Terms of Business
These Terms of Business set out the basis on which Hastings Life & Pensions Limited, hereinafter called “The Company” will provide insurance services to you as a client of the firm.These Terms of Business update our existing terms with effect from the 17th August 2022 and are valid until further notice and relate to Life Insurance & Pensions.
Our Authorised Status: The Company is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an Insurance Intermediary registered under the European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018. Copies of our regulatory Authorisations are available on request. The Central Bank of Ireland holds registers of regulated firms. You may contact the Central Bank of Ireland on 1890 200 469 or alternatively visit their website at www.centralbank.ie. to verify our credentials.
Code of Conduct: The Company is subject to the Consumer Protection Code, Minimum Competency Code and Fitness & Probity Standards which offer protection to consumers. These Codes can be found on the Central Bank’s website www.centralbank.ie
Our Services: We are an Investment Intermediary. We are in an ideal position to place business with all the leading insurers and product providers with whom we hold agency appointments. We are not tied to any specific institution, and are therefore able to provide advice and choice.
We have a list of the Insurance and Assurance Companies with whom we hold an Agency available on request. The Company is also a member of Brokers Ireland. The Company acts as a Broker which means that (a) the principal regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair analysis of the market and (b) you have the option to pay in full for our services by means of a fee. The Company has appointments to act in relation to all life assurance products. These include life assurance policies, specified serious illness and other protection type policies, pension policies, savings and investment life assurance policies. The Company can also advise you in relation to the nature of assurance products and which product is suitable for your needs and can also identify and select a suitable product producer on a fair analysis basis and receive and transmit orders on your behalf for a product(s) to one or more product producers with whom we hold an appointment. The Company does not (i) offer advice in relation to tax, accounting, legal and regulatory matters and you should take separate advice here as you consider necessary (ii) have any tied relationships with any institution that would compromise its ability to offer you advice and choice. The Company, in selecting a Product Producer on your behalf, take into consideration a wide variety of factors including the financial reputation of the Product Producer. However, we do not and cannot guarantee the financial security of any Product Producer. If you have any concerns about the security offered by a Product Producer please contact us immediately. The Company can offer advice and assistance in relation to the establishment and maintenance of Small Self Administered Pension Schemes and can, in addition, introduce to you the services of a Pensioner Trustee as is required in the establishment of such schemes. However The Company do not themselves act as Pensioner Trustees and do not accept any responsibility for the acts or omissions of any Pensioner Trustees referred by us and engaged by you.
Fair Analysis: The concept of fair analysis is derived from the Insurance Mediation Directive. It describes the extent of the choice of products and providers offered by an intermediary within a particular category of life assurance 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 be reasonably 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 analysis of the market, we will consider the following criteria (a) the needs of the customer(b) the size of the customer order (c) the number of providers in the market that deal with brokers (d) the market share of each of those providers (e) the number of relevant products available from each provider (f) the availability of information about the products (g) the quality of the product and service provided by the provider (h) cost and (i) any other relevant consideration.
Investments: The Company may recommend to you investment products. However the Product Producer or Fund Manager, for investment funds, indicates and manages the risk profile and assets of any investment made by you and whilst The Company is happy to provide you with any information you may require and assist you in your decision making with regard to such investments The Company cannot be responsible for the performance of any investments or fund(s) under the management of a Product Provider or Fund Manager. You should be aware that investments can carry a risk (other than where specifically stated as part of the investment structure) and that the value of any investment can fall as well as rise.
Sustainability Factors - Pension Advice/IBIPS: When providing advice, the firm considers the adverse impact of investment decisions on suitability. As part of our research and assessment of products, the firm will examine the product providers literature to compare financial products and to make informed investment decisions about ESG products. The firm will at all times act in the client’s best interests and keep clients informed accordingly. The consideration of sustainability risks can impact on the returns of financial products. We are remunerated by commission and other payments from product producers. When assessing products, we will consider the different approach taken by product providers in terms of them integrating sustainability risks into their product offering. This will form part of our analysis for choosing a product provider.
Contract Reviews: The Company recommend a regular review of products purchased to ensure that they continue to reflect ongoing requirements and needs. Certain investment and pension products contain a provision whereby the underlying investment strategy of a product can be altered using a fund switching facility within the contract. Whilst The Company would recommend that a regular review of the investment strategy be undertaken and are happy to provide guidance and assistance in relation to any such review, The Company does not undertake to carry out such a review other than as requested by you and agreed by us.
Remuneration Policy: The Company has a transparent approach towards the amount and methodology of its remuneration for its services and operates a policy of full disclosure as required by the Insurance Act 2000 as amended. The Company may receive payments from the product producer to whom orders are transmitted in the form of a proportion of the insurance contract premium (known as commission or brokerage and which varies depending upon the class of business) paid to us by the Product Provider, or in the form of a client fee payable by you or a combination of both. For investment and pension contracts our commission acceptance from Product Providers reflects the amount of your investment and the complexity of our service and your requirements and typically varies from 1% to 5% of monies contributed and/or 0.25% of the total funds under investment but in some circumstances may be higher or lower. Where commission sacrifice enhances the ultimate product benefits and values, the Company will offer you the option of client fee based remuneration with commission reinvested for your benefit. For Protection Products, commission is typically payable related to the policy terms and varies from 10% to 90% of first year premium and 3% to 5% of subsequent years premiums although in some instances it may be higher or lower. Where any commission is received from a Product Producer, details of these payments will be included in a product information document which you are legally entitled to receive before an application for a product is completed. The Company may also charge you a fee for services which do not involve the placement by The Company of a policy of insurance and in particular, if we advise upon or recommend to you a product offered by a product producer with whom we do not hold an appointment. This fee will reflect the average level of commission payable by other product producers for similar types of products. If we do this we will provide you with a written estimate of this in advance of providing any business service. Where we charge you a fee, based upon an hourly rate, it will be €250 per hour for directors, €175 per hour for senior executives and €150 per hour for others. We reserve the right to amend these fees should thecomplexity of the product or service require a higher fee. Any increase in our standard fee will be disclosed to you in advance.
Payment Terms and Receipts and Failure to Pay or Default: The Company will invoice you in respect of any fee for our services or for any premium which The Company is required by a Product Producer to collect on their behalf. The Company is not responsible for any failure on your part to make payment on foot of any direct debit or standing order or other method of payment directly to any Product Producer whether or not The Company has been informed by the Product Producer of your non-payment. Payments can be accepted by cash, by cheque or by Debit Card in respect of all classes of insurance permitted. The Company is not authorised to accept cash or negotiable instruments in any other circumstance. You agree that the settlement of any premiums invoiced by The Company in good time is your responsibility. Other than where we expressly agree with you, we do not undertake to pay premiums to Product Producers which have not been received by us from clients. Thus, for the avoidance of doubt, we have no obligation to fund any premiums, duties, fees and taxes on your behalf and have no responsibility for any loss which you and/or any insured party may suffer as a result of Product Producers cancelling a policy or taking any other prejudicial steps as a result of the non-payment or late payment of such sums if such a delay is attributable to you. The Company will issue receipts for allpayments received. These receipts are issued for your protection and should be held safely.
Conflicts of Interest: It is the policy of The Company to avoid any conflict of interest when providing business services to its clients. However, where an unavoidable conflict may arise we will advise you before proceeding to provide any business service. If you have not been advised of any such conflict you are entitled to assume that none arises.
Legal Rights: The Company will, if necessary, exercise its legal rights to receive any payments due to it from clients for business services provided and to be reimbursed for any value obtained by the firm for clients arising from payments by the firm on behalf of clients who subsequently default in any payment due to the firm. Product producers may withdraw benefits or cover on default of any payments due under any products arranged for your benefit. Details of these provisions will be included in your product terms and conditions.
Complaints: Any complaint that you may have in relation to the business services provided should be made in writing to the Managing Director, Hastings Life & Pensions Limited outlining the nature of your complaint. Any such complaint will be acknowledged within 5 days, updates will be advised in intervals of not more than 20 working days and we will endeavour to resolve the complaint within 40 business days and findings will be furnished to you within 5 working days of the completion of the investigation. In the event that you remain dissatisfied with the firms handling and response to your complaint you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Financial Services & Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.
Consumer Protection: The Company is a member of the Investor Compensation Company Ltd (ICCL) scheme established under the Investor Compensation Act, 1998. This legislation provides for the establishment of a compensation scheme and to the payment, in certain circumstances, of compensation to clients of firms covered by the Act. However, you should be aware that a right to compensation will only arise where money or investment instruments held by this firm 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 that Act. In the event that a right to compensation is established, the amount payable is the lower of 90 per cent of your loss which is recognised as being eligible for compensation or € 20,000 In addition to the Compensation available under the Investor Compensation Act, 1998.
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.
Data Protection, Confidentiality and Privacy: The Company is a Data Controller as defined in the Data Protection Act 1988 and 2003 and will treat any personal (or other) information received by us from you with the utmost respect and, where appropriate, in accordance with data protection legislation. It will be necessary for us to disclose confidential information to Insurers or Product Providers where we reasonably consider such information to be material to the risk being insured. Information provided by you, or, which is obtained from other sources in the course of our dealings with you, may be used by The Company to facilitate the provision of the services appliedfor or requested. The Company is committed to protecting your privacy. In line with General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“GDPR”), we have outlined our responsibilities in our Privacy Statement which can be viewed on our web site https://www.nti.ie/privacy-policyor is available by e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions and E Mail: Please provide your instructions to us in writing (by letter or e mail) in order avoid any misunderstandings about the cover, which you have requested. In urgent cases, we will of course accept verbal instructions, but we request that they be confirmed in writing immediately. We may communicate with each other by electronic mail, sometimes attaching electronic data. We both agree and accept the inherent risks (including the security risks of interception, unauthorised access, non-delivery mis-delivery, virus or corruption). Notwithstanding that we have reasonable virus checking procedures on our systems, you will be responsible for virus checking all electronic communications sent to you. You will also be responsible for checking messages are complete. In the event of dispute neither of us will challenge the legal evidential standing of an electronic document and the Company system shall be deemed the definitive record in this regard.
Retention of Documentation: The Company will maintain records of the insurance contracts we arrange on your behalf. We may automatically destroy these records after specified periods unless you ask us to do otherwise. We are happy to provide this service free of charge for as long as we remain your appointed advisor.
Duty of Disclosure and Policy Conditions and Warranties: We particularly refer to your duties of disclosure as set out below as it is essential that we and/or Product Producers are advised of all material facts prior to completing the placement of cover on your behalf. It is your responsibility to disclose to Product Producers all material information when obtaining cover, whether or not proposal forms are applicable or completed. Information is material if it would have an effect on the mind of a prudent Product Producer in estimating the risk, or if it would affect the judgement of the Product Producer in that the misrepresentation/non- disclosure induced the Product Producer to enter into the contract of insurance on the relevant terms. There is no duty on the Insurer to make enquiries and the burden falls upon you as the Insured. If any material information is omitted or misrepresented, Product Producers have the right to void the policy and return the premium. The effect of this is that there would be no longer an insurance policy in force and no claims would be paid. It is therefore extremely important that attention is paid to the information which is provided to enable the Product Producers to consider the risk and to the accuracy and completeness of the information. If you have any doubt as to your obligations in respect of your duty of disclosure The Company will be happy to assist you.
Confirmation of Cover: All covers will be arranged on the Product Producers policy terms, which will be forwarded to you. You agree to review all information upon receipt and advise us immediately if the details of cover or the participating Product Producers do not meet with your approval or do not reflect the instructions previously given to us and particularly if any required cover is excluded.
Claims: It is essential that claims, or circumstances which could give rise to a claim, be notified immediately. Such notification should include all material facts concerning the claim. The Policy wordings will describe in detail the procedures and conditions attaching to making a claim. Where agreed we will provide a claims handling service for as long as you remain a customer of The Company and we will i) If you require us to do so, give you guidance in pursuing a claim under the policy ii) Handle claims fairly and promptly and keep you informed of their progress iii) Inform you in writing if we are unable to deal with any part of a claim. Claims settlement will be dependent upon collection from Product Producers. We and we cannot be responsible for the wrongful non-payment or delay in payment of any claim by Product Producers. We reserve the right to charge a fee for claims handling but any such feewill be notified to you in advance.
Termination: The Company’s services may be terminated for any reason by either party by giving one month’s notice to the other in writing. In the event that our services are terminated by you, other than at expiry of the relevant policy period or at renewal, we will be entitled to retain any and all fees or charges paid or payable or commissions receivable. For the avoidance of doubt any sum due in respect of any outstanding premiums (whether payable by instalments or otherwise) or any outstanding fee or charge or any premium payable in respect of any subsequent annual period forming part of an insurance agreed for a period in excess of one year shall immediately be payable prior to the date of termination.
Liability: The Company shall be liable to clients for any losses, damages, costs or expenses (together “losses”) arising directly from the Company’s fraud, wilful neglect, negligence or material breach of agreement. The maximum aggregate liability that the Company will have to a client (including any related company or affiliate of a client) for any and all losses (or other claims arising in connection with the services provided by the Company) in any calendar year shall not in any event exceed the amount of €1m. The Company shall not be liable in any circumstance for any special, indirect or consequential loss.
Governing Law: The Company undertakes its activities in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ireland and any disputes will be governed in accordance with those laws.
Letters of Appointment – Our letters of Appointment with product producers are available on request.
End of Terms of Business