Please read this document carefully. It sets out the terms and conditions on which we agree to act for you and contains details of our respective responsibilities. By asking us to quote for, arrange or handle your insurance, you are providing your informed agreement to these Terms of Business.
Please contact us immediately if there is anything in these Terms of Business which you do not understand or with which you disagree.
Shearwater Insurance Service Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with FCA Register number 307521.
We are an Insurance Intermediary and our permitted business is arranging, advising, dealing as agent and assisting in the
administration and performance of general insurance contracts and credit broking.
You can check this on the FCA’s register by visiting the FCA website www.fca.gov.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on
0800 111 6768.
We provide advice on the basis of a fair and personal analysis of the market.
For some specific cover types we may only deal with a single insurer or a limited number of insurers and do not advise on the basis of a fair and personal analysis of the market. In these cases we will advise you of this and specify the insurers that we deal with for that type of cover.
We act on your behalf in sourcing a suitable policy for you.
We may at times act on behalf of the insurer under a delegated authority agreement whereby we are able to quote or issue policy documentation on their behalf. Where we recommend a policy with an insurer where we act under a delegated authority agreement we will advise you of this.
Your specific circumstances will dictate which of these bases is the most appropriate for you. The approach which we adopt, will be based on our knowledge of the market, the quality of an insurer’s policy terms and claims service and the insurer’s ability to provide definitive contract terms at inception of insurance.
We are a subsidiary of Global Risk Partners Limited which controls a number of insurance intermediaries. We may sometimes approach other group companies to provide quotes and may recommend their products if they are assessed to meet your needs.
It is our policy to promote the highest standard of service for our clients. We endeavour to ensure that all complaints are resolved satisfactorily and in a timely manner.
If you have a complaint about our services, you may contact the member of our staff with whom you normally deal.
Alternatively please contact our Commercial Schemes Manager, Daniel Simpson, at the address below:
8 Regent Gate High Street, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN8 7AF, England or by;
You may make your complaint either orally or in writing. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint promptly in writing and
give you our response at the time, if we can.
If following receipt of our final response or after eight weeks if we have not yet provided you with our final response, if you are an eligible complainant, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Further information is available on their website below.
Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London. E14 9SR 0800 023 4567
Who is an Eligible Complainant:
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations.
Insurance advising and arranging is covered by the FSCS for 100% of your claim if it relates to compulsory insurance. For other cases, it is covered for 90% of the claim, with no upper limit.
Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS, via their website, www.fscs.org.uk or calling them on 020 7892 7300.
The relationship between us as broker and you as customer is governed by English law. If there is a dispute which cannot be resolved under our complaints procedure, it will only be dealt with in the courts of England and Wales.
These terms of business are supplied only in the English language and all communications for the duration of our appointment will be in the English language unless, if you are a customer in a European Economic Area state other than the United Kingdom, you require otherwise.
We receive a commission from the insurer which is a percentage of the annual premium.
We may charge you an administration fee when taking out a policy with us and on mid-term adjustments and policy cancellations. Where we charge a fee full details will be advised to you prior to inception of your policy.
If the type of policy we sell and / or our overall account with the insurer reaches specific profit targets we may receive an additional payment from the insurer.
Where we undertake work on behalf of the insurer, such as issuing quotations and policy documents on their behalf we may receive an additional payment from them for the work undertaken.
Where you pay your premiums by monthly installments we receive a payment from the finance provider for introducing you, which is a percentage of the amount financed.
Where you purchase additional services such as building valuations we earn a fee from the suppliers which is a percentage of the purchase price.
You can ask us at any time for full details of the income earned by us in handling your insurance.
Client money is money of any currency that we receive and hold on behalf of our clients in the course of carrying on business as an insurance intermediary, or money that we treat as client money in accordance with the FCA Client Money Rules. We may also hold premiums as agent of the insurance undertaking, in which case any money received by us is deemed to have been received by the insurance undertaking.
We hold client money in either a non-statutory trust account or in permitted designated investments with a value at least equivalent to the money that would otherwise have been paid into the non-statutory trust account. Where we hold money in permitted designated investments we will be responsible for meeting any shortfall in our client money resource attributable to falls in the market value of the designated investments. We will retain any interest and investment income earned on the client money we hold.
We may extend credit to other customers using client money from this account. We will take any commission owed to us upon
receipt of the premium.
We may transfer client money to another person, such as another broker or settlement agent for the purpose of effecting a transaction on your behalf through that person. By paying your premiums you are agreeing to us holding client money in the above manner.
We check the financial strength ratings of the insurers with whom we place your business using specialist rating agencies. We do not assess or guarantee the solvency of any insurer at any time during the contract period. If an insurer who has granted risk transfer to us becomes insolvent, any related premiums we hold for that insurer are deemed to have been paid to them and will not be returnable to you. In the event of any insurer’s insolvency you may still have a liability to pay the premium.
We do not accept any liability for any unpaid amounts in respect of claims or return premiums due to you from a participating insurer who becomes insolvent or delays settlement. You will also additionally have the responsibility for payment of premiums if you require replacement security.
If you are a consumer insured (an individual buying insurance wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to your trade, business or profession) you have a duty to take reasonable care to answer the insurer’s questions fully and accurately and to ensure that any information that you volunteer is not misleading. This duty exists before your cover is placed, when it is renewed and any time that it is varied, and your policy wording may provide that it continues for the duration of the policy. If you do not do this, your insurer may be able to impose different terms on your cover, may charge you a higher premium or, in some circumstances, may
be able to avoid your policy from inception and any claims under it would not be paid.
If you are a business insured (i.e. an insured who has bought insurance wholly or mainly for purposes related to their trade, business or profession) please note that the duty of disclosure has been amended following the introduction of the Insurance Act 2015. The business has a duty to disclose to the insurer every material circumstance which it knows or ought to know after reasonable search. Further information on the changes introduced by the Act are contained in the attachment below.
Following the introduction of the Insurance Act 2015 changes have been made to the manner in which warranties are treated.
Further information on the changes introduced by the Act are contained in the attachment below.
Please also take particular note of any conditions precedent that appear in the policy. If a condition precedent to the validity of this policy or to the commencement of the risk is not complied with, the insurer will not come on risk. If a condition precedent to the Insurer’s liability under this policy is not complied with, the insurer may not be liable for the loss in question. A condition precedent may exist in the policy using other terminology and without reference to the words ‘conditions precedent’.
It is very important that you read the full policy carefully and, if you are unsure of, or are unable to comply with, any provisions, please contact us immediately.
We are committed to protecting your personal information. We will use personal information about you fairly and lawfully, primarily in connection with the provision of insurance.
Full details can be found in our Privacy Notice at www.shearwater-insurance.co.uk which specifies the information we may collect on you and from whom, how and why we use this information, how we may share and disclose the information and the retention of your data. In some instances we may need to seek your consent before processing such data. We will always make it clear to you when and why we are seeking your consent. A hard copy of the Privacy
Notice is available on request.
8 Regent Gate High Street, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN8 7AF, England
We will advise you whether you have the right to cancel the policy and the conditions for exercising these rights prior to conclusion of any insurance policy. Where a policy is cancelled, other than during the cooling off period if applicable, we will retain any fees and commission for the full policy period.
You must pay your premiums on or prior to inception of the policy or within the timescale specified in the debit note we send you.
Failure to pay premiums by the date specified may lead to cancellation of your insurances by insurers. In addition, where a premium payment warranty applies failure to pay the premiums in accordance with the warranty will result in the automatic suspension of your policies until payment is made even if the insurer chooses not to issue notice of cancellation of your insurances.
The insurer will not be liable for any loss suffered during any period of suspension.
In the event of an incident occurring which could give rise to a claim under your policy, you should notify us as soon as possible in accordance with your policy conditions. Failure to do so could prejudice your insurer’s position and lead to the claim being repudiated or not paid in full.
When we receive notification of an incident that could give rise to a claim, we will respond promptly, explain how we will handle your claim and tell you what you need to do. We will give you reasonable guidance to help you make a claim under your policy.
If there is a conflict of interest, we shall only handle a claim on your behalf after we have disclosed to you all information you
require, to enable you to decide whether to give your informed consent and you have given that consent.
If any provision of these Terms of Business is found to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the validity of the other provisions of these Terms of Business and the remainder of the provision in question will not be affected
No provision of these Terms of Business will be enforceable, by virtue of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, by any person other than you or us.
This agreement may be terminated at any time by mutual consent or by the other party giving 14 days notice in writing.
If you are a business insured (i.e. an insured who has bought insurance wholly or mainly for purposes related to their trade, business or profession) the business has a duty to make a fair presentation of the risk to the insurer.
This entails disclosing to the insurer every material circumstance which you know or ought to know. You should conduct a reasonable search to ascertain all material facts within your organisation, making enquiries of senior management and other relevant individuals where necessary.
The disclosure should be made in a clear and accessible way.
This duty to make a fair presentation applies before your cover is placed, when it is renewed and any time that it is varied. Your
policy wording may also provide that this duty continues for the duration of the policy.
A circumstance is material if it would influence an insurer’s judgment in determining whether to accept the risk, or the terms of
the insurance (including premium). If you are in any doubt whether a circumstance is material we recommend that it should be
Failure to disclose a material circumstance may entitle an insurer to impose different terms on your cover or proportionately
reduce the amount of any claim payable. In some circumstances an insurer will be entitled to avoid the policy from inception and
in this event any claims under the policy would not be paid.
Insurers have differing remedies depending upon the nature of the non-disclosure and what would have happened had you fairly presented the risk:
Deliberate or reckless presentation of the risk:
Insurers are entitled to avoid the policy and retain all premiums
Failure to present the risk fairly but this was not deliberate or reckless:
This depends on how the insurers would have dealt with the policy had the risk been fairly presented. If they can demonstrate that they would have not provided the policy they are entitled to avoid the policy and no claims would be payable.
You would be entitled to a refund of the premium. If insurers would have provided the policy but on different terms, those terms will be applied to the policy from inception. If insurers would have provided the policy and charged an increased premium, claim settlements would be reduced by the proportion of the increased premium.
A warranty is a term in an insurance contract which must be strictly complied with.
Under the new Act in the event that a warranty is breached, the insurer’s liability may be suspended until the breach is rectified. Cover is reinstated once the breach is rectified, however, Insurers may have no liability to pay losses occurring or attributable to something happening during any such period of suspension.
Where a warranty or other term has been breached insurers may still be liable to pay claims occurring during the breach period, provided the insured can prove that the breach did not increase the risk of the loss which actually occurred and the provision breached does not define the risk as a whole.
Insurers will be entitled to terminate the policy from the date of the fraudulent claim or act, but must still cover claims arising from incidents occurring before the fraudulent act
Insurers may contract out of certain clauses of the Act (other than basis of contract clauses). We will advise you where they have
contracted out of any clauses.