Terms of business
Motor Direct is a division of A-Plan Holdings which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
A-Plan Holdings offers insurance to meet the needs of a wide range of individuals and companies. The Group's divisions include A-Plan Insurance, Sheltons, White House, Motor Direct, Home Direct, Caravan Direct, Liability Direct and A-Plan Fleet & Commercial. Our Terms of Business are set out in this booklet and govern how we operate in our dealings with you. Please read it carefully and retain it for future reference.
A-Plan Holdings is an independent intermediary authorised and regulated by the FCA to arrange, advise on and administer insurance. You can check our registration by visiting the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/systems-reporting/register/ and quoting our registration number of 310164. Alternatively, you can contact the FCA by phone on 0800 111 6768.
What we do
We act on your behalf, advising on and arranging insurance for both individual and corporate clients. We offer insurance policies from a range of insurers to cover motor cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, home buildings and contents, commercial premises, public and employers' liability and travel insurance as well as other risks. Our 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.
- legal expenses
- breakdown cover
- insurance for replacement vehicle hire
- tools insurance
- excess protect
- total loss plus
- home emergency cover
- accidental death cover
is offered through our branches as an optional cover, the policy will be offered from one insurer.
This list of policy types is current at the time of printing. Any amendments or additions to this list can be found on our website at http://aplan.co.uk/a-plan/terms-of-business or please ask for further details.
For policies purchased direct from our website, we do not offer advice or make any recommendations.
If you purchase direct from our website either:
- pet insurance
- travel insurance
- temporary standalone car or van insurance
- tools insurance
the policy will be offered from one insurer only.
If you use the websites of our trading styles Motor Direct or A-Plan Fleet & Commercial and purchase:
- Insurance for property owners
- Shop insurance
- Office insurance
- Liability insurance
the policy will be offered from one insurer only.
How we operate
For our joint protection, we may record telephone calls. Maximum call charges for 0845 and 0844 numbers are 3p per minute, and 0800 numbers are free, from a BT landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary, please check with your service provider.
Treating Clients Fairly
Meeting the needs of our clients is at the heart of everything we do at A-Plan. 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. If you need to make a claim, we will guide you through the process and liaise on your behalf.
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 the branch that arranged your policy to advise them of this, within 14 days of the date you received your policy documentation. If the policy to be cancelled is for vehicle cover, you must also return to us your Certificate of Motor 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. If you hold policies with more than one branch, please notify each branch individually. Please do not wait until the renewal date of your policy as changes to these details could make your policy invalid, until the insurer has been notified and has accepted the change(s).
Examples of changes include (but are not limited to):
- Change in place of work or study
- Change of occupation
- Modifications to the vehicle
- Change in use of the vehicle
- Convictions, accidents or DVLA-notifiable health issues relating to all drivers insured
- Non-occupancy of the property
- Change of address
- Change of occupation
- Change of use of the property
- Alterations to the property
- Letting or sub-letting of the property
- The property is deemed to be in a location liable to flooding
- Change of business type
- Relocation to new premises
It is your responsibility, under the Road Traffic Act, to ensure you have a current, valid certificate of motor insurance or cover note before you use or permit someone else to use your vehicle on the public highway. If your current cover note or certificate of motor insurance expires, you must contact us immediately, as you may not have any insurance cover until we can issue a replacement cover note or certificate of motor insurance.
Legal Expenses, Tools Insurance, Replacement Vehicle Cover, Breakdown Cover, Excess Protect, Total Loss Plus and Home Emergency Cover
Normally, legal expenses insurance (both personal and commercial), tools insurance, replacement vehicle cover, breakdown cover, Excess Protect, Total Loss Plus and home emergency cover, are purchased as separate contracts that run concurrently with your home, commercial or motor policy. There is no refund on cancellation of these types of policy or on tools insurance policies.
Making a claim
We are here to help you with your claim and to act on your behalf. 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. If you think you may need to claim, please let us know immediately.
We will normally monitor the progress of your claim, and provide guidance to you where appropriate. Should there be any significant changes to your claim, we will notify you as soon as possible.
We may charge the following fees:
Arrangement of new policies and renewals: Up to £25, or up to 10% of the premium.
Policy alterations: Normally £25, but may be up to a maximum of 10% of the premium.
Policy cancellation: We will refund the premium net of commission received from the insurer, less a £10 charge.
Replacement policy documentation: £10
Returned cheques: £12
Information provision under Data Protection Act: £10
Payment by credit card: A charge of 2% of the payment amount will be applied
Payment by debit card: No charge
Payment by direct debit: Minimum deposit of 20%, £10 set up fee, and 9 instalments with a charge of up to 12% (APR variable) on the balance financed.
Declined credit / debit card payments: We reserve the right to charge a fee of £10 for a declined payment.
Arrangement of taxi policies: A fee will be determined on an individual basis for each policy.
Instalment charges: Where payment is not by direct debit: a charge of up to £10 will be added to each instalment.
We will usually contact you by phone or by post. In certain circumstances we may agree to correspond with you by email or SMS. By providing your email address, you are agreeing to us communicating with you by email. 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. Some insurers make a charge for cancellation which can lead to a disproportionate charge for the period covered and we recommend that you discuss with us the amount you are likely to be refunded.
Where a claim has been reported, insurers generally do not allow any refund on cancellation. For motor insurance policies, we are unable to cancel a policy until you have returned to us the current Certificate of Motor Insurance. Once your policy has been cancelled, we will refund to you without delay the premium for the period for which insurance is no longer required, less any charges and insurer's commission. 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 pay us the balance. Any over-payment caused by payments in transit will then be refunded to you.
Where you do not maintain direct debit payments or other instalment payments, we reserve the right to instruct your insurers to cancel your insurance policy.
Conflict of Interest
Occasions may arise where we or one of our other clients have some form of interest in business being transacted for you. If this happens or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other clients conflict with your interests, we will write to you and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions, and detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.
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 collect premiums as the agent of the insurer. This means that once you have paid the premium it is treated as having been paid to the insurer. Where an insurer refunds all or part of a premium (for example, in the event of the cancellation of a policy), the refund will be paid to us and we will pay it to you. You must pay your premium by the date specified to you with your quotation, in order for the insurance to be in force. You may pay your premium by cheque, credit card, cash, direct debit, debit card or instalments (subject to status). Where your premium is paid by direct debit then provided your insurer is willing to renew your policy, for your protection we will automatically renew your existing policy unless you tell us not to do so.
Please note that after a claim, insurers do not normally allow any refund of a premium and direct debit payments must be maintained in full. Should your premium payment(s) not be made by the specified date(s) when they are due, we have the right to cancel or to request your insurers to cancel the policy. Any refund of premium in this situation will be offset against the outstanding balance. If, when we have applied any refund to the amount outstanding, there is still an amount due to us, we may instruct debt recovery agents and their costs will be added to the amount outstanding.
If you pay in instalments or by direct debit, we reserve the right to arrange for your insurer to pay us outstanding balances in the event of a total loss claim, including, if applicable, any settlement received from your total loss plus policy). Any outstanding premium would then be deducted from the claim amount and the balance forwarded to you. Your quotation will show any fees that are applicable. The fees shown are current at the time of printing but we do reserve the right to vary them if necessary. Your branch will have details of the latest fees.
If you choose to pay your premium in instalments via with either Close Brothers Premium Finance or your insurer you must be certain that you can afford the monthly repayments after taking all your regular outgoings into account. You must also consider any changes to your circumstances that may occur over the period of the Agreement and be sure that you will be able to continue to make the payments.
Renewing your policy
For policies with a renewal date we will normally contact you, to tell you the premium and terms applicable to 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 convictions, accidents, drivers or occupational changes since your policy was last renewed) 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
You must tell us all material facts as soon as possible. A material fact is something that may affect an insurer's decision to issue a policy or to continue cover. If you are unsure whether a fact is material, please tell us anyway. For vehicles, you must tell us all material facts relating to anyone who is to drive the vehicle and in the case of home insurance, for all members of the household.
We cannot maintain a permanent record of all material facts disclosed to us and it is your responsibility to:
- re-disclose all material facts when asked
- ensure that all statements made to insurers, whether in the proposal (application) form or elsewhere are correct
- ensure the accuracy of information supplied
If you have policies with different branches of A-Plan, you should advise each branch separately of any changes.
Inaccurate or undisclosed information may invalidate your insurance cover. We do not accept liability for any errors or omissions, where a member of staff has completed, or assisted in completing, the proposal form, a copy of which is available on request.
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. Personal information, including information of a sensitive nature, provided by clients may be retained on manual and/or computer records, and/or other means and other than above, will not be disclosed to third parties. You are entitled to a copy of all information held on file about you and if it is incorrect, you have the right to have the data corrected. We will normally keep client records for at least five years after your most recent insurance policy has expired.
Data Protection Act 1998
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
2, Des Roches Square
and we may charge a fee of up to £10 to provide this.
We will only use information we hold about you in the normal course of arranging and administering your insurance.
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, fax, 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 by contacting your local Branch Manager.
All insurers provide details of their policies and policyholders to databases accessed by other insurers and the police. This helps to detect uninsured drivers, reduce fraud and assists when dealing with claims. When you agree an insurance policy with us, you confirm your agreement to having details of your policy placed on the databases operated by insurers in the effort to prevent crime.
In the course of arranging and administering your insurance, we must pass on your details to your insurer. All our business partners adhere to the Data Protection Act, are registered with the Information Commissioner and as such are directly responsible to the Commissioner for the way in which they manage their data.
Motor Insurance Database
Details of all motor insurance policies taken out in the United Kingdom are automatically added to the Motor Insurance Database (MID), managed by the Motor Insurers' Bureau. This database may be consulted by authorities such as the police to identify uninsured drivers and by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority in connection with its Electronic Vehicle Licensing operations. Further information is available at www.mib.org.uk.
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 non compulsory general 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 do external data searches prior to calculating a premium or inviting renewal. This will include a credit check, which will appear on your credit history whether you proceed or not.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you and all named drivers hold a valid driving licence(s) for the insured vehicle(s). Failure to hold a valid licence may invalidate your insurance.
A number of insurers will repudiate a claim if, at the time of an accident, the vehicle is being driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that would adversely affect a person's ability to drive.
Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE)
Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) means your vehicle must be continuously insured, or a 'Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)' sent to the DVLA. If your vehicle is not on the MIB data base (which can be checked on www.askmid.com) you could be liable for a fine, prosecution and your vehicle could also be clamped. For further information please visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/Motorinsurance/DG_186696
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 fi rst instance, please contact your local Branch Manager, who will try to resolve matters for you.
If you are unhappy with the response from the Branch Manager, you may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SR. If you wish you may also refer your complaint to our Chief Executive who will investigate and make every effort to resolve the issue for you.
The Financial Ombudsman Service will deal with your complaint provided that you belong to one of the following categories at the time of your complaint:
- Consumer (private individual)
- Micro-enterprise (an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed 2 million.)
- a business or charity with a group turnover of less than £1 million
- a trustee of a trust with a net asset value of less than £1 million
Your claim will be investigated free of charge to you.
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.