Client Information Notice
I would like to take this opportunity to advise you of the following matters in relation to your insurance policy handled by Pat Britton & Co Ltd t/a Britton Insurance.
Consumers: Duty of Disclosure when completing documentation for new business/renewals and midterm adjustments
Section 14 (1) – (5) of the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act which is effective from 1st September 2021 alters consumers duty of disclosure:
- You are required to answer all questions posed by us or the insurer honestly and with reasonable care – the test will be that of the ‘average consumer’. Average consumer as per Directive No. 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, taking into account social, cultural and linguistic factors.
- Specific questions will be asked. Where you do not provide additional information (after being requested to do so) it can be presumed that the information previously provided remains unchanged.
An insurer may repudiate liability or limit the amount paid on foot of the contract of insurance, only if it establishes that non-disclosure of material information was an effective cause of the insurer entering into the relevant contract of insurance and on the terms on which it did.
Completed proposal forms/statement of fact
Completed proposal forms or Statements of Facts will be provided to you. These are important documents as they form the basis of insurance contract between the insurer and you the consumer. You should review and confirm that the answers contained within are true and accurate.
Motor Insurance EU Use: If you intend to use an insured vehicle in another EU Member State, please advise us in advance and we will provide contact details for appointed claims representatives there.
Claims: In the event of a claim for damage to your property or vehicle:
a) Where your vehicle is written off as, in the opinion of Insurers, being beyond economic repair, the basis of valuation will be the market value of a similar standard vehicle as advised by professional Loss Adjustors. Some Insurers may however not pay more than your estimate of value in the proposal form, please refer to your policy document for full details.
b) We will provide you with the name and contact details of any such professionals who act in the interest of the Insurance Company and you can appoint your own Loss Assessor to act in your interests should you so wish at your own expense.
c) For repairs, you cannot issue an instruction to proceed with repairs without the express approval in advance of Insurers who have the right to appoint their own builder or expert to undertake restitution work should they so wish.
d) Where you use certain Insurers Approved Repairers Service, you may benefit from a reduced policy excess and/or car hire option.
Non-Consumer Commercial Clients (Turnover of €3M or more in the previous financial year)
Duty of Disclosure for new business/renewals and mid-term adjustments
It is your responsibility to disclose all material facts to insurers when arranging an insurance policy, throughout the life of that policy and when you are renewing it. Material facts are those facts which might influence the acceptance or assessment of your proposal by the insurer. Material facts can include but not limited to facts such as previous claims, medical conditions, previous convictions or alteration in risk such as changes of address or use of premises etc. All material facts should be disclosed. If you are unsure as to whether a fact is material, it should be disclosed.
Failure to disclose any material information to your insurers could result in your policy being cancelled and/or claims not being paid. You should also note that you may encounter difficulties in trying to purchase insurance elsewhere were this to occur. In the case of property insurance, the 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.
The following sections apply to consumer duties and rights arising out of the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 which was implemented to protect consumers. Non-Consumer Commercial clients (as noted above) have no duties and rights under this Act, and therefore the following sections do not apply to them.
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 and only on sales that took place on a non-face to face basis (distance sales).
If you have taken out a general insurance contract, and we have not met face to face during the process, you may cancel the contract by giving notice in writing to us within 14 days after the date you were informed the contract is on cover.
If you have taken out a general insurance contract, and we have met face to face during the process, you may cancel the contract by giving notice in writing to the insurer within 14 working days after the date you were informed the contract is on cover.
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.
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 both you and the insurer 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.
Valid Insurance: For valid Insurance to be in place, please ensure that all warranties and policy conditions are complied with literally.
For Business Insurance Customers
Please note the following must be in place for valid insurance cover to apply: – You must:
1. Have completed a suitable Health and Safety Statement and prepared and documented Risk Assessments relevant to your business.
2. Ensure Electrical systems have been inspected and certified for safety in the last 5 years by a RECI or ECCSA registered Electrical Contractor.
3. Ensure, where applicable, all Fire Alarms, Burglar Alarms, Fire Extinguishers, Hose Reels and Physical Protections are in working order and will be so maintained throughout the insurance year