions, National Financial Solutions, Insurance4U & insuremytravel.ie will provide insurance services to you. It contains details of our regulatory and statutory obligations and the respective duties of both the firm and you the customer relating to the provision and acceptance of these services.
This is an important document so please read it carefully to enable you to decide if our services are right for you. If you have any questions please contact any of our staff. If there are any material changes to the information in this document, you will be issued with a revised copy as soon as possible
This document takes effect from 13th June 2022 or whenever it is received (whichever is later) and supersedes any terms of business agreement that may have been previously sent to you. We may choose to issue this document to you electronically, however, at all times you can request to receive a copy by post.
National Insurance Limited trading as National Pension Solutions, National Financial Solutions and Insurance4U & insuremytravel.ie, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (Reference no.4826) as follows:
Registered as an Insurance Intermediary under the European Union (Insurance Distribution ) Regulations, 2018.
We are also authorised and regulated as a Credit Intermediary by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission under the terms of the Consumer Credit Act 1995
Our registered office is at 47 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1 (Company No. 42828). Copies of our Authorisations can be viewed in each of our offices.
The Firm is subject to and complies with the Central Bank of Ireland Consumer Protection Code, Minimum Competency Code, and the Fitness & Probity Standards. These codes and standards offer protection to consumers and can be found on the Central Bank of Ireland website www.centralbank.ie.
We provide advice and placement facilities in relation to General Insurance, Life Assurance products and services, As a credit intermediary we can also arrange premium finance with premium finance providers.
Based on the information that you provide we will identify and recommend a suitable product(s) from product providers or insurance undertakings with whom we hold agencies (a copy of this list is available on request). National Insurance Ltd does not have a shareholding in any insurer and likewise no insurer has a shareholding in our firm. We endeavour to provide our customers with the most suitable product to suit their requirements.
We transact business on the basis of a fair & personal analysis of the markets i.e. we provide advice to our clients on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and providers available which will enable us make a recommendation in accordance with accepted professional criteria. However, there are exceptions to this as follows:
Health Insurance – We offer insurance products for private medical insurance on a limited analysis basis, which are only those underwritten by Irish Life Health DAC.
Dental Insurance – We offer a range of dental insurances products on a limited analysis basis, which are provided by Decare Dental Insurance Ireland Limited only.
We do not have any ‘tied’ relationships with any institution.
SELECTION OF INSURERS
We hold a significant number of appointments with insurers/product providers so that we can offer a range of products that best matches our customers’ needs. However, we cannot take responsibility for or guarantee the financial stability of any of these entities with whom we place business on your behalf.
All quotations are valid for up to 21 days. All quotations and cover are subject to acceptance by the insurer concerned. A full copy of the insurers’ policy wording, terms and conditions is available upon request. Please note full disclosure of all material facts should be made including medical history and claims. Failure to disclose all relevant information could result in your policy being cancelled, claims not being paid, difficulty in getting insurance elsewhere and in the case of property insurance, failure to have property insurance in place could lead to a breach of the terms and conditions attaching to any loan secured on the property.
Following inception of cover, a policy document will issue from the insurance company, which sets out in detail the conditions applicable, operative endorsements, terms, conditions, exceptions and warranties of the policy. We strongly advise that you read this document carefully (including the policy schedule or other documentation enclosed with it), report any errors that you discover or query you may have to us immediately and retain all documentation in a safe place. We may issue your policy documents electronically to you via email or by giving you a link to our website where you can access the relevant document. At all times, you can request a paper copy of the document to be sent to your home address and we will issue this to you within 5 days of your request.
COOLING OFF PERIOD
A consumer (as defined by SI No 853 of 2004) has the right to withdraw from a non-life insurance policy (as defined under SI No 853 of 2004) within 14 working days after the date the consumer was informed that the contract is concluded (except in the case of travel policies whose operative period is for one month or less) without penalty and without giving any reason. For life insurance products, this period is 30 days from the start date of your policy (except in cases where the duration of the policy is for six months or less). This is known as the cooling off period. The right of withdrawal may be exercised by notice in writing to National Insurance Ltd quoting your policy number provided that no claim or adjustment has been made or is intended to be made or no incident has occurred which is likely to give rise to a claim. The giving of notice of cancellation by you will have the effect of releasing you from any further obligation arising from the contract of insurance. Should this right be exercised the insurance company may charge for the period you are on cover. For motor insurance, the insurance certificate and disc must be received by National Insurance Ltd before the policy can be cancelled. Please note that the policy administration charge/fee is non-refundable if you choose to withdraw from the policy within the cooling off period.
CONSUMER INSURANCE CONTRACTS ACT 2019
The Consumer Insurance Contracts Act is aimed at enhancing consumer protection. Set out below are some specific points arising from the legislation:
Subject to certain conditions, a consumer may cancel a contract of insurance, by giving notice in writing to the insurer, within 14 days after the date the consumer was informed that the contract is concluded. In the case of general insurance, the insurer cannot impose any financial costs on the consumer other than the cost of the premium for the period of cover.
The consumer is under a duty to pay their premium within a reasonable time, or otherwise in accordance with the terms of the contract of insurance.
A court of competent jurisdiction can reduce the pay-out to the consumer where they are in breach of their duties under the Act, in proportion to the breach involved
You will be asked specific questions prior to taking out a policy, at renewal, and when you may require alteration to your policy. You are required to answer all questions asked by us, or the insurer, honestly, and with reasonable care. Where you do not provide additional information after being requested to do so, it will be presumed by the insurer that any information previously provided remains unchanged.
A copy of an application form, proposal form, or statement of fact, where such is relevant to the particular contract, will be provided to you showing the insurers specific questions and information required for underwriting purposes. You must review the document(s) provided and check that the answers you provided are accurate. If any information or answer provided is incorrect, you must notify us immediately.
Commercial customers who are not considered to be consumers under the Act must continue to bring to our attention all material information which may be relevant to the risk. Any failure to do so may invalidate any claim and render your policy void.
DUTY OF DISCLOSURE BY YOU
You have a duty of disclosure to provide all information (e.g. are all previous claims disclosed, accidents, incidents, convictions, licence endorsements, un-occupancy of a property, medical history, lifestyle questions on assurance proposal forms, change in circumstances etc.) material to the risks being insured. This means any information that would influence a decision by an insurer whether to accept a risk and if so, on what premium and terms. In the event of non- disclosure an insurer has the right to cancel your insurance from inception and a court of competent jurisdiction can reduce any pay out to you where you are in breach of your duties under the Act, in proportion to the breach involved. Failure to make full disclosure may also cause difficulty for you trying to purchase insurance elsewhere. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not information is material, then it should be disclosed.
CONSUMER INSURANCE CONTRACTS ACT – POST-CONTRACT STAGE AND CLAIMS
An insurer may repudiate liability or limit the claim payment if it establishes is that there have been non-disclosure of material information by a consumer. and that the insurer would not have issued a policy or issued a policy on the terms which it did, if that information had been known to the insurer. Likewise, where there has been misrepresentation by a consumer, an insurer may, depending on the type of misrepresentation, reduced the amount of a claim, or refused to pay a claim.
If, in respect of the insurance contract the insurer is not obliged to pay the full settlement amount until any repair, replacement or reinstatement work has been completed and specified documents for the work have been furnished to the insurer, the claim settlement deferment amount cannot exceed
- 5% of the claim settlement amount where the claim settlement amount is less than €40,000, or
- 10% of the claim settlement amount where the claim settlement amount is more than €40,000
An insurer may refuse a claim made by a consumer under a contract of insurance where there is a change in the risk insured, including a description in an “alteration of risk” clause, and the circumstances have so changed that it has effectively changed the risk to one which the insurer has not agreed to cover.
Any clause in a contract of insurance that refers to a “material change” will be interpreted as being a change that takes the risk outside what was in the reasonable contemplation of the contracting partied when the contract was concluded.
The consumer must cooperate with the insurer in an investigation of insured events including responding to reasonable requests for information in an honest and reasonably careful manner and must notify the insurer of the occurrence of an insured event in a reasonable time. The consumer must notify the insurer of a claim within a reasonable time, or otherwise in accordance with the terms of the contract of insurance. If the consumer becomes aware after a claim is made of information that would either support or prejudice the claim, they are under a duty to disclose it. (The insurer is under the same duty).
If, when making a claim, a consumer provides information that is false or misleading in any material respect (and knows it to be false or misleading or consciously disregards whether it is) the insurer is entitled to refuse to pay and to terminate the contract. Where an insurer becomes aware that a consumer has made a fraudulent claim, they must notify the consumer on paper or on another durable means advising that they are voiding the contract of insurance. It will be treated as being terminated from the date of the submission of the fraudulent claim. The insurer may refuse all liability in respect of any claim made after the date of the fraudulent act, and the insurer is under no obligation to return any of the premiums paid under the contract.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
It is our policy to avoid situations where there is a conflict of interest. Should such a situation arise or could be perceived to arise we will declare it as soon as is practicable to do so. Where an unavoidable conflict of interest arises, we will advise you of the fact, in writing, before providing any business service. If you have not been advised of any such conflict of interest you may assume that none arises. From time to time, we have agreements with insurers for the provision of goods or services in connection with specific product development, training and promotion. All such arrangements are reviewed to ensure that they do not conflict with our customer’s best interests and are in accordance with our obligations under the Consumer Protection Code.
DEFAULT AND/OR CANCELLATION
You, the customer can cancel your policy at any time by giving notice in writing subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable policy. We also reserve the right to instigate cancellation in the event of the following:
- Your non-payment of the premium due at inception, renewal or following an alteration
- Your bank returns your cheque due to insufficient funds or any other reason
- Direct Debit default
- Non-disclosure of relevant information
- Provision of incorrect or inaccurate information
- Non-return of necessary documentation within the required timeframe
- In respect of policies financed through our premium finance partners Close Brothers Ireland Ltd or Premium Credit Ltd please note that if the finance policy is cancelled for any reason this will result in the insurance company initiating their cancellation proceedings where you will have
10 days to pay the full outstanding balance for cover to remain in place
Our firm reserves the right to exercise its legal rights to receive payments due to it for business services provided.
HANDLING CLIENT MONEY
We accept payments in cash, by cheque/bank draft, credit/debit cards or electronic bank transfer in respect of all classes of insurances where an insurer/product provider has invited renewal of a policy or accepted a proposal for insurance. We cannot accept cash or negotiable instruments in any other circumstances. For certain Insurance and Investment products we may request that all payments are made payable to the provider of the product in question. Before your money is paid over to the relevant insurer/ product provider it will be held in a designated Client Premium Account.
A receipt will be issued for all monies paid and you should keep these in a safe place. Customers must pay at inception date of a contract or on or before renewal date, or as invoiced in the case of mid-term alterations. We cannot pay a premium where the customer has not paid us. Product providers may cancel cover where a customer has failed to meet their obligations in relation to payment terms and conditions.
Once a premium is paid to us and you have been provided with a receipt, these monies are deemed to have been paid to the insurer/product providers in question which gives comfort to our customers.
We will refund any rebate that becomes due to you within 5 business days of receiving it or having been notified by the insurer that it is due to you. Any rebate due to you will be paid in full and any charges will not be deducted without your prior written agreement in each case.
Where the premium rebate is €10 or less, we will offer you the choice of
- Receiving the premium rebate
- Receiving a reduction from a renewal premium or other premium currently due to us.
- National Insurance Limited making a donation of the rebate amount to a registered charity.
We can also arrange premium finance for your personal or commercial insurance policies with our premium finance providers Close Brothers Ireland Ltd or Premium Credit Limited which will allow you pay your premium by instalments. National Insurance may charge an additional management fee of up to a maximum of 4% of the insurance premium financed. However, please note that these providers carry out a credit assessment before offering such credit facilities so finance is not guaranteed and as with all credit agreements, terms and conditions will apply. Our staff will be happy to clarify any questions that you may have with regard to these and we strongly advise that you read all documentation relating to such agreements before entering into it.
Important information: Please be aware that your lender will be sharing information with the Central Credit Register,
The Central Bank of Ireland established the Central Credit Register which is a new centralized system for collecting personal and credit information on loans of €500 or above. This information may be used by other lenders when making decisions on your credit applications and credit agreements. If you require any additional information please visit www.centralcreditregister.ie where it aims to answer all consumer questions.
REMUNERATION AND FEES
We are remunerated by both commission and/or fees. Please note that these fees are non-refundable. We may also be remunerated by way of profit sharing payments from certain product providers. Customers also have the option of paying solely by fee if so desired. In this instance, the amount of any commission received will be deducted from the fee. The actual fee amount charged will be shown separately on our quotation and invoice documentation or another durable medium. If charges cannot be ascertained in advance, we will notify you that these will be levied as part of the transaction.
A summary of the details of all arrangements for any fee, commission, other reward or remuneration paid or provided to the intermediary which it has agreed with Insurers or product producers” is available on our website. www.nationalinsurance.ie
In the event of advice being offered or services provided to clients for which we are not remunerated by commission in the normal way from insurance companies, we would agree a fee in advance of the provision of service.
We reserve the right to amend these fees should the complexity of the product require a higher fee. We will confirm and agree this fee with you prior to any increased charge being applied.
National Insurance may charge an additional management fee of up to a maximum of 4% of the insurance premium financed.
A fee of up to €10 may be charged to cover expenses incurred for returned cheques or Direct Debit defaults.
A Compliance C
|Scale of fees||Initial Fee||Renewal||Policy Alterations|
|Motor||Up to a max of 50% of premium||Up to a max of 50% of premium||Up to a max of 50% of premium|
|Household||Up to a max of €100||Up to a max of €100||Up to a max of €100|
|Other Personal Insurances||Up to a max of €100||Up to a max of €100||Up to a max of €100|
|Commercial||Up to a max of 50% of premium||Up to a max of 50% of premium||Up to a max of 50% of premium|
|Travel||Up to ma max of €25||Up to a max of €25||Up to a max of €25|
|Health Insurance||Up to a max of €100||Up to a max of €100||Up to a max of €100|
|Duplicate Documentation||Up to max of €45|
|Claims handling||Up to a max of €20|
In relation to Life insurance we are remunerated by both commission and/or fees. The service can be provided on a fee only basis is desired. Clients may pay in full for the service provided by means of fee, which will be agreed in writing with you in advance of the provision of service. The amount of any commission received will be deducted from any fee payable.
On occasion we may need to charge rates different for the above depending on the complexity of the case in question, and if so we shall advise you of these charges in advance and before business is transacted. If we provide you with advice or a service which does not involve the placement of insurance on your behalf we will charge a fee for out time based on and hourly rate of €250. Where it is not possible to provide the exact amount, we will provide you the method of calculation of the fee.
Please note that telephone calls to and from our offices may be recorded for quality, training and verification purposes and to ensure the accuracy of our consumer records. All data recorded in this way is managed in keeping with Data Protection Acts. A copy of your recorded telephone call can be made available to you on request.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR POLICY AMENDMENTS
It is important to note that where an instruction is transmitted to amend your policy via phone message, text, email or fax that you are aware that these changes in cover are only operative provided they have been confirmed by National Insurances Limited. For the avoidance of doubt please note that leaving a voice message on our answering service is not a basis to assume that cover has been put in place. We will only take instructions from the policyholder or those whom the policyholder has authorised/nominated in writing to us to make changes to a policy from you. We will only take instruction to cancel or lapse a policy from you. In some cases, we may also deal with other people contacting us on your behalf as long as we have your permission. If you would prefer that we only deal with you, please let us know. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary for us to deal with other people, for example, if you are incapacitated and if a next of kin contacts us in relation to your policy.
ONGOING SUITABILITY OF INSURANCE BASED PRODUCTS AND INVESTMENTS
We do not conduct a periodic assessment of the suitability of insurance-based investment products on an ongoing basis unless instigated at your request. However, it is in your best interests that you review, on a regular basis, the products which we have arranged for you. As your circumstances change, your needs will change. You must advise us of those changes and request a review of the relevant policy or investment so that we can ensure that you are provided with up to date advice and products best suited to your needs. Failure to contact us in relation to changes in your circumstances or failure to request a review, may result in you having insufficient insurance cover and/or inappropriate investments.
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE DISCLOSURE REGULATION (‘SFDR’)
This EU Regulation became effective 10 March 2021. As the area of the SFDR is new and evolving without sufficient information being currently available, we do not currently assess in detail the adverse impact of investment decisions on suitability when providing investment or insurance advice. The key product providers with which we engage have developed responsible investment as part of their investment philosophies and sustainability policies. However, detailed information on specific fund recommendations we recommend is not always available. As further information on the approach being taken by product providers, and their internal/external fund managers, becomes available over the course of the next year, we anticipate reviewing these areas in our assessments.’
We are remunerated by commission and other remuneration from product providers. The key product providers with which we engage, and receive remuneration from, have developed responsible investment as part of their investment philosophies and sustainability risk policies.
GOVERNING LAW AND LANGUAGE
The laws of Ireland form the basis for establishing relations between you and National Insurance Limited. All contracts, terms, conditions and communications relating to any policies you may enter into with this firm will be in English.
We have a written procedure in place for the effective handling of complaints. If you are unhappy with any aspect of our service, you can let us know by contacting us by phone, in person, or in writing. Complaints in writing should be addressed to the Compliance Officer, National Insurance Limited, 47 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1. Each complaint will be acknowledged by us within 5 working days and updates will be advised in intervals of not more than 20 working days. We will make every effort to resolve the complaint within 40 working days and findings will be furnished to you within 5 working days of completion of the investigation. In the event that you are not satisfied with the firms handling of and response to your complaint, you can contact the following: Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place Dublin 2, D02 VH29, Tel: (01) 567 7000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.fspo.ie
We comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018.
The data which you provide to us will be held on a computer database and paper files for the purpose of arranging transactions on your behalf. The data will be processed only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given and as outlined in our Data Privacy Notice (download our Data Privacy Notice from our Website or ask for a printed copy next time you are in any of our offices) and Data Protection policy. We would also like to keep you informed of insurance, investment and any other services provided by us or associated companies with which we have a formal business arrangement which we think may be of interest to you. We would like to contact you by way of letter, email or telephone call and text. If you would like to receive such marketing information please complete the permission statements in the enclosed Consent Form or on our website. You have the right at any time to request a copy of any ‘personal data’ within the meaning of the GDPR that our office holds about you and to have any inaccuracies in that information corrected. Please contact us at dataprotection@nationalinsurance,ie if you have any concerns about your personal data.
COMPENSATION SCHEMES/CLIENT PROTECTION
We are members of the Investor Compensation Company Limited (ICCL) established under the Investor Compensation Act 1998. This legislation provided for the establishment of a Compensation Scheme and for the payment, in certain circumstances, of compensation to certain clients of firms (known as eligible investors) covered by the Act. In the event that a right to compensation has been established, the amount payable is 90% of your loss or €20,000 (whichever is the lesser).
We are members of Brokers Ireland and as such we are members of the Brokers Ireland Compensation Fund Ltd. Subject to terms and conditions of the Fund, the liabilities of its member firms may be discharged by the Fund up to a maximum of €100,000 per client (€250,000 in aggregate) on behalf of the member firm if they are unable to do so or the above detailed ICCL has failed to adequately compensate affected clients of the member firm.
National Insurance Limited also holds Professional Indemnity Insurance.