Terms of Business  @September 2020 v19

Knowledgeable – Professional – Contactable

These terms of business set out the basis on which BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited will provide services to you as our client.  These terms of business are effective for all new customers from 1st September 2020 and for all existing customers from their policy renewal date falling due on or after 1st October 2020 and replaces any terms of business that may have been previously issued to you our client by us.  Please read these terms carefully.  If you have any queries please contact us at the above address and we will be happy to clarify anything contained herein for you.

Authorised Status

BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited is regulated by The Central Bank of Ireland under the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995 (as amended) and is registered with The Central Bank of Ireland as an Insurance Intermediary under the European Union  (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2009.  Copies of our various authorisations are available on request.  Alternatively The Central Bank of Ireland holds registers of regulated firms.  You may contact the Central Bank of Ireland on 1890 777 777 or alternatively visit their website at www.centralbank.ie  to verify our credentials.    BMCI is a member of Brokers Ireland.

Statutory Codes

BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited is subject to and complies with the Consumer Protection Code, the Minimum Competency Code and the Fitness and Probity Standards.  These Codes offer protection to consumers and can be found on the Central Bank of Ireland website at www.centralbank.ie

Our Services

As Insurance Intermediaries we provide advice in relation to non-life insurance policies and life assurance products and services.  We will receive and transmit orders on your behalf, on receipt of your instructions to one or more product producers (a list of which is available on request).  We will offer advice on a fair analysis basis in relation to all classes of insurance policies.  This means we will research the market place and providers and recommend the best product to suit your own needs.  Where we do not provide a product or service on the basis of fair analysis of the market we will disclose to you the names of those product producers whose products or services we considered as part of the analysis.  We will provide you with a quotation and will make our recommendation to you following a fact finding exercise to assess your demands and needs.  Our recommendation will be in writing and will include a Suitability Statement which will outline the reasons why the product or service is considered suitable.  We will provide you with all relevant documentation within a reasonable time upon contract conclusion.  We will provide advice and will assist you in making claims under insurance policies arranged by us on your behalf.  We do not have any “tied” relationship with any institution that would compromise our ability to offer independent advice and a wide choice. In the conduct of business and in the choice of an insurer, we aim to provide advice objectively and independently in our clients’ best interests.

 

We will also offer assistance to you in relation to processing claims on policies taken out with us and in seeking renewal terms on your cover.

Fair and Personal Analysis

The concept of fair and personal analysis  describes the extent of the choice of products and providers offered by an intermediary within a particular category of life assurance, general insurance, mortgages, and/ or a specialist area.  The number of contracts and providers considered must be sufficiently large to enable an intermediary to recommend a product that would be adequate to meet a client’s needs.

The number of providers that constitutes ‘sufficiently large’ will vary depending on the number of providers operating in the market for a particular product or service and their relative importance in and share of that market.  The extent of fair analysis must be such that could reasonably be expected of a professional conducting business, taking into account the accessibility of information and product placement to intermediaries and the cost of the search.

In order to ensure that the number of contracts and providers is sufficiently large to constitute a fair and personal analysis of the market, we will consider the following criteria:

  • the needs of the customer,
  • the size of the customer order,
  • the number of providers in the market that deal with brokers,
  • the market share of each of those providers,
  • the number of relevant products available from each provider,
  • the availability of information about the products,
  • the quality of the product and service provided by the provider,
  • cost, and
  • any other relevant consideration.

Handling Client Money

BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited will only accept payments in cash, cheque, credit/Visa debit cards  or direct credit transfer in respect of all classes of insurance permitted under Section 25G of The Investment Intermediaries Act 1995. We are not authorised to accept cash or any other negotiable instruments in any other circumstances.

The Central Bank’s Regulations preclude BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited from paying premiums to insurers, which have not been paid to us. Where a Client fails to pay a premium in full we must advise the Product Producer involved and the cover will be cancelled, subject to the cancellation clause of the policy in question. It is therefore critical to the guaranteed continuance of your insurance cover that your premium is paid strictly in accordance with your credit terms.

We keep client money separate from our own money.  We do this by paying it into a designated Client Premium Account.

Remuneration and Fees

BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited normally receives commission from a Product Producer, the level of which is determined by the policy class being underwritten.  Details of commission arrangements are available on our website www.bmci.ie and in the public areas of our offices.  Some product producers don’t pay commission.  BMCI may also receive additional commission payments from certain product producers resulting from factors such as the levels of business introduced by us to the product producer.  BMCI may also receive additional income from interest earned on insurance monies in our bank accounts and/or from income derived from arranging premium finance.

In addition to or in lieu of retained commission BMCI may charge a brokerage fee for its services, including claims handling, which will be determined by a number of factors including class of business, specialist skills, complexity value, risk urgency and amount of commission receivable.  Our broking fee scale is set out below.  If we charge a fee and also receive commission, we will explain to you whether or not the commission will be offset against the fee, either in part or in full.

Scale of Fees
The following is the scale of fees that may be applied to the various types of business we transact.   Any Broking Fee charged on a renewal or new business will not exceed 100% of the premium but may be subject to a minimum fee of €30.

In respect of clients with multiple policies no more than 100% of the total annual premium will be charged although this may be charged in the form of a single transaction on a single policy or a variation thereof.   Midterm adjustments/cancellation may be subject to a charge which will be €30 or 100% of the premium, whichever is the greater.

Claims in excesd of €100,000 at final settlement may be subject to a charge for claims handling of 5% (calculated based on the final settlement amount).

A Compliance fee of 3.5% of the gross premium will apply to all policies.
We reserve the right to amend these fees should the complexity of the placing or the product require a higher fee. We will confirm and agree this fee with you prior to any increased charge being applied.

  • A fee of €25 may be charged for all duplicate documentation.
  • A fee of €25 may be charged for driving experience letters.
  • A fee of €25 may be charged for all financial institution indemnity letters.

Where we arrange Insurance Premium Finance on your behalf, a handling charge of no more than 4.5% of the total premium being financed and/or up €100 Broker Fee may apply.

Fees for Advisory Services:

  • Support Staff                                 €100.00 per hour
  • Senior Advisor Commercial Lines €200.00 per hour
  • Director – Commercial Lines €300.00 per hour
  • Senior Advisor Life Pension Investments €200.00 per hour

Receipts

BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited issues receipt for each non-negotiable or negotiable instrument or payment received pursuant to Section 30 of The Investment Intermediaries Act 1995. These are issued with your protection in mind and should be stored in a safe place. All premiums paid to BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited are deemed to be paid to the relevant insurer and the indemnity is provided under Section 25G of The Insurance Act 2000.

Client Rebates

In accordance with the Consumer Protection Code when a refund to the value of more than €10 is received from the product producer, and on condition that the premium for this product has been paid in full, we will refund you, our client, in full within 5 working days.  Where the premium rebate is €10 or less we will offer you the choice of:-

  1. Receiving the premium rebate; or
  2. Receiving a reduction from a renewal premium or other premium currently due to BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited; or
  3. BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited making a donation of the rebated amount to a registered charity.

In respect of options b) and c) above, we will seek your consent on each occasion.  Where you have agreed to option c) we will document the donation to the relevant charity.  We may make this donation on one occasion each year for all of our clients to which this applies.

Where a rebate cheque has not been presented for payment within 6 months from the date of issue, we must return the rebate to the product producer.

Regular Reviews

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 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, may result in you having insufficient insurance cover and/or inappropriate investments.

Duty of Disclosure to Insurers

The law in the Republic of Ireland deems insurance to be a special class of contract which imposes onerous duties upon You the client (or prospective client) and Us (your agent), who are obliged to act with utmost good faith towards insurer(s) at all times. In addition, you are required to provide Insurer(s) with all material information relating to the insurance under consideration and all information you provide should be both complete and accurate.  “Material” in this context refers to all information, which a prudent insurer(s) (not necessarily the Insurer in question) would wish to take into account when considering whether or not to accept the risk and, if so, upon what terms and at what price.  Material information does not necessarily have to actually increase the risk of the insurance under consideration.  The obligation of disclosure is not limited to material information of which you are aware, it extends to those matters of which you ought to be aware in the ordinary course of your business.

The duties of utmost good faith and disclosure continues up until the insurance has been concluded and also applies to any situations during the period of the policy in which you are required under the terms of the policy or otherwise, to provide information to insurers including the extension or amendment or renewal of any policy.  It may also be that the terms of the policy include specific on-going disclosure conditions or warranties which effectively extend the duty of disclosure post inception of the policy.

In completing a proposal or claim form, or any other material document relating to an insurance policy, the accuracy of all answers, statement and/or information is your responsibility and it is of paramount importance that all relevant information is provided and that it is accurate.

If there is a breach of your duty of disclosure, the insurers are entitled to void the policy of insurance from inception.   In effect, this means insurer(s) would be entitled to act as if the policy had never existed and seek recovery of any claim(s) already paid under that policy.

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 that property.

If you are in any doubt as to the scope or extent of the duty of disclosure or whether a piece of information ought to be disclosed, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Your Cancellation Rights

A consumer (as defined by SI No. 853 of 2004) has the right to withdraw from an insurance policy (as defined under SI No 853 of 2004) within 14 days of the start date of the policy without penalty and without giving any reason – this is known as the Cooling Off period.  If the contract concerned relates to life assurance or to a personal pension plan, the cancellation period for the contract ends 30 days after the beginning of the period.  The right of withdrawal may be exercised by notice in writing to BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited, quoting your policy number.  Should this right be exercised the Insurance Company may charge a pro rata premium for the period you are on cover.  If the cover is motor insurance the premium cannot be refunded until the Certificate of Insurance and Windscreen Disc have been received by BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited.  You, the customer can cancel your policy by notice in writing at any time.  Provided that all reasonable charges pertaining to costs incurred by BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited have been paid and provided that no incident giving rise to a claim has occurred in the current period of insurance, you will be entitled to a proportionate return of the premium for the un-expired period of insurance unless the policy is on a minimum and deposit basis, and if this is the case, no return will be allowed on the policy and this will be noted on your policy schedule.  If you cancel during the first year (outside of the Cooling Off period) short term rates apply, please see policy terms and conditions.  In the case of cancellation of motor insurance you must return the Certificate of Insurance and Windscreen Disc to BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited.  Insurance companies normally reserve the right to cancel policies at any time by giving appropriate notice to your last known address.  Please refer to your policy terms and conditions.

New consumer responsibilities arising out of the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 which was implemented to protect consumers.

New Business & Renewal

You may cancel a contract of insurance, by giving notice in writing to the insurer, within 14 working days after the date you were informed that the contract is concluded.  This does not affect the notice periods already provided under European Union (Insurance and Reinsurance) Regulations 2015 ( S.I. No. 485 of 2015 ) or the European Communities (Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services) Regulations 2004 ( S.I. No. 853 of 2004 ) which is 30 days in respect of life policies, irrespective of whether the sale took place on a non-face to face basis, and 14 days in respect of general policies only on sales that took place on a non-face to face basis (distance sales).

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. The insurer cannot impose any costs on you other than the cost of the premium for the period of cover.

This right to cancel does not apply where, in respect of life assurance the contract is for a duration of six months or less, or in respect of general insurance, the duration of the contract is less than one month.

You are under a duty to pay your 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 you if you are in breach of your duties under the Act, in proportion to the breach involved.

Post-Contract Stage and Claims

If, in respect of the insurance contract the insurer is not obliged to pay the full claim 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 you under a contract of insurance where there is a change in the risk insured, including as described 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 parties when the contract was concluded.

You 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.

You must notify the insurer of a claim within a reasonable time, or otherwise in accordance with the terms of the contract of insurance.

If you become aware after a claim is made of information that would either support or prejudice the claim, you are under a duty to disclose it.  (The insurer is under the same duty).

If you make a false or misleading claim in any material respect (and know 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 may notify the consumer advising that they are voiding the contract of insurance, and 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.

Your Personal Data and Data Protection

BMCI is subject to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018.

BMCI is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We wish to be transparent on how we process your data and show you that we are accountable with the GDPR in relation to not only processing your data but ensuring you understand your rights as a client. 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. We will ensure that this Privacy Notice is easily accessible.

Please refer to our website www.bmci.ie to view a copy. If this medium is not suitable we will ensure you can easily receive a hard copy. Please contact us at info@bmci.ie if you have any concerns about your personal data.

Telephone Call Recordings

All telephone calls to and from our offices are recorded for training and verification purposes

Conflicts of Interest

It is our policy to avoid any conflict of interest when providing business services to our clients.  In the unlikely event of an unavoidable conflict of interest, we will disclose this to you and obtain your written acknowledgement that you are aware of the conflict and have expressed your desire to proceed.  We will manage the conflict so that it does not result in damage to the interests of either party.

Defaults – Actions and Remedies

We reserve the right to instigate cancellation proceedings in the event of the following:

  • Your non-payment of the premium due at inception, renewal or following a mid-term adjustment.
  • Your bank returns your cheque due to insufficient funds or any other reason
  • Non-disclosure of relevant information
  • Insurer imposed cancellation.

Your insurer may cancel your policy in certain circumstances.  These conditions are clearly outlined on all policy documents so we would ask you to read these conditions very carefully.  When your policy ends or is cancelled, we will send you any documentation and information that you are entitled to on request.

Customer Complaints

As part of our service to our clients, we have written procedures in place for the effective consideration and handling of complaints.

We will acknowledge each complaint received within 5 business days.  Your point of contact for any complaint should be addressed in the first instance to:

The Managing Director,  BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited, Suite 6 12-15 Killegland Street, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, A84 HH77.

We will provide you with updates on the progress of the investigation at intervals of not more than 20 working days from the date on which the complaint was made.  We will attempt to resolve a complaint within 40 business days of having received the complaint.  If we cannot resolve a complaint within the 40 days outlined we will advise you of the anticipated time frame in which we hope to resolve the matter.  We will provide you with our findings within 5 business days of completion of our investigation.

In the event that you are not entirely satisfied with our handling of the complaint you have the right to refer the matter to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, 3rd Floor, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.   lo call 01 5677 000 or email info@fspo.ie   Website www.fspo.ie

Consumer Protection

Investor Compensation Scheme

We are members of the Investor Compensation Scheme operated by the Investor Compensation Company Ltd. The Investor Compensation Act, 1998 provides for the establishment of a compensation scheme and the payment, in certain circumstances, of compensation to certain clients (known as eligible investors) of authorised investment firms, as defined in that Act. The Investor Compensation Company Ltd. (ICCL) was established under the 1998 Act to operate such a compensation scheme and our firm is a member of this scheme. Compensation may be payable where money or investment instruments owed or belonging to clients and held, administered or managed by the firm cannot be returned to those clients for the time being and where there is no reasonably foreseeable opportunity of the firm being able to do so.

A right to compensation will arise only:

▪ If the client is an eligible investor as defined in the Act; and

▪ If it transpires that the firm is not in a position to return client money or investment instruments owned or belonging to the clients of the firm; and

▪ To the extent that the client’s loss is recognised for the purposes of the Act. Where an entitlement to compensation is established, the compensation payable will be the lesser of:

▪ 90% of the amount of the client’s loss which is recognised for the purposes of the Investor Compensation Act, 1998; or

▪ Compensation of up to €20,000.

For further information, contact the Investor Compensation Company Ltd. at (01) 224 4955.

Brokers Ireland

We are also members of the Brokers Ireland Compensation Fund. Subject to the rules of the scheme the liabilities of its members firms up to a maximum of €100,000 per client (or €250,000 in aggregate) may be discharged by the fund on its behalf if the member firm is unable to do so, where the above detailed Investor Compensation Scheme has failed to adequately compensate any client of the member. Further details are available on request

 Governing Law – BMCI Insurance & Investments Limited Terms of Business shall be governed by and constructed in all aspects according to the laws of the Republic of Ireland.

TOB @September 2020 v19