The following Insurance & Reinsurance practice note produced in partnership with Ruth Hosking of Quadrant Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Where insurance is transacted through an intermediary, that intermediary is usually either an insurance agent (who normally acts as an agent of a particular insurer or insurers) or an insurance broker (who normally acts as an agent of the insurance buyer).
Insurance agents have contractual agreements (known as appointments) with insurers that set up the guidelines for the policies they can offer and the terms of their remuneration. A ‘captive agent’ is an agent dedicated to one insurance company’s product while an 'independent agent' can align themselves with multiple insurers. The insurance agent therefore aims to attract insurance business for their principal(s).
As a representative of the insurance buyer, a broker is independent. A broker does not have contracts with specific insurers. Brokers prepare applications to insurers on behalf of the brokers' clients. During the implementation period, brokers acquire a temporary policy, known as a ‘binder’, signed by a representative of the insurance company. After the transition period (which is usually 30 or 60 days), a policy of insurance is issued that replaces the binder.
Pursuant to Schedule 2 of the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 (CI(DR)A 2012), an intermediary is considered to be the insurer’s agent if:
the intermediary is an appointed representatives and tied agents—overview of the insurer
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