Terms of Business for Individual Policies
Howden Life & Health LIMITED have a number of trading styles including, Howden, National Assurance, Pol-Plan Life and Forever Assured and offers insurance to meet the needs of a wide range of individuals and companies. Our Terms of Business are set out in this page and govern how we operate in our dealings with you. Please read it carefully and retain it for future reference.
Howden Life & Health Limited of Ageas House, The Square, Brockworth, GL3 4ZP is an independent intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our Financial Services Register number is 176392. Our permitted business is advising, arranging and administering insurance. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768
What we do
We act on your behalf, advising on and arranging insurance for both individuals. We offer insurance policies from a range of insurers to provide a ‘personal and fair analysis of the market’ for life insurance, private medical insurance, dental insurance, accident sickness and unemployment cover, critical illness cover and permanent health insurance. Our personal recommendation of insurer and policy will be based on the insurer that most closely matches, in cover and price, the insurance needs that you tell us you have at the time we prepare the quotation.
For policies purchased direct from our websites, we do not offer advice or make any recommendations and just provide information. For policies arranged without advice you are responsible for ensuring that the product meets your demands and needs.
Howden Life & Health is an independent insurance intermediary (a broker).
How we operate
For our joint protection, we may record telephone calls.
Treating customers fairly
Meeting the needs of our clients is at the heart of everything we do at Howden Life & Health. 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 you buy and afterwards.
Cooling off period
You have the right to cancel any insurance policy that you buy from us. If you wish to cancel your insurance you should write to advise this, within 30 days of the date you received your policy documentation (14 days for Private Medical Insurance). We will refund your premium, less a proportionate charge for the period of cover, the administration fee and any other charge your insurer may make.
Changes to your policy
You should notify us immediately of any changes in the details upon which your insurance was arranged. (eg change of address or occupation, life style changes, taking up smoking, taking drugs, being diagnosed with an illness).
Making a claim
We are here to help you with your claim and to act on your behalf. Upon request, we will guide you through what can often be a difficult and stressful time and help make certain the Insurer provides the responsive service you are entitled to expect.
We will usually contact you by phone or by post. By providing your email address and mobile phone number, you are agreeing to us communicating with you by email, SMS and phone. If you email a request to arrange insurance cover or to amend any details under an existing policy, insurance cover will not be in force until your Insurer has agreed to provide cover and we have confirmed this to you. You must take reasonable steps to ensure that email messages are complete and accurate, free of harmful viruses and secure, so that they cannot be altered in course of transmission.
If you decide to cancel your policy please contact us first, so that we can help you to determine the least expensive way to do this.
If you pay your premiums by direct debit, any money already paid at the time of cancellation will be used to clear the insurer’s charge. If the direct debit payment is insufficient to do this, you will need to contact the Insurer to discuss the balance.
Where you do not maintain direct debit payments or other instalment payments, your Insurers have the right to cancel your insurance policy.
We place your business with insurers whom we believe to be reliable and of good financial standing. However, we cannot be held liable if an Insurer that we recommend subsequently cannot meet its obligations. You are still responsible for paying any premium or part-premium due.
Premiums, fees and payments
We are paid a commission by the insurer for arranging the policy to cover the costs of advertising, sales, compliance and administration. This cost is automatically built in as a percentage of your insurance premiums along with the other costs of claims and policy administration. We are happy to tell you the amount of commission we earn upon request. We represent the customer, not the Insurer, and provide information only and not advice if you purchase online, however, upon request you can seek a personal recommendation from our advisers and helpline.
We do not handle client money. We never accept a cheque made out to us (unless it is in settlement of charges or disbursements for which we have agreed with you) or handle cash.
We may agree with you a fee as a replacement of commission from an Insurer.
Renewing your policy
For policies with a renewal date we will normally contact you, to tell you the premium and terms applicable for the next period of insurance.
For your insurance cover to continue, you must instruct us on or before the date on which your policy is due to expire. There are no 'days of grace' and you are responsible for making sure your insurance is valid and in force.
If you pay by direct debit and your Insurer is happy to renew your policy, we will automatically renew your policy, unless you tell us to do otherwise.
However your policy is renewed, you must remember to tell us of any changes that might affect your cover, (eg life style changes, taking up smoking, taking drugs, being diagnosed with an illness) before the date on which your policy is due to be renewed, otherwise your cover may become invalid.
Responsibility for renewal
We will normally contact you before your renewal date to tell you the premium and policy terms for the next period of insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure that your insurance remains valid and in force and that you have done nothing which might invalidate the insurance.
Information about you
Accuracy of Information
You must take care to answer all questions fully and accurately to the best of your knowledge. This includes any questions relating to the medical history of anyone covered by the policy. If you do not understand the meaning of a question or you do not know the answer you must tell us immediately. Once cover has been arranged you must notify us of any changes to the information previously provided. Failure to provide full and accurate information could invalidate your insurance and result in a claim being rejected.
Records and Documents
Our files are confidential. Unless you permit us, we will not share information on your insurance with anyone other than you and your legal representatives, the Insurer to whom you apply for insurance or any party as may be required for the proper performance of our or your insurers service to you, unless we are required to do so in order to meet our legal obligations under Statute.
If you have purchased a policy through an insurance comparison website, we will share your personal information with them in order to provide you with the quotations you have requested. All personal information will be held in strictest confidence and used only for the purposes for providing you the service requested.
Data Protection Legislation
We will abide by the stated principles of the Data Protection Act at all times. We are registered with the Information Commissioner as Data Controller and Processor. Details of the Data Protection Act can be viewed on the Information Commissioner’s website at www.ico.gov.uk .
You may request a copy of the personal data which we hold on you by writing to:
Data Protection Officer
Howden Life & Health Limited, Ageas House, The Square, Brockworth, GL3 4ZP..
It is our policy to deal with your spouse or partner who calls us on your behalf, provided we have your consent or they are named on the policy. If you would like someone else to deal with your policy on your behalf on a regular basis please let us know. If at any time you would prefer us to deal only with you, please let us know.
Subject to your consent, we may use your personal data to inform you about other products and services that we feel may be of interest to you, via mail, telephone, email or other electronic messaging services. If you do not wish to receive marketing information from us by these methods or if you have any queries about how we use your information then please let us know.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
We subscribe to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our obligations to you, you may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS. Eligibility for compensation from the FSCS depends on:
- the circumstances of each claim and
- the type of person or organisation making the claim
For most insurances, compensation of 90% of the claim is available, with no upper limit. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS at www.fscs.org.uk.
All dealings with us are subject to English Law.
Certain insurers may carry out credit searches in the course of processing your quotation or application for insurance.
Making a complaint
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 to do all we can to resolve the situation. In the first instance, please contact the team, who will try to resolve matters for you. If you are still unhappy with the stance taken, please write to:
Howden Life & Health Limited, Ageas House, The Square, Brockworth, GL3 4ZP, who will investigate and make every effort to settle the issue for you.
If after this you feel that the complaint remains unresolved, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Services Ombudsman.
Third party rights
These Terms of Business are enforceable only by those who have had direct dealings with us and are not enforceable by any third party, whether under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise.
The headings in these terms of business are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation. These terms of business shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. If any of the provisions of these terms of business are held to be invalid or unenforceable in the whole or in part the validity of the other provisions shall not be affected thereby. Our staff are not authorised to vary these terms of business but they may be varied by us in writing from time to time.