TERMS OF BUSINESS
Please take time to read our terms of business and if you have any queries relating to any of the topics outlined below, please do not hesitate to contact us. These terms of business are valid from 17th Feb 2022.
Authorised Status & Statutory CodesPriority Insurance & Finance Solutions is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an insurance intermediary registered under the European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulation 2018; as an Investment Intermediary authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995; as a Mortgage Intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995, and as a Mortgage Credit Intermediary under the European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulation 2016. Copies of our regulatory authorisations are available on request. We are subject to and comply with the following: Consumer Protection Code, Fitness & Probity Standards and Minimum Competency Code. These codes and our authorisation (ref code C4348) can be verified on the register maintained by the Central Bank of Ireland which can be accessed on www.centralbank.ie or contact them on 01-2244000.
We are an Insurance, Investment and Mortgage Credit Intermediary and always act honestly, fairly and professionally in the best interest of consumers. Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions provides a full range of insurance advice to the corporate and personal sectors including the placing of insurance contracts and related claims handling and risk management services. We also offer advice on mortgages, life, pensions, investments, and financial products. As part of the process when giving our clients advice on Investments, we will need to gather information with regards to your investment knowledge and experience, if this information is not provided we will not be in a position to determine whether the product is appropriate for you.
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions hold letters of appointment from all the main Insurers, also letters of appointment to transact business with other brokers. As the insurance markets are continually changing, a detailed list of these product producers is available on request or on our website www.pifs.ie.
We will need to collect sufficient information from you before we can offer any advice on housing loans. This is because a key issue in relation to mortgage advice is affordability. Such information should be produced promptly upon our request. Where the creditor is unable to carry out an assessment of creditworthiness because the consumer chooses not to provide the information or verification necessary for an assessment of creditworthiness, the credit cannot be granted.
The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (“SFDR”) is a new European wide regulation and applies from 10 March 2021. The SFDR lays down harmonised disclosure rules for investment advisors to consider the adverse impacts of sustainability in the decision-making processes when advising customers. After due consideration with regards the legislation on Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, due to our size and the type of business we transact with our clients, we have decided not to consider adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors in our investment and insurance-based Investment advice. The reason we have decided this course of action is because we do not produce these investments, it is the Product Producers we have agencies with who build the Investment Products we advise on. Within the next year we will consider whether we will continue with this view, to ensure we stay within the guidelines of the legislation. All information re Sustainable Finance Disclosures will be adhered to by the Product Producers and their brochures and documents will outline their disclosures.
Client Information /Agency Transfer
Any policies written as part of the advice to which this Terms of Business relates will be written under the specific agency number allocated to us by the institution providing the recommended Insurance/assurance policy(s). Under this Terms of Business, you agree that we are permitted to arrange transfer of the related policy(s) to a different agency number, which could be a third party regulated advisor, provided we advise you beforehand in writing giving you a minimum of two months’ notice and the authority to refuse any agency transfer at that time.
Inception & Renewal
We can receive and transmit instructions on your behalf for general insurance, new business, renewals, and mid-term alterations for products from each insurance company or financial service provider with whom we hold an agency.
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions is remunerated by the Product Providers (Insurance Companies) and lenders for your business. Details of all arrangements for any fee, commission, other reward or remuneration paid or provided to us which have been agreed with product providers, are available on our website – www.pifs.ie.
We may charge you a fee or you may choose to pay in full for our services by means of a fee which will be agreed in writing with you prior to giving any advice. Fees are charged on a time spent and expenditure basis.
Where we receive recurring commission from the product producer which will be outlined prior to affecting your policy, we will provide an on-going service to you for that policy, we will send you an annual update on your investment business as part of this service. Alternatively, you may be charged an annual fee. In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to also charge a fee for specialist services provided. If we receive commission from a product provider and where you have opted to pay in full for our services by means of a fee, the commission will be offset against the fee which we will charge you except on mortgages.
Although we will not be considering adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors in our investment and insurance-based Investment advice, we will monitor on the changes the Product Providers put in place and note any adverse effect on the cost to you if any. If any of the investments we provide advice on have a Sustainability Finance Disclosure, these investments will be produced by the product providers we have agencies with, and their brochures and documents will have full details of the areas that are considered.
Mortgage Fees are charged as follows:
- €100 at Application stage. This fee is payable upon submission of the requested mortgage documentation to us;
- €100 at Approval in Principle stage. This fee is payable once your Approval in Principle is issued;
- €100 at Loan Offer stage. This fee is payable once your loan offer is issued;
- €200 additional fee for Self Build mortgages. This fee is payable after the first stage payment drawdown.
- Additional fees are payable for complex cases requiring specialist skills or urgency.
- We will give an estimate of these fees in advance of providing you with services.
PLEASE NOTE that at the absolute discretion of the firm, fees may be reduced or waived. However, should a service outlined above be provided, and you chose not to proceed with our services, then the fees outlined above may become payable regardless of being waived by the firm in the first instance.
In certain instances, particularly in the specialist or sub-prime lending area, lenders may charge additional arrangement or other fees e.g., 1% of the loan up to €1,500. Where this arises, the additional fees will be shown and agreed in your letter of Loan Offer from the lender. Our fee will be notified to the lender who will include this fee into the calculation of the APRC (Annual Percentage Rate Charge) on the European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS).
Please note that lenders may charge specific fees in certain circumstances and if this applies, these fees will be specified in your Loan Offer. You have the right to pay a fee separately and not include it in the loan. On mortgage applications, it will be necessary for you to carry out a valuation on the property; the cost of this is ordinarily borne by the applicant and is non-refundable.
Non-Life Insurance: Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions is remunerated by commission from insurance companies on general insurance i.e., motor, household, commercial, and other general insurance products and may also charge an arrangement fee up to 25% of the annual premium with a minimum of €50 charge for any new business arranged or renewal offered. This fee is paid by the consumer for the administration services provided by Priority Insurance and Finance Solutions and is non-refundable. The administration fee of €50 per transaction is also applied to any mid-term alteration or where we provide any other administration service e.g., receiving premiums for unpaid direct debits. The acceptance by Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions of a completed proposal DOES NOT in itself constitute the effecting of a policy. It is only when the Insurer confirms the policy is in place that your policy is live.
It is in your best interest that you review, on a regular basis, the products which we have arranged for you. As your circumstances change, your needs will change. Please 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.
Default of Payment
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions will, in the event of a payment not being made by the client, exercise its legal rights to receive any payments due to it from clients for business services provided by it. Should you cancel your policy after the renewal date, you will be liable to pay a premium for the period from renewal to cancellation date. Product Producers will withdraw benefits and cover on default of any payments due under any products arranged for your benefit. Mortgage lenders may seek early repayment of a loan and interest if you default on your repayments. Your home is at risk if you do not maintain your agreed repayments.
Important Notice: To ensure continuity of cover, where you have an existing policy which is due to expire, and we have been unable to contact you, we may put continuing cover in force whilst awaiting your instructions. You will be liable for any premium’s payable to the relevant insurer for the period of time between the renewal date and when we receive your instructions. You have the right not to avail of this service and should advise us accordingly.
Handling Clients’ Money
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions will accept payments in cash, by cheque, credit/debit card, or electronic funds transfer in respect of all classes of insurance in circumstances permitted under Section 25g of the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 and in compliance with the Consumer Protection Code 2012, i.e., where the money represents premiums in respect of either a renewal of a policy which has been invited by an insurance undertaking, or a proposal accepted by an insurance undertaking. Every effort is made to ensure that clients’ money is transmitted to the appropriate Financial Institution/Product Provider without delay. It is important to note that your renewal premium should be paid on or before renewal date. Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions recommends that all cheques or negotiable instruments are made payable to the appropriate Financial Institution / Product Provider for Life, Pensions, and Investment business. Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions shall issue a receipt for each payment. These receipts are issued with your protection in mind and should be stored safely.
Premiums must be paid in full on or before the renewal/ inception/alteration date of the cover. In order to protect the interests of our clients we cannot pay any premiums to Insurers, which have not been paid to us. We can however arrange suitable Premium Finance with an approved institution, subject to terms & conditions. Any bank fees charged on unpaid cheques will be charged to the client and are payable in full with all other outstanding balances. No agency transfer may be effected until the account is cleared in full. You, the consumer, are under a duty to pay your premiums within a reasonable time, or otherwise in accordance with the terms of the contract of insurance. In the event of a claim, 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.
As per the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019, you, the 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, i.e., the inception date of the policy. This does not apply to contracts which are less than one month in duration. The insurer cannot impose any costs on the consumer other than the cost of the premium for the period of cover. This does not affect the notice periods provided under the Distance Marketing Regulations (30 days/14 days in respect of life/general policies respectively).
You, the customer, can cancel your policy by notice in writing at any time during the policy year, provided that all reasonable charges pertaining to costs incurred by Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions have been paid and that no incident giving rise to a claim has occurred in the current period of insurance.
You may be entitled to proportionate return of the premium for the un-expired period of insurance unless the policy is on a minimum and deposit basis. If this is the case, no return will be allowed, and this will be noted on your schedule. In the case of cancellation of motor insurance, you must return the Certificate of Insurance and the Windscreen Disc.
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 for this detail.
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions will issue all relevant documents from the Insurers to you, the Insured, our client. These should be read to ensure that they are in accordance with your insurance requirements. We will issue summaries of cover for the benefit of our clients. These summaries are not intended to be a definitive interpretation of the policy cover, terms, and conditions. For the full details of the cover, terms and conditions please refer to the policy documents.
Retention of Documentation
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions are required to comply with the legislation in respect of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and are therefore required to seek information from all new clients to comply with the provisions of this legislation e.g., Photo ID, Address verification etc. A fact find may be completed both to comply with this legislation and in addition to ensure that the cover arranged offer the best protection available in the market.
Conflicts of Interest
It is our policy to avoid any conflict of interest when providing our services to clients. Where an unavoidable conflict of interest arises, we will advise and agree with you in writing before proceeding to provide any of our services. If you have not been advised of any such conflict you are entitled to assume that none arises. As detailed above, we receive payment from the Insurers and Lenders for your business. A copy of our conflicts of interest policy is available on request.
Investor Compensation Scheme
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions is a member of the Investor Compensation Scheme established under the Investor Compensation Act 1998. The 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. However, you should also be aware that a right to compensation would only arise where client money or investment instruments held by this Company on your behalf cannot be returned, either for the time being or for the foreseeable future, and where the client falls within the definition of eligible investor as contained in the Act. In the event that a right to compensation is established, the amount payable is the lesser of 90% of the client’s loss, which is recognized as being eligible for compensation, or €20,000.
Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions is bonded through its membership of Brokers Ireland for €250,000 with an inner limit of €100,000 per client. Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions are not liable for any losses incurred by the customer in the case of insurer insolvency.
Any complaints regarding the service you have received should be addressed to Mr. Brian Heffernan, Compliance Officer at the address above. Our complaints procedure is available to you if you wish to obtain a copy. Complaints can be by telephone, in writing, email or face to face. If the complaint is not in writing or by email, we will write to you to confirm our understanding of your verbal complaint. If satisfaction is not reached regarding the complaint, contact may then be made with: Financial Services & Pensions Ombudsman, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2, Lo call 01 5677000, email email@example.com.
Duty of Disclosure and Your Responsibilities
We act as your representative to the companies we have agencies with, and we will provide assistance to you for any queries you may have in relation to the policies or in the event of a claim during the life of the policies and we will explain to you the various restrictions, conditions and exclusions attached to your policy. However, it is your responsibility to provide complete and accurate information when arranging an insurance policy or making an application for premium finance. Failure to disclose any “material fact” either when making an application or subsequently, may render your insurance void. A “material fact” is a fact which would influence the decision of an insurer, either with respect to underwriting coverage, settling a loss or determining a premium. An example list of material facts would include all previous claims, accidents and incidents, convictions, driving licence endorsements, penalty points and previous health issues, whether your property is of non-standard construction, unoccupied etc. You will find more detailed information on your policy schedule / renewal. Always ask if you are unsure of any facts. Attention should be paid to warranties and conditions of your policy as failure to comply with them could invalidate your policy. You must inform us immediately of any changes which may affect the services provided by us or the cover provided by your policy.bIf, in respect of the general 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 a consumer 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 /incepted.
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 the consumer makes a false or misleading claim 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 advising that they are avoiding 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. To assist us in providing you with a comprehensive service and to keep our records as up-to date as soon as possible, please notify us of any changes to your personal circumstances, e.g. name change, change of address, etc.
We comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2018 and the Data Protection Acts 1988-2018. The data will be processed only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given.
Governing Law and Business Succession
These Terms of Business shall be governed by and construed in all respects according to the laws of the Republic of Ireland and will be deemed to cover any successors in business to Priority Insurance & Finance Solutions.