Financial Service Guide
A guide to our relationship with you and others
THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE
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 an 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. We are required to meet high standards for staff training, organisational competence, management expertise, financial control and compliance disciplines.
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. You are able to contact us by phone, in writing, by fax, email or in person
OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
We can advise and arrange a broad range of insurances on your behalf including: Home Building and Contents, Private and Commercial Motor, Farm, Business Packages, Construction, Liability, Industrial and Professional covers AND Equine and Leisure related insurance. 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, identifying risk factors to avoid claims, seeking competitive premium quotations
Under the Corporations Act 2001 (The Act) Retail Clients are provided with additional protection. 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 new Retail Client purchasing Personal Accident or Sickness insurance and obtain Personal Advice, that is, advice that takes into account your particular circumstances, we will 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.
Clients not satisfied with our services should contact our Complaints Officer. We are members of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), a free consumer service. Further information is available from our office, or contact AFCA directly on 1800 931 678 or visit www.afca.org.au. We also follow The Insurance Brokers Code of Practice.
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 covers 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.
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.
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 disclosure documents electronically please advise us and we will update our records accordingly.
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. Where a policy is cancelled before the period of insurance has ended we will usually retain the commission on any return premium involved.
If you are a Retail Client and we give you Personal Advice, commission amounts will be provided in any 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 non refundable Broker Fees that we charge you for services such as:
♦Market research on products available. ♦Assessing the claims service of insurers.
♦Sourcing alternative quotations and coverage. ♦Risk analysis and portfolio co-ordination.
All fees payable for our services will be advised to you at the time of providing the advice or service.
We may receive additional remuneration from insurers with whom we have profit share or volume bonus arrangements. This remuneration is payable if we meet certain agreed sales and/or profitability targets set by the insurer. If we have profit share arrangements with an insurer that apply to a product we recommend to you, we will advise you of this at the time of making any such recommendation if the amount involved is material.
We retain the interest on premiums paid by you that are held in our trust account before paying the insurer. If you pay by credit card we may charge you a credit card (incl. arrangement & handling) fee, which is disclosed and shown separately on our invoices, they are non refundable. This fee covers the cost of bank charges etc. associated with such facilities.
Premium funding products enable you to pay your premiums by installments. 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.
We are a shareholder of 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 shareholder 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 shareholder services are either funded or subsidised by IBNA or available exclusively to shareholders for a fee.
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. If you are a Retail Client and receive Personal Advice full remuneration details will be disclosed in the SOA or invoices related to the advice.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
As a business we have relationships with and receive income from various third parties as detailed in this FSG. For Retail Clients receiving Personal Advice, details of relationships that impact the advice will be included in any SOA or invoice documentation we send you. All material conflicts that impact our advice, that are not mentioned in this FSG, will be advised to you on the invoices related to that advice.
The financial services referred to in this Financial Services Guide (FSG) are offered by Affinity Risk Partners (Brokers) Pty Ltd T/a Affinity Insurance Brokers
(“Affinity”), ABN No: 15 091 944 580
Level 1, 1265 Nepean Highway, CHELTENHAM VIC 3192
T: (03) 8587 7777 | F: (03) 8587 7700 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Affinity holds a current Australian Financial Services License No: 241185.
THIS FSG APPLIES FROM 01/01/2009
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CLIENT
This notice refers to a contract of insurance that you have entered into via our company. You should refer to your policy document for the full terms and conditions applicable and you should read them carefully. Should any doubts arise as to the scope of cover provided, please contact us for an explanation.
YOUR DUTY OF DISCLOSURE
Before you enter into a contract of general insurance and up until the commencement of the insurance, you have a duty, under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, to tell the underwriter of anything that may affect the underwriters’ decision whether to insure you and on what terms. You must tell the underwriter about anything that you know, or could be reasonably expected to know taking into account the nature and extent of the insurance cover to be provided and the class of persons who would ordinarily be expected to apply for such insurance cover.
For Eligible Contracts (Eligible Contracts involve individuals purchasing insurance for motor vehicles with carrying capacity under 2 tonne, motorcycle, home building and contents, residential strata, travel, personal accident and sickness and consumer credit) the above duty only applies to questions asked of you by the underwriter. In answering any such questions you must tell them anything that you know and that a reasonable person in the circumstances would include.
You have the same duty before you renew, extend, vary or reinstate an insurance contract. You do not need to tell the underwriter anything that:
– reduces the risk to be insured or that is of common knowledge;
– the underwriter knows or, in the ordinary course of business, ought to know;
– the underwriter has waived your duty to tell them about.
If you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure, the insurer may be entitled to reduce their liability under the contract in respect of a claim. If your non-disclosure is fraudulent, the insurer may also have the option of avoiding the contract from its beginning.
The requirement of full and frank disclosure of anything which may be material to the risk for which you seek cover (for example, claims, whether founded or unfounded) or to the magnitude of the risk, is of the utmost importance with this type of insurance. It is better to err on the side of caution by disclosing anything that might conceivably influence the insurers’ consideration of your proposal.
Under the Corporations Act 2001 and associated Regulations Retail Clients are provided with additional levels of protection from other insurance purchasers. The Act defines Retail Clients as:
Individuals or a small manufacturing business employing less than 100 people or any other business employing less than 20 people.
And that are being provided a financial service or product that relates to the following insurance covers:
Motor Vehicle (under 2 tonne), Home building, contents, personal and domestic, Sickness and Accident or Travel, Consumer Credit and other classes as prescribed by regulations.
WHAT ADVICE IS BEING PROVICED (RETAIL CLIENTS only)
If you are a RETAIL CLIENT (refer above) and a Statement of Advice has not been provided to you with this invoice then the advice that we are giving you related to this transaction is General Advice.
General Advice is advice that has been prepared without considering your current objective’s, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your current objective’s, financial situation or needs.
If the advice provided relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a new insurance policy and the insurer has prepared a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) we will have attached the PDS for your review. You should consider the PDS prior to making the decision to purchase this product. Further information regarding the income we have been paid by the insurer for this transaction is available upon request.
CANCELLATION WARNING (RETENTION OF BROKERAGE AND FEES)
If a cover is cancelled before expiry of the period of insurance, we reserve the right to refund to you only the net return premium we received from the insurer, and not refund any part of the brokerage or fees we receive for arranging the cover. A broker service fee may be charged to process the cancellation.
AVERAGE / CO-INSURANCE
It is most important that the Sum Insured you select is adequate to represent the value of the insured property and is calculated in accordance with the cover being arranged. Otherwise, you will be under-insured and in terms of the Average / Co-insurance provisions of your policy, you may be responsible for paying part of the loss you actually suffer.
UNDERWRITING AGENTS AND WHOLESALE BROKERS
In some cases we access insurance products via Underwriting Agents and Wholesale brokers rather than directly with the insurer. In such cases should you wish to access the Financial Services Guide of the Underwriting Agency or Wholesale Broker please contact us and we will arrange to have a copy sent out to you.
WHOLESALE BROKER INFORMATION
In some cases we use the services of a Wholesale Broker (insurance intermediary) to access products that are not available to us directly from the underwriter. You can identify where we have used an insurance intermediary as the Invoice/schedule will show that the policy is placed via another Insurance Intermediary. This situation usually arises where the insurance intermediary has developed a specialised product and competitive pricing for risks that are not commonly available directly from most insurers. This means we are not dealing with the end insurer directly but via the insurance intermediary. All insurance intermediaries that we deal with are required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and to place all client funds received into a Trust Account and are required to meet the same high standards in the delivery of their services that apply to us. Importantly all claims will be the ultimate responsibility of and paid for by the end insurer.
PREMIUM FUNDING WARNING
Premium funding allows you to spread out the cash flow associated with paying your insurance premiums over the next twelve months. We receive a commission from the funder for arranging the funding contract, full details are available on request.
Please note that should the insurance policy be cancelled before the expiry date for whatever reason, the Premium Funder will charge you the full interest applicable to the contract, as detailed in the Loan Application Form. Typically there will be no refund of our commission on the refund premium and no refund of any fee we may have charged you for arranging the cover. We also reserve the right to charge you a policy cancellation handling fee. In some cases insurers also apply minimum premiums to policies, which may further reduce the refund that you might otherwise receive.
The impact of the above on you is that any refund you receive for the mid term cancellation of your policy will usually be significantly less than a pro rata calculation would produce and in extreme cases may involve you having to make an additional final payment even though the policy has been cancelled. Therefore prior to cancelling a policy and replacing it with another cover we strongly recommend that you discuss your situation with us so that we can advise the exact extent and impact of the early cancellation provisions mentioned above.
No alterations to the risk whatsoever will be admitted until you have notified us in writing and will not take effect until acceptance is confirmed by the insurance underwriters.
You will not be insured if you fail to pay the premium in full within 14 days from commencement of the risk for new policies and prior to the due date for renewals unless alternative credit arrangements have been agreed with us in writing.
Notwithstanding the above, you will not be insured if you do not submit the relevant Proposal within 30 days from commencement of the risk unless an extension of time has been agreed with us in writing.
If you cancel this insurance prior to the expiry date, we will be entitled to retain such proportion of any broker’s fee and/or commission that relate to the unexpired period of insurance.
All Retail Products are subject to a 14-day “cooling off period” or any other cooling off period as provided by the insurer and stated in the insurance policy. This means that if you are not happy with a Retail Product, you have 14 days (or any other period as provided by the insurance company) to withdraw from the new contract at no cost to you other than our broker’s fee, which is not refundable.
This notice is a summary only (errors and omissions excepted) and does not purport to be a copy of the insurance underwriters’ policy or other documents. In case of any discrepancy, the underwriters’ documents will prevail.
TERMS OF TRADE
Payment of this account constitutes your acknowledgement and acceptance of these conditions and authorises us to act as your insurance brokers for the risks outlined on the face hereof and no others unless specifically agreed by us in writing.
You are warned that should you become a party to any agreement that has the effect of excluding or limiting your insurer’s ability to recover from a third party, your insurers may have the right to refuse to indemnify you for such loss where it is shown that your insurer’s rights of recovery have been prejudiced by your action.
RIGHTS OF RECOVERY AGAINST OTHERS
It is a condition of a Contract of Insurance that you may not forego any right of recovery that may exist against another party without prior approval in writing being given by your insurer.