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.
About the Company
Platinum Choice Ltd is a wholly owned independent insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to arrange, advise on and administer insurance. You can check our registration by visiting the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/systems-reporting/register/search and inputting our registration number 466955. Alternatively you can contact the FCA by telephone on 0800 111 6768.
Whose products do we offer?
We offer products from a range of insurers for both personal and commercial requirements including (but not limited to) motor cars, minibuses, commercial vehicles, home buildings & contents, commercial premises and public/employers liability insurance.
When legal expenses and motor breakdown cover is offered as an optional add on, stand alone in the case of motor breakdown cover the policy can only be offered from two Providers RVM Assist Ltd and Claim care Assist Ltd.
When single trip or multi trip travel insurance is offered it is from a limited panel of providers.
When Accident Sickness and Unemployment cover is offered it is from a limited panel of providers (MMS).
We will act as your agent and advise you and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your insurance needs for the type of insurance contract required. We are able to assist both individual and corporate clients.
Unless we advise to contact the contrary we will provide you with advice and information based upon a fair analysis of the insurance market. We will use our insurance knowledge and experience, and depending upon the type of product or service, be able to select insurance contracts from a number of insurers in each section of the general insurance market.
We will accept responsibility for the advice provided and for arranging your insurance. We fully endorse the principles and good practice embodied in the regulatory requirements to ensure the sales of advisory and service standards associated with arranging general insurance contracts for our clients are of the highest standard.
We offer a comprehensive range of sales and advisory services to help meet your general insurance needs including:
- Advising on your insurance requirements
- Arranging your insurance cover with insurers to meet you requirements
- Helping with any on-going amendments that you may have to make
- The issue of certain policies on behalf of insurers
- Assisting you making claims to your insurers
We will give you full details of the types of insurances offered and the conditions applicable before you make any commitment.
What will you have to pay us for our services?
We collect premiums as an agent of the insurer. This means that once you have paid the premium to us, it is treated as having been paid to the insurer. Premiums must be paid by the date(s) specified. You may pay by cheque, credit card (2% charge may apply) cash and debit card or in some cases by BACS, or instalments, subject to status.
A fee of up to £50.00 or up to 15% of the premium may be applied to new policies, renewals, alterations and policy cancellation. Your quotation will also show any fee applicable. On occasions we will arrange policies with a low or nil commission, so additional fees may be charged. Any fees will be advised verbally and/or shown in writing on the statement of price document before you incept your policy. You may wish to spread your payments through an instalment scheme or a credit scheme that we have arranged through a third party finance provider. We will give you full details of interest payable before you accept to adopt this method of payment. Where your premium is paid by direct debit we will, for your protection and subject to your insurer offering renewal terms, automatically renew you existing policy unless you instruct us otherwise. Please note that after a claim, insurers do not normally allow any refund of premium and direct debit payments must be maintained in full. Should payment default we reserve the right to cancel or to request your insurers to cancel the policy. Any refund will be offset against the outstanding balance. If after application of any refund, a balance remains outstanding and it is necessary for debit recovery agents to be instructed, debt recovery costs will be included.
Under FCA Rules, it is only necessary for us to disclose to commercial customers any commission we earn (if asked). However, we have extended this right to all our customers and if asked, are happy to disclose the commission we earn on your policy.
Other Commission Information
- We may receive a share of profit from Insurers. If received, this will be retained by us in full.
- We receive commission on the balance of premiums financed by the third party finance providers we use, e.g. Close Premium Finance. This is retained by us in full.
Client Money General
The FCA rules are designed to protect you in the event that an insurance intermediary fails or is unable to transfer any premium money it has received from you to the insurer; or any claims or return premium monies that it has received from the insurer to you.
We are governed by strict rules pertaining to client money, set down by the FCA. Where we hold monies in a client bank account we may earn interest on monies held, which will be retained by us:
- Client Money (as an agent of an insurer) (also known as risk transfer). We act as agents for the collection of premiums and payment of claims and refunds of premiums. This means that you will be protected to the extent that any premiums are treated as being received by the insurer when received in our bank account and that any claims money or premium refund is treated as received by you when it is actually paid over to you. There are occasions where such transactions are restricted (for example, to receiving premiums only) and we will tell you if this is the case.
- Client Money (Statutory Trust). We will hold client money separate from our own money with an approved bank, segregated in a client bank account designated as subject to a statutory trust. We act as trustees of our clients monies and must meet certain legal and regulatory conditions.
- Payment to Third Parties. We many transfer client money to anotherperson, such as another broker or settlement agent, for the purpose of effecting a transaction on your behalf through that person. We do however still remain responsible to you in respect of your money.
*RISK TRANSFER WILL APPLY UNLESS WE NOTIFY YOU OTHERWISE*
Before you cancel your policy please contact us. Some insurers charge for cancelled policies on “Short term” rates which usually gives a disproportionate charge for the period of cover. Please discuss with us the likely net refund before deciding upon cancellation. Where a claim has occurred insurers generally do not allow a refund on cancellation (if you are paying by instalments and a claim occurs under the policy then the balance must be paid in full in order for you to instruct cancellation). No cancellation of vehicle insurance can be arranged until we have received your current Certificate of Insurance. We will refund the unexpired premium to you, after deduction of any charges and insurers commission without delay. If paying by direct debit, any money in hand on cancellation will be used to clear the insurers charge. If insufficient, the outstanding balance must be paid, and any excess, after full payment, will be returned to you. Please remember that cancelling your direct debit does not cancel your policy.
Where you do not keep up with direct debit payments or other instalments, we reserve the right to instruct your insurers to cancel your insurance policy.
Legal expenses, breakdown cover & Travel Insurance
When purchased as separate contracts, these will normally run concurrently with your vehicle or home policy, other than travel insurance which is a standalone policy. There is no refund on cancellation.
Cooling off period
You have the right to cancel any insurance policy that you purchase from us. If you wish to cancel the insurance then you should write to us to advise us of this within 14 days of the date that you received your policy documentation. If the policy is a motor policy then you must also return the Certificate of Motor insurance. We will then arrange a refund of premium, less a proportionate charge for the period of cover, the administration fee and any other charge your insurers may make.
Disclosure of information and the consumer act 2012
All material facts that may affect the risk must be disclosed fully on each proposal form or appropriate communication. If in doubt as to whether a fact is material, it should be disclosed. For vehicles, your duty of disclosure extends to all persons who may drive the insured vehicle, and in the case of home insurance, all members of the household. We cannot, in all cases, maintain a permanent record of such information discloses all material facts when asked and to ensure that all statements contained in the proposal form are correct. It is your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of information liability for any errors or omissions, where a member of staff has completed or assisted in the completing of a proposal form, a copy of which is available on request.
If the policy is to cover you mainly for business, trade or professional purposes then you have a wider duty to disclose all material facts. You will be informed about your obligations to provide information on each transaction. Policies largely or mainly arranged for business, trade or professional purposes are exempt from the Consumer Insurance Act 2012.
Changes to your policy
Any change in the details upon which your insurance was arranged, must be notified to us immediately when they occur. Cover may be invalid until such changes have been accepted by insurers. Examples include (but are not limited to) for vehicle insurance-changes in vehicle, place of work or study, modifications to the vehicle, changes in use of the vehicle, and for all drivers, occupation, or use of the property. Certain insurers do not allow a refund of premium following adjustments to your policy after a claim has occurred.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you and all named drivers hold a valid driving license(s) for the vehicle(s). Failure to hold a valid licence may invalidate your insurance.
It is your responsibility under the road traffic act to ensure you possess a current & valid certificate of insurance, or cover note, before you use a vehicle on the public highway. If your current cover note or certificate of insurance expired, you must contact us immediately as no cover may exist until a replacement cover note or certificate is issued.
If you wish to use your motor vehicle outside of the United Kingdom please contact us first before you travel in order that we can confirm full cover for your trip.
We are more than happy to correspond with you by e-mail. By providing us with your email address you are consenting to us communicating with us via email. If you email a request to arrange insurance cover to amend any details under an existing policy, cover will not be in force until we have confirmed this. You must take reasonable steps to ensure that messages are complete and accurate and are secure against being altered in course of transmission, and are free of harmful viruses.
There are no “Days of Grace” for all vehicle and certain commercial policies. It is your responsibility to ensure your insurance remains valid and in force. As a matter of service we will write you prior to the expiry of your policy with the premium for the forthcoming year. For cover to continue, you must instruct us on or before the renewal date. Where you pay by direct debit, we will for your protection and subject to your insurer offering renewal terms, automatically renew you policy unless you instruct us otherwise; this does not affect your obligation to notify us of any changes that might affect your policy at renewal (e.g. convictions, accidents, drivers, or occupational changes of which we were not previously aware).
Records and Documents
Our files are confidential. We reserve the right not to discuss matters relating to clients insurances any person other than the client or their legal representative. Personal information, including information of a sensitive nature, provided by the clients may be retained on a manual and/or computer and/ or other means and will not be disclosed to other parties’ except any organisation allowed access under statute or exercising a legal entitlement to such access. You are entitled to a copy of such information where appropriate and, if correct, to have such data corrected. We will normally keep clients records for at least 5 years after your most recent policy has expired.
Data Protection act 1998
We are registered with the Information Commissioner as Data Controller and Processor. We will abide by the stated principles of Data Protection Act at all times. These can be viewed on the information commissioner’s website at www.ico.gov.uk.
You are entitled to request a copy of the personal data act which we hold with reference to you by writing to us at First Floor Office, Wesley House, 7 High Street, Kidlington, Oxon OX5 2DH.
We will only use and disclose information we have about you in the normal course of arranging and administrating your insurance. Personal data may be used by us to provide details of products we consider may be suitable for you. All insurers provide details of their policies to databases by the police and other insurers. This helps detect uninsured drivers and assists when dealing with claims.
In the course of arranging and administrating your insurance we are obliged to pass your details to your insurer. All our business partners adhere to the Data Protection Act. When you agree to an insurance policy with us, you confirm your agreement to having details of your policy placed on the databases operated by insurers.
If we are contracted by your spouse or partner in connection with your insurance we will accept instructions from them, provided they are named on the policy. If someone else is likely to deal with your policy regularly, please let us know, so we can record this. In exceptional circumstances we may deal with someone else who contacts us on your behalf and with your agreement. Please inform us if you would prefer that we only accept instructions from you.
- For motor claims telephone the 24 hours 365 day Platinum Choice Limited claims line (which is managed by RVM Assist Ltd on 0113 224 8886 or visit the office).
- For any other claim please telephone the office on 01993 810 333 and we will handle this for you.
All claims/incidents must be notified immediately whether you believe you are liable or not. Any letter or claim received by you must be passed to us immediately. Failure to do so could negate cover you may incur costs. The information you supply, and any report form will be put on industry Database Registers and may be available to other insurers.
You should not admit liability or agree to any course of action, other than emergency measures to minimize your loss, until you have agreement from your insurers.
Motor Insurance database
Motor policy details are added to the Motor Insurance Database (MID) run by the Motor Insurers Bureau. This may be consulted by the Police to establish who is insured and by the Driver & Vehicle licensing authority in connection with its electronic vehicle licencing operations. Further information is available at www.mib.org.uk
We work hard to provide our clients with a first class service. If you are not happy with any aspect of the service you have received, we would like to know and we will do all we can to resolve the situation. In the first instance, please contact Martin Ridewood, who will try and resolve matters for you. If after this you feel that the complaint remains unresolved, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Services Ombudsman, provided that you belong to one of the following categories, at the time of the complaint:
- A private individual
- A business or charity with a group turnover of less than £1 million
- A trustee of a trust with a net value of less than £1 million
Your claim will be investigated free of charge to you.
We are covered by the FSCS
We are covered by the FSCS. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. For most insurance compensation of up to 90% may be payable, without any upper limit. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS at www.FSCS.org.uk
Treating Customers Fairly
Meeting the needs of our clients is at the heart of everything we do. We always aspire to treat our clients fairly and to give advice and recommendations that meet your requirements. To do this we constantly review our processes and procedures to ensure we offer our clients the highest standards of advice and service. Our communications are designed to be clear and straightforward to understand and we aim to keep you informed of all developments with your insurance both before and afterwards. If you need to make a claim, we will guide you through the process and liaise on your behalf.
Certain insurers may carry out credit searches in the course of processing your quotation or application for insurance. This search will appear on your credit report and will be visible to other credit providers. It will be clear that this is a quotation rather than a credit application by you to pay by monthly instalments until you have advised us you wish to accept the quotation.
The heading in these terms of business are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation. These terms of business shall be governed by and constructed in accordance with English Law. If any of the provisions of these terms of business are held to be invalid or unenforceable and the remainder of the provision in question shall not be affected thereby. Our staff are not authorised to vary these Terms of Business but may be varied by us in writing from time to time.