Financial Services Guide
This FSG provides key information about SureSeason, the Authorised Representative/s and the services which can be offered. SureSeason is responsible for the content and distribution of this FSG which is designed to assist you to decide whether or not to use any of the services and also contains information about:
– Our products and services;
– Our remuneration;
– Any potential conflict of interest we may have;
– Our internal and external dispute resolution procedures and how you can access them;
– Arrangements we have in place to compensate clients for losses;
– Other important information.
Please take the time to read it and keep it safely with your policy documents.
SureSeason holds an Australian Financial Services Licence 494889 and is responsible for the financial services that its Authorised Representatives provide to you, or through you to your family members. The AFSL authorises SureSeason to provide general financial product advice for the following classes of financial products:
(i) general insurance products; and
(b) deal in a financial product by:
(i) issuing, applying for, acquiring, varying or disposing of a financial product in respect of the following classes of financial products:
(A) general insurance products;
The services are provided with equal expertise to both Retail Clients and Wholesale Clients. The financial product classes, for which SureSeason is authorised, are commonly referred to as General Insurance Broking.
Licensee: SureSeason Pty Ltd (“SureSeason”)
FSL No: 494889
ABN: 21 601 112 556
Address: 101 Dimboola Rd Horsham VIC 3400
Postal: PO Box 101 Horsham VIC 3400
Phone: 03 5382 0569
Fax: 03 5382 0205
Further details regarding SureSeason’s AFSL and the authority granted to its Authorised Representatives can be found on the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au.
About Our Authorised Representatives
The Authorised Representative/s as detailed in the Adviser Profile attached to this FSG is authorised under SureSeason’s AFSL to provide specific authorised services on behalf of SureSeason. SureSeason acts on your behalf; however, if that changes at any time, we will provide you details in writing.
SureSeason Authorised Representatives have been recognised by SureSeason as experienced professionals in their chosen business fields and who are committed, together with SureSeason, to provide quality service and advice on financial products requested by our varied clientele.
Each individual Authorised Representatives will have authority to provide general and personal advice on some or all of the following:
SureSeason’s Authorised Representatives may not be authorised to provide advice and deal in all the products that SureSeason is licenced to provide. Details on individual authorisations for each Authorised Representative are available from your authorised representative.
Your privacy and how you can communicate with us
You can communicate with us, e.g. to provide your information and requests, by telephone, email, facsimile or in person, or by the means which we agree with you during any particular transaction. Simply contact the Authorised Representative who is advising you and arrange your preferred method of contact.
Service, Advice and Documentation
If required to (and wherever possible) we will give you a Policy Wording which contains information on the product and its features to assist you make an informed decision about purchasing that product.
When we provide a general advice service to you, we will give you a warning which tells you the advice is of a general nature and that you should consider it along with the Policy Wording to decide whether or not the product suits you. Similarly, you should carefully read any warnings or additional important information in the advice or in the documentation we provide you.
In giving you advice about the costs and terms of our products, we have not compared those products to others available. If we do not ask you certain questions or receive no or limited answers from you, the resultant advice will be limited and therefore it may not be adequate for your needs. Any advice we provide you will only be current at the time we give it.
Arranging your insurances
While cost is always important, the quality of insurance cover offered by a policy is equally important. Insurance that does not match your needs is worthless, however cheap the premium.
It is always our aim to provide clients with good prices and quality cover from reputable insurers with good claims paying record. We will endeavor to arrange insurance that meets your insurable risks and needs. However, as it is you who best understands your risks and needs. We also rely on you for the accuracy and completeness of information you provide to us.
You should always consider the appropriateness of any advice we provide before acting on our recommendations.
Finally, please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of insurance for your particular risks or the solvency of insurers.
Who do we act for?
As your insurance broker, we normally act for you in providing our insurance services. We will tell you before or at the time if we are not acting for you in providing any part of our service. For example, an insurer may give us ‘binding authority’ to arrange or enter into insurance products on their behalf. We could also agree to handle or settle claims on an insurer’s behalf. We will inform you if we act for an insurer in this way in relation to your insurances and this will be noted on your invoice.
How you pay for the services you receive?
Payment for the services provided are payable directly to SureSeason as stated in the invoice. SureSeason will charge a premium that includes any relevant taxes, charges, levies and fees. SureSeason often receive commission from the insurers and you may also be charged a fee. See below for more information. You can choose to pay by any of the methods stated in the invoice and you must pay within the time stated in the invoice.
If you do not pay the premium on time we are obliged to advise the insurer who has the right to cancel your policy. The insurer may also have the right under certain circumstances to charge you for the time you were insured if during the policy period you decide you do not want it. Failure to pay as required may lead to your insurance becoming ineffective.
When you pay your premium, it will be banked into SureSeason’s trust account. SureSeason will retain the commission from the premium and remit the balance to the insurer in accordance with arrangements with the insurer. SureSeason will earn interest on the premium while it is in their account or may invest the premium and earn a return; such interest and/or returns are retained by SureSeason.
Remuneration – how we are paid for the services we provide
There are several ways SureSeason can be paid. In general, the principal remuneration for arranging financial services products is by way of commission paid by the insurer:
For General Insurance products, we may be remunerated in the following ways;
Commission paid to us by the insurer as a percentage of the insurance premium paid by you before stamp duty, fire services levy, GST and any other government charges, taxes, fees or levies. It will vary depending on the insurer and the policy; however, the range is from 0 to 40%; or
A fee charged to you by us; or
A combination of commission paid to us by the insurer and a fee paid by you.
Any fees that are charged to you will depend upon the amount and type of work we perform. The fee is separately disclosed when we provide a quotation to you.
If there is a refund or reduction of your premium as a result of a cancellation or alteration to a policy, or as part of your policy such as a premium adjustment clause, we may retain any fee we have charged you. We may also retain commission depending on our arrangements with the insurer, or charge you a cancellation fee equal to the reduction in commission.
Referrals: If a third party has referred you to us, we may pay the referrer a percentage of our total commission and fees for doing so. That payment will be out of our commission and fees and not in addition to those amounts.
Employees at SureSeason and employees in Authorised Representative offices are generally paid a market salary, but may receive a bonus payment for meeting sales targets or making referrals.
Commission and fees are earned for the policy period and we are entitled to retain all commission and fees for policies placed by us on your behalf. When you do business with us, you agree to us retaining such amounts. If your policy is cancelled for any reason during the period, we may retain any commission paid by the insurer and/or any fee we have charged you.
Be aware that some insurers do not refund premiums or, if the policy is cancelled effectively prior to the expiry date, they may charge a cancellation fee or apply short term rates. Therefore, you should consult us about associated costs before you make your decision.
If we give you personal advice, we will inform you of any fees, commission or other payments we, our associates or anyone referring you to us) will receive in relation to the policies that are subject to the advice.
Premium Funding: If we refer you to a premium funding company and facilitate a funding agreement, we may receive commission up to 4% of the amount of premium funded. We may also charge you a fee for that service. When we arrange premium funding, you can ask us what commission is paid to SureSeason compared to the other arrangements that were available to you. The amount of commission and any fee that we charge will be set out in the premium funding contract.
In addition to the above, SureSeason may receive other types of income from premium funders, insurers or underwriting agencies ranging from 0.5% -1 .5% including:
profit commissions or profit shares paid by insurers on certain classes of business;
Over-riding commissions or administrative service fees or expense reimbursements for some services we provide to insurers as part of distributing their products.
When requested or legally obliged, we will endeavor to calculate and disclose the amount or reasonable estimate of any additional income which we may receive. This also applies to any non-monetary benefit we may receive such as gifts, entertainment or other incidentals where it could influence the service we provide you. Please see the next section about associations and relationships, and contact us if you have any questions about our remuneration, associations or relationships.
Enhancing our services with associations and relationships
In all business dealings, conflicts of interest can arise. We have efficient procedures to handle such situations to ensure your protection. In this FSG and at certain other times, we will tell you about those that are capable of influencing our services so that you can make an informed decision before you proceed.
Other important information to assist you
Cooling Off Period: Retail Clients may be entitled to a minimum 14-day cooling-off period from the date cover commences during which you may return the insurance policy and receive a refund of the insurance premium paid (less amounts lawfully deducted). This is subject to the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 and the terms and conditions of your policy. This does not affect any other cancellation rights you may have under your policy.
Your Duty of Disclosure: The Insurance Contracts Act 1984 requires insurance companies to provide certain information to those intending to insure with them. In general terms, the information to be provided is as follows:
“Before you enter into a contract of general insurance with an Insurer, you have a duty, under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, to disclose to the Insurer every matter that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, that is relevant to the Insurer’s decision whether to accept the risk of the insurance, and if so on what terms. You have the same duty to disclose those matters to the Insurer before you renew, extend, vary or reinstate a contract of general insurance. Your duty, however, does not require disclosure of matter:
that diminishes the risk to be undertaken by the Insurer,
that is of common knowledge,
that your Insurer knows or, in the ordinary course of his business, ought to know,
as to which compliance with your duty is waived by the Insurer.”
Non-disclosure: 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 or may cancel the contract. If your non-disclosure is fraudulent, the Insurer may also have the option of avoiding the contract from its beginning.”
Some examples (by no means exhaustive) of matters that could be considered of importance in relation to your duty of disclosure are as follows: matters relating to physical risk including alteration of risk; new or changed business activities or locations; past losses or claims; refusal, cancellation or increased premiums by insurers; fines or penalties; criminal convictions; insolvency or bankruptcy matters. Your disclosure requirement may not be limited to specific questions in any application form or questionnaire, or matters applying to you alone. It may also include other matters such as past business or private insurance and may apply to all persons and entities to be insured under the policy.
Professional Indemnity Insurance and compensation
SureSeason has a Professional Indemnity Insurance policy in place. The policy adequately covers SureSeason and certain authorised representatives for claims made against them by clients as a result of their conduct in the provision of financial services. Other authorised representatives maintain separate Professional Indemnity Insurance. SureSeason has taken careful and reasonable steps to ensure that all policies are current and satisfy the requirements under section 912B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) for compensation arrangements. Furthermore, subject to policy terms and conditions, the policies cover claims relating to the conduct of former employees and representatives who no longer work or act for SureSeason.
Ensuring your satisfaction – what to do if you have a complaint
We are committed to providing quality services to our clients. This commitment extends to giving you easy access to people and processes that can resolve a service issue or complaint.
If you have a complaint about the service provided to you, please address your enquiry or complaint to the Authorised Representative providing the service. If the Authorised Representative is not able to resolve the issue immediately or within five (5) days, it will be referred to the SureSeason Complaints Manager, who will review the complaint and advise you in writing of the expected time for resolution and other important details in accordance with SureSeason’s Complaints Policy. You can also refer your enquiry or complaint to the SureSeason Complaints Manager at any time using the SureSeason contact details noted in this FSG.
More complex complaints may take 45 days to resolve. If you are not satisfied with our response or proposed resolution, you may refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”). SureSeason is a member of FOS. FOS provides a conciliation and arbitration service to assist consumers in the resolution of complaints. FOS services are free to complainants and deal with all complaints in accordance with the FOS Rules. You can obtain a copy of these from FOS or from the website at www.fos.org.au.
You can alternatively contact the FOS at:
Street Address: Financial Ombudsman Service, Level 12, 717 Bourke Street, Docklands 3008
Mailing Address: Financial Ombudsman Service, GPO Box 3, Melbourne, VIC 3001
Ph: 1800 367 287
Fax: 03 9613 6399
If you have any further questions about the financial services SureSeason provides, please contact us.
Please retain this document for your reference and any future dealings with SureSeason.