Terms of Business
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited trading as BestCover Insurance
These Terms of Business set out the general terms under which our firm will provide business services to you and the respective duties and responsibilities of both the firm and you in relation to such services. Please ensure that you read these terms thoroughly and if you have any queries we will be happy to clarify them. If any material changes are made to these terms we will notify you.
Authorisation with the Central Bank of Ireland
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited trading as BestCover Insurance (C174842) 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 777 777 or alternatively visit their website at www.centralbank.ie to verify our credentials.
Authorisation with the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited trading as BestCover Insurance is authorised by the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to engage in the business of being a Credit Intermediary on behalf of Close Brothers Premium Finance Ireland and Premium Credit Limited (Authorisation No: A004508).
Codes of Conduct
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited is subject to the Consumer Protection Code 2012, Minimum Competency Code 2017, Fitness & Probity Standards 2014 and IMR which offer protection to consumers. These Codes can be found on the Central Bank’s website www.centralbank.ie.
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited is a member of Brokers Ireland. Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients in relation to personal general insurance products (motor, home, van) and commercial general insurance (shop, office, surgery). A full list of insurers with which we deal is available on request.
Insurance Intermediary Services
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited acts as a Broker which means that the principal regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair and personal analysis of the market.
Fair and Personal Analysis
The concept of fair and personal analysis describes the extent of the choice of products and providers offered by an intermediary within a particular category of life assurance, general insurance, mortgages, 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 and personal analysis of the market, we will consider the following criteria:
• the needs of the customer,
• the size of the customer order,
• the number of providers in the market that deal with brokers,
• the market share of each of those providers,
• the number of relevant products available from each provider,
• the availability of information about the products,
• the quality of the product and service provided by the provider,
• cost, and
• any other relevant consideration.
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited can provide advice on and arrange products from the following range: motor, van, household and commercial.
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited provides general insurance on a fair and personal analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available on the market to enable the firm to make a recommendation, in accordance with professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet your needs).
Non-Life Remuneration/ Schedule of Fee’s
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited are remunerated by commission from insurers on completion of business. Details of the commission arrangements are available on our website at www.bestcover.ie. Where an override commission is received, this will be disclosed to you in general terms.
Non-Life Personal Insurance: Fee
* New Business & Renewal Set Up Charge - Up to €100
Policy Amendment or Cancellation Charge - Up to €50
Duplicate Documentation- Up to €25
Non-Life Commercial and/or Business Insurance: Fee
* New Business & Renewal Set Up Charge - Up to 50% of premium
Policy Amendment or Cancellation Charge - Up to 30% of premium
Duplicate Documentation - Up to €25
* Please note the New Business and Renewal standard set up charge is non-refundable.
We will inform you of the amount of fee to be charged. Where it is not possible to provide the exact amount, we will provide you the method of calculation of the fee.
Where separate premium finance agreements are arranged for you via a premium finance provider we may earn additional commission of up to 5% of the annual premium.
It is in your best interests that you review, on a regular basis, the products which we have arranged for you. As your circumstances change, your needs will change which may result in you having insufficient insurance cover. We would therefore advise that you contact us to ensure that you are provided with up to date advice and products best suited to your needs.
Conflicts of interest
It is the policy of our firm to avoid conflicts of interest in providing services to you. However, where an unavoidable conflict of interest arises we will advise you of this in writing before providing you with any service. A full copy of our conflicts of interest policy is available on request.
Default on payments by clients
Our firm will exercise its legal rights to receive payments due to it from clients (fees and insurance premiums) for services provided. In particular, without limitation of the generality of the foregoing, the firm will seek reimbursement for all payments made to insurers on behalf of clients where the firm has acted in good faith in renewing a policy of insurance for the client.
Whilst we are happy to receive verbal complaints, it would be preferable that any complaints are made, in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days and we will fully investigate it. We shall investigate the complaint as swiftly as possible, and, the complainant will receive an update on the complaint at intervals of not greater than 20 business days starting from the date on which the complaint is made. On completion of our investigation, we will provide you with a written report of the outcome. In the event that you are still dissatisfied with our handling of our response to your complaint, you are entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO). A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited complies with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018.
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We wish to be transparent on how we process your data and show you that we are accountable with the GDPR in relation to not only processing your data but ensuring you understand your rights as a client.
The data will be processed only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given and as outlined in our Data Privacy Notice, this will be given to all our clients at the time of data collection.
We will ensure that this Privacy Notice is easily assessible. Please refer to our website www.bestcover.ie, if this medium is not suitable we will ensure you can easily receive a copy by hard copy.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any concerns about your personal data.
The following sections apply to consumer duties and rights arising out of the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 which was implemented to protect consumers.
Non-Consumer Commercial clients have no duties and rights under this Act, and therefore the following sections do not apply to them.
Consumers: Duty of Disclosure when completing documentation for new business/renewals and midterm adjustments
You are required to answer all questions posed by us or the insurer honestly and with reasonable care.
Before renewal of the contract of insurance, specific questions will be asked. Again, you will be required to answer honestly and with reasonable care. Where you do not provide additional information (after being requested to do so) it can be presumed that the information previously provided remains unchanged.
Failure to answer all questions honestly and with reasonable care can result in the Insurer being able to rely on proportionate remedies for misrepresentation, which include but are not limited to the insurer voiding the contract of insurance. If a policy is cancelled by an insurer for any reason including payment default you may encounter difficulty in purchasing insurance in the future.
Completed proposal forms/statement of fact
Completed proposal forms or Statements of Facts will be provided to you. These are important documents as they form the basis of insurance contract between the insurer and you, the consumer. You should review and confirm that the answers contained within are true and accurate.
You are under a duty to pay your premium within a reasonable time, or otherwise in accordance with the terms of the contract of insurance.
A court of competent jurisdiction can reduce the pay-out to you if you are in breach of your duties under the Act, in proportion to the breach involved.
Cancellation of a Contract of Insurance
If you have taken out a general insurance contract, and we have not met face to face during the process, you may cancel the contract by giving notice in writing to us within 14 days after the date you were informed the contract is on cover.
If you have taken out a general insurance contract, and we have met face to face during the process, you may cancel the contract by giving notice in writing to the insurer within 14 working days after the date you were informed the contract is on cover.
The giving of notice of cancellation by you will have the effect of releasing you from any further obligation arising from the contract of insurance. The insurer cannot impose any costs on you other than the cost of the premium for the period of cover.
This right to cancel does not apply where, in respect of general insurance, the duration of the contract is less than one month.
Post-Contract Stage and Claims
If, in respect of the 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 you 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 both you and the insurer when the contract was concluded.
You 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.
You must notify the insurer of a claim within a reasonable time, or otherwise in accordance with the terms of the contract of insurance.
If you become aware after a claim is made of information that would either support or prejudice the claim, you are under a duty to disclose it. (The insurer is under the same duty).
If you make a false or misleading claim in any material respect (and know 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.
Commercial Customers: Non-Consumers
Disclosure of Information
It is essential that you should bring to our attention any material alteration in risk such as changes of address or use of premises. Any failure to disclose material information may invalidate your claim and render your policy void.
We are members of the Investor Compensation Scheme operated by the Investor Compensation Company Limited. See below for details.
Investor Compensation Scheme
The Investor Compensation Act, 1998 provides for the establishment of a compensation scheme and the payment, in certain circumstances, of compensation to certain clients (known as eligible investors) of authorised investment firms, as defined in that Act.
The Investor Compensation Company Limited (ICCL) was established under the 1998 Act to operate such a compensation scheme and our firm is a member of this scheme.
Compensation may be payable where money or investment instruments owed or belonging to clients and held, administered or managed by the firm cannot be returned to those clients for the time being and where there is no reasonably foreseeable opportunity of the firm being able to do so.
A right to compensation will arise only:
If the client is an eligible investor as defined in the Act; and
If it transpires that the firm is not in a position to return client money or investment instruments owned or belonging to the clients of the firm; and
To the extent that the client’s loss is recognised for the purposes of the Act.
Where an entitlement to compensation is established, the compensation payable will be the lesser of:
90% of the amount of the client’s loss which is recognised for the purposes of the Investor Compensation Act, 1998; or
Compensation of up to €20,000.
For further information, contact the Investor Compensation Company Limited at (01) 224 4955.
Brokers Ireland Compensation Fund
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.
The above represents the terms by which we do business with you and by transacting business with us they are deemed acceptable by you.
Cotter Insurance Brokers Limited trading as BestCover Insurance,
Unit 8C Ashbourne Town Centre,
(T): 01 254 6146
Effective Date: 1st September 2021