Financial Services Guide (FSG)
This Financial Services Guide (FSG) is designed to assist you in deciding whether to use any of our services and contains important information about:
- The Services we offer you
- How we and our associates are paid
- Any potential conflicts of interest we may have
- What to do in the event of a complaint
RESPONSIBILITY FOR SERVICES PROVIDED
We hold a current Australian Financial Services Licence and are authorised to advise and deal in the full spectrum of general insurance products. We are responsible for the financial services provided to you, or through you to your family members, including the distribution of this FSG. In order to be granted and then retain our Licence we are required to meet stringent guidelines in areas such as: staff training, organisational competence, management expertise, financial control and compliance disciplines.
We have an ongoing requirement to maintain and enhance our professionalism to ensure that you receive fair and honest Financial Services from us.
WHO DO WE ACT FOR
We usually act on your behalf and in your interests in all matters. Sometimes, it may be more appropriate for us to access insurance or manage claims where we act as an agent of the insurer. If and when this situation arises we will explain and highlight this to you.
We can advise and arrange a broad range of insurances on your behalf including but not limited to Home Building and Contents, Private and Commercial Motor, Farm, Business Packages, Construction, Liability, Industrial and Professional Liability Cover (including Directors and Officers).
Under the Corporations Act 2001 (The Act) Retail Clients are provided with additional protection from other clients. The Act defines Retail Clients as:
Individuals or a manufacturing business employing less than 100 people or any other business employing less than 20 people and that are purchasing the following types of insurance covers: Motor vehicle, home building, contents, personal and domestic, sickness / accident / travel, consumer credit and other classes as prescribed by regulations. Some of the information in this FSG only applies to Retail Clients and it is important that you understand if you are covered by the additional protection provided.
RETAIL CLIENT ISSUES
Typically we only provide General Advice to our Retail Clients. General Advice does not take into account your particular needs and requirements and you should consider the appropriateness of this advice to your circumstances prior to acting upon it. We will provide you with a General Advice Warning in such cases. If you are a Retail Client and obtain Personal Advice, that is, advice that takes into account your particular circumstances, we will usually give you a Statement of Advice (SOA), that sets out the advice provided and the basis on which the advice is made and our remuneration should you purchase the product.
For existing Retail Clients we may not provide an SOA but rather provide the advice to you orally. In such cases you may request us to provide you with a Record of Advice (via phone or in writing) which we will provide to you within 28 days of such request. When you ask us to recommend an insurance policy for you, we will usually only consider the policies offered by the insurers or insurance providers that we deal with regularly. In giving you advice about the costs and terms of recommended polices we have not compared those policies to other policies available, other than from those insurers we deal with regularly. If we recommend the purchase of a particular financial product, we will also give you a Product Disclosure Statement at that time, which sets out details specific to that product and the key benefits and risks in purchasing the product.
COOLING OFF PROVISIONS
All retail products are subject to a 14 day ‘cooling off period’. This means that if you are not happy with the product, you have 14 days to withdraw from the contract at no cost to you, other than our Broker Fee which is not refundable.
WHAT WE EXPECT FROM YOU
To enable us to provide the right advice we need you to provide us with complete information about the risk(s) that you face and those that you want to be insured for. You should also tell us about any relevant changes as they occur so that we can review your insurance needs accordingly. Of course we also ask you to pay our invoices on time and complete all proposal forms honestly, accurately and return them to us by the required date.
OUR SERVICES & HOW WE LOOK AFTER YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS
We offer a range of services to assist you to protect your assets and guard against unexpected liabilities including:
- Reviewing and advising on your insurance needs
- Arranging and renewing insurance contracts on your behalf
- Seeking competitive premium quotations
- Assisting with making insurance claims
Contact us as soon as possible if you need cover for a risk or property that is not insured. If you need immediate cover, we can usually obtain an interim contract of insurance (which is generally valid for a month or less). To arrange this, we will need all details requested in respect of the property or risk together with any information which you need to disclose to the insurer. We will then send you a proposal for completion. You will need to complete and sign this and return it to us together with payment as soon as possible and before the interim cover expires. We will send the original insurance contract documents as soon as they are issued correctly by your insurer. As these are legal documents, you should keep them in a safe place.
Retail Insurance – We will give you at least 14 days notice of expiry of any insurance contract which we arranged or last renewed for you. Unless you tell us otherwise, if we are able to source cover we will automatically renew your retail insurances to ensure you continue to be covered and send you our documentation detailing the cover and the cost of renewal. If there is a change to your circumstances, please notify us as soon as possible. This will allow us to assess the appropriateness of your personal insurances and whether you require further advice from us.
Commercial (Wholesale) Insurance – Prior your renewal we will forward a request for specific pre renewal information. Without this information we may be unable to provide you with your offer to renew and if this is the case we will provide you with advice in writing confirming the cessation of cover. In the event you do not return the information or the information is incomplete and the insurer still offers renewal, we will forward the renewal for your consideration. In these circumstances in offering the renewal you acknowledge and accept that the renewal may not be appropriate for your needs.
In some circumstances we may be able to arrange for the insurer to cover you temporarily before payment is received, but we cannot guarantee this.
If you arranged or renewed insurance directly with an insurer or through another broker, we will not be responsible for notifying you of expiry or arranging renewal unless you ask us to do so.
Variations / Amendments
You should carefully monitor and review that your insurance contract is adequate to cover your assets or business activities. If you want to vary any cover, eg by increasing the sum insured or adding other property, please provide us with details of the changes you require and any other information you need to disclose to the insurer. We will arrange the variation with the insurer and provide you with written confirmation.
Should an amendment to your policy result in a premium credit, we will refund the net premium we receive from your insurer. We will not refund our original commission for arranging the insurance.
We will receive your claims notifications, assist and advise you regarding the scope of cover and pass the information to the insurer. If a loss adjustor is appointed we shall, with your permission, pass on your contact details and co-ordinate meetings. In the case of a major loss, we can attend the initial meeting with the loss adjustor if you wish us to. We will also be available to assist in ongoing negotiations in respect of your claim. We will promptly forward to you all claims documentation, insurance company settlement cheques and other information.
If any claims are outstanding when you terminate our appointment as your insurance broker, we will either negotiate settlement on your behalf subject to a claim service fee (to be agreed) or, provide details of the claim(s) to your new insurance broker so that they may continue to negotiate settlement on your behalf.
If a contract of insurance is cancelled before the expiry of the period of insurance, we will refund the net premium we receive from your insurer. We will not refund our fees or commission for arranging the insurance.
We cannot cancel a contract of insurance without written instructions from a person(s) who is authorised to represent each of the parties who are named insureds in the contract of insurance. We cannot cancel any contract of insurance which is subject to the Marine Insurance Act 1909. You can provide us with instructions by email or in writing.
IF OUR SERVICES ARE TERMINATED
If our services as your broker are terminated by you and you require assistance, information and documentation thereafter, we will charge an hourly rate for any such services at a pre-agreed rate.
OUR SOURCES OF INCOME
When placing your insurance we usually receive a commission from the insurer. The amount varies between 0% and 30% of the base premium you pay. When we give you Personal Advice, full commission details (including the dollar amounts) will be provided in an SOA or (where an SOA is not required to be provided) included on any relevant invoices. When we give you General Advice, full commission information (including dollar amounts) will be provided on request. We have a set of standard Broker Fees that we charge you for the cost of services such as:
- Market research on products available
- Risk analysis and portfolio co-ordination
- Assessing the claims paying ability of insurers
- Sourcing alternative quotations and coverage
All fees payable for our services will be advised to you at the time of providing the advice or service. We retain the interest on premiums paid by you that are held in our trust account before paying the insurer.
We are a shareholder of IBNA Limited (“IBNA”). They have exclusive arrangements with some insurers where they receive between 0.5 – 1.5% commission on the premium placed by us with those insurers. These payments are used to operate IBNA. Depending on the operating costs of IBNA (including the costs of member services provided to us and other shareholders) and the amount of total business we place with the participating insurers in any financial year, we may receive some of that commission at the end of each financial year. As an IBNA shareholder, we can access services including operating and compliance tools, advice and assistance from professional bodies, group insurance arrangements, product comparison and placement support, claims support and purchasing arrangements. These member services are either funded or subsidised by IBNA or available exclusively to shareholders for a fee.
If you pay by credit card we will charge you a credit card fee, which is disclosed and shown separately on our invoices, they are non refundable. This fee covers the cost of bank charges associated with such facilities.
We may receive from time to time a profit share from an underwriter based on the profitability of our portfolio. We will advise if we determine this to be of a material nature.
Premium funding products enable you to pay your premiums by instalments. Premium funders do charge interest. We can arrange premium funding if you require it. We may receive a commission based on a percentage of the premium from the premium funder for doing so. We will tell you the basis and amount of any such payment if you ask us.
HOW OUR REPRESENTATIVES ARE PAID
Our representatives do not receive any benefit directly from the sale of a product to you. Our representatives may receive bonuses payable based on the overall performance of our business. If a person has referred you to us, we may pay them a part of any fees or commission received. This will be disclosed in any SOA you receive.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
As a business we have relationships with and receive income from various third parties as detailed in this FSG. Details of relationships that impact the advice that we provide will be included in any SOA we send you. We will give you further information regarding relationships and remuneration that may impact any General Advice provided by us or our representatives upon request.
DISPUTES / COMPLAINTS
Clients who are not fully satisfied with our services should contact our Complaints Officer. We are also members of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a free consumer service. We also adopt the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice. Further information is available from our office, or contact FOS directly on 1800 367 287 or visit www.fos.org.au.
We hold a Professional Indemnity Policy. This policy is designed to pay claims by Third Parties (including our clients) arising out of our Professional Negligence. The policy extends to cover us for work done for us by representatives / employees after they cease to work for us and satisfies the requirements for compensation arrangements under Section 912B of The Act.
ELECTRONIC DELIVERY OF DISCLOSURE NOTICES
Please note that where possible we prefer to provide all correspondence and disclosure notices (including Financial Services Guides and Product Disclosure Statements) to you electronically, via email or links to websites etc. If you have provided your email address to us we will typically use that email address for all correspondence and disclosure notices. Should you not wish to be sent correspondence and disclosure documents electronically please advise us and we will update our records accordingly.
To ensure that we provide you with appropriate products and services, you agree to us calling you to discuss any new products and services. If you do not wish to receive such calls please advise us and we will place you on our Do Not Call Register.
Contact us for further information or enquiries.
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