The Travel Vault Membership Scheme: Terms and Conditions
The Travel Vault Membership Scheme (the “Scheme”) is operated by The Travel Vault Limited, company no. 08483758 of Coppergate House, 16 Brune Street, London, E1 7NJ (“Travel Vault” or “we”).
Under the Scheme, Travel Vault provides services for its members (“you”) relating to to the sale of travel arrangements in the U.K. At the publication date of these terms and conditions, these services include: arranging Air Travel Organisers’ Licences (“ATOLs”) for relevant travel sales pursuant to The Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) Regulations 2012 (the “ATOL Regulations”) and arranging for the security of customer monies in the event of member insolvency as required by The Package Travel, Package Regulations and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (the “Package Travel Regulations”), principally by way of insurance.
In order to benefit from the services we provide, members are required to make an application in the terms set out below.
Scheme Terms and Conditions
The following terms and conditions apply to your membership of the Scheme. Please read them carefully as you will be deemed to be legally bound by them upon becoming a member of the Scheme.
1. Application for membership
- In order to apply for membership of the Scheme you will need to complete the Scheme application form, pay the application fee (see Section 2 below) and provide us with any other information that we may require.
- By applying for membership of the Scheme you warrant that you are legally capable of entering into binding contracts on behalf of the applicant.
- By applying for membership of the Scheme you acknowledge and agree that you will only be granted membership if we are able to arrange security for your customer’s monies in the event of your insolvency and, where you are conducting business that requires an ATOL, if we are able to arrange for an ATOL to be issued to you. Membership is at Travel Vault’s absolute discretion even if all requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority (“the CAA”), insurers and other providers of financial security are satisfied.
- A separate form will be provided to you in relation to applying for an ATOL (see Section 4 below).
- We will notify you of the commencement date of your membership of the Scheme following your acceptance of an insurance policy offered by one of our recommended insurers and, if you are applying for an ATOL, the grant of the ATOL having been confirmed. The contract between us will only be formed when we send you a confirmation of membership of the Scheme.
- Your membership of the Scheme shall commence on the effective date of your insurance policy (arranged with us pursuant to Section 3 below) and shall terminate at the end of the annual insurance cover period. Where an alternative form of security for customer monies is arranged, we will advise you of the applicable commencement date. An application for renewal of your membership of the Scheme, together with the renewal of your insurance will need to be made at least two (2) months before termination. ATOL renewals will be in accordance with the requirements of the CAA and may not coincide with the renewal dates for insurance and Scheme membership.
- If granted membership, the member must ensure that the full name of the business, ATOL number and ATOL logo, the agreed wording from the insurer providing financial failure insurance and the Travel Vault logo and membership number be contained on the member’s website and in all other marketing material.
- In addition to these terms and conditions, upon becoming a member of the Scheme, ATOL holders must comply with the document entitled “Procedures Manual: Your Obligations as ATOL holder” (the“Procedures Manual”) the terms of which are deemed to be a part of your membership agreement with Travel Vault and a copy of which is available upon request from Travel Vault.
- Membership of the Scheme is strictly non-transferable and can only be used by named members. Any attempted transfer or misuse of membership may result in termination of membership.
2. Membership application and renewal fees
- Travel Vault will charge members a membership application fee which shall be the fee specified in the Schedule of Fees updated from time to time and available from Travel Vault. The fee is payable at the time of application to cover background and other financial checks that we need to conduct as part of considering your membership application. We will not progress any insurance and ATOL application without receipt of the application fee and the relevant ATOL fee. Application fees are non-refundable.
- You will be charged a further fee on renewal of your membership. See our Schedule of Fees for fee amounts.
3. Financial failure insurance
- As a condition of membership of the Scheme, and for companies wishing to conduct travel business that requires an ATOL as a condition of obtaining an ATOL, you will be required to purchase an insurance policy from one of our recommended insurers to indemnify your customers in the event of your insolvency against the loss of money paid to you (or to your agents on your behalf) in connection with package holidays and any other travel arrangements required to be covered under an ATOL.
- In certain circumstances, Travel Vault may permit membership of the Scheme without insurance, for example where the CAA requires a bond by way of alternative security of the customer’s monies (note that in certain circumstances the CAA may require insurance and a bond) or where an alternative method of financial protection can be arranged e.g. trust account.
- Travel Vault is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to the arranging of insurance. In arranging insurance on your behalf, Travel Vault acts as an intermediary. The document entitled “The Travel Vault Membership Scheme: Terms of Business for Financial Protection and other Insurances” contains the terms and conditions upon which we will arrange your insurance.
- Full details of the terms of the insurance cover are available from us on request prior to obtaining a quotation.
- Your insurance contract is with the insurer and a copy of the terms of the insurance contract will be provided to you prior to you accepting the insurance offered to you.
- Insurance premiums will be payable in accordance with the payment dates and instructions set by the insurers which we will advise to you.
4. ATOL Application
- Travel Vault is a franchisee of the CAA and as such is authorised by the CAA to apply to the CAA for an ATOL on behalf of applicants, including the pre-vetting of applications, accompanying financial information and documentation, as well as making recommendations to the CAA in relation to applications. The CAA remains responsible for the grant of the ATOL which is within the CAA’s absolute discretion (see Section 4.4). Travel Vault shall have no liability whatsoever for the grant or otherwise of an ATOL.
- In order for us to be able to submit your application for the grant, renewal or variation of an ATOL to the CAA, you must provide us with all the information necessary to complete the ATOL application or renewal form, including the financial information required by the CAA and any other financial information that we require.
- We will advise you of the fees that are payable to the CAA for the ATOL as provided under the CAA Scheme of Charges applicable at the time of application. ATOL fees are separate to the application form fee required (see Section 2 above). It is a condition of membership of the Scheme that you provide us with the necessary ATOL fee before we make the application on your behalf. We will not be obliged to make the application unless we are in receipt of the requisite funds.
- Travel Vault makes no representation, warranty or guarantee that an application made to Travel Vault for an ATOL or a renewal or variation of an ATOL will be granted. The grant, variation or refusal to grant or vary an ATOL is governed by the ATOL Regulations and is entirely within the discretion of the CAA and Travel Vault shall have no liability whatsoever in relation to the grant, variation, refusal or otherwise of an ATOL. The CAA may impose conditions or terms on the ATOL in addition to the ATOL Standard Terms which will apply to the ATOL referred to in Section 4.6 below.
- If your application for grant, renewal or variation is successful, the ATOL will be issued by the CAA.
- Upon issue of an ATOL, you must comply with the Schedule of ATOL Standard Terms published in the CAA’s Official Record Series 3 (“ORS3”) found at www.atol.org.uk issued by the CAA pursuant to ATOL Regulation 40. See our Procedures Manual which incorporates and summarises some of the ORS3 requirements, but which is not a substitute for the ORS3 rules which apply in their entirety and are legally binding on the ATOL holder. You must also comply with any specific terms that the CAA may apply to your ATOL. The Schedule of Agency Terms published in ORS3 as regards appointing agents to sell your travel products will also apply.
- Following grant of an ATOL, the sale of flight seats to other ATOL holders and the whole or part chartering of an aircraft is precluded. The maximum number of passengers that you may book under the ATOL is 1,000 per annum.
- As a condition of the grant of an ATOL, ATOL Protection Contributions (“APCs”) due to the CAA pursuant to the Civil Aviation (Contributions to the Air Travel Trust) Regulations 2007 must be paid to Travel Vault as part of your Scheme membership. See section 8 below.
- As a condition of membership of the Scheme and the ATOL, you must comply with the Package Travel Regulations and the ATOL Regulations as amended from time to time, the ATOL Standard Terms and any other applicable rules, regulations and requirements relating to the holding of an ATOL from time to time. We may terminate your Scheme membership immediately by notice in writing if we suspect that any applicable rules, regulations or requirements have been breached.
- It is the obligation of the member to issue ATOL certificates and booking confirmations to its customers as required by the ATOL Regulations and otherwise comply with all aspects of the ATOL Regulations, ORS3 and any other terms imposed by the CAA.
5. eTrip The Travel Vault
- As a requirement of membership of the Scheme, you will be required to use our bespoke online reservations and data capture programme “eTrip The Travel Vault”, (“eTTTV”), which has been designed for use by Travel Vault and our members.
- As a condition of becoming a member of the Scheme and once approved by us as a member, you will be required to sign and comply with a licence agreement with the third party provider of eTTTV for the use of the eTTTV system (“Member’s Licence Agreement”) and to pay a fee for such licence (the “eTTTV Licence Fee”).
- By signing the Member’s Licence Agreement you agree to Travel Vault using eTTTV to check your booking data, generate reports required by insurers, the CAA and any other regulatory bodies relating to members’ travel sales, take payments from the member, monitor member’s reports against authorisation to ensure ATOL limits are adhered to, assess member’s general finance and fitness and otherwise ensure that the terms of the Scheme, the ATOL and the insurance policy, as well as the requirements of the CAA and the insurer, are being complied with by the member.
- In addition to complying with the terms of the Member’s Licence Agreement, you must comply with the eTTTV procedures documentation that we supply to you. Any breach of this clause or of the Member’s Licence Agreement shall give Travel Vault a right to terminate your membership immediately by notice in writing.
- You authorise us to report to the CAA and insurers such information, including but not limited to booking and financial information relating to your business as they may require from time to time and without need for further authorisation by you.
- To ensure accurate, up-to-date and complete information via eTTTV, you must ensure that all booking and other operating systems operated by you are compatible with eTTTV and do not interfere in anyway with the operation of eTTTV. You must not allow eTTTV to be corrupted, subjected to viruses or otherwise tampered with.
- You acknowledge that all property and intellectual property rights in eTTTV belong to Travel Vault or a third party and you will not assert any rights in or over eTTTV.
6. Member’s customer contract
- The member must ensure that the terms and conditions of the member’s contract with its customers incorporate the ATOL Standard Terms and contain a statement that in every customer contract relating to a package (as defined in the Package Travel Regulations) the consumer acquires the benefit of an insurance policy under which the insurer agrees to indemnify consumers, who shall be insured persons under the policy, against the loss of money paid over by them under or in contemplation of contracts for packages in the event of insolvency of the member.
- Where Travel Vault arranges an alternative to insurance as security for the member’s customer monies, the customer contract must explain the method of security being provided.
- The member must provide a copy of its terms and conditions to Travel Vault for review as and when requested by Travel Vault and member must ensure that its terms and conditions include any specifications that Travel Vault may make. However, review or approval by Travel Vault of the member’s terms and conditions does not release the member from its obligations to ensure compliance of its terms and conditions with applicable law as well as the ATOL Regulations and Package Travel Regulations.
7. Information, monitoring and audit
- 7.1 Members must provide to Travel Vault within the timeframe specified by Travel Vault any and all information relating to the financial affairs and resources of the member as requested by Travel Vault on its own behalf or on behalf of the insurer and the CAA, including, but not limited to, business plans including financial projections, cash flow statements, liquidity plans and details of financial arrangements; management accounts including balance sheet, profit & loss account and cash flow statements; audited accounts and bank statements. Failure to do so shall give Travel Vault a right to terminate the membership immediately on written notice to the member.
- Member must immediately notify Travel Vault of any complaints received from customers.
- The member must immediately inform Travel Vault if the member becomes aware that the member or any company within the member’s group of companies or a related party is the subject of an investigation whose findings, if they were unfavourable to the member or member’s group, would have a material impact on the financial resources of the member or member’s group. Where an investigation has commenced the member must immediately notify Travel Vault and comply with the requests of Travel Vault and the requirements in the Procedures Manual.
- The member must inform Travel Vault of any of the events detailed in the Procedures Manual within the timeframes specified in that document.
- Travel Vault has the right to monitor and audit all information that you provide in connection with your ATOL, your insurance policy or otherwise in connection with your membership of Travel Vault, via eTTTV or otherwise, as well as your compliance with the terms of the ATOL, the Regulations, the insurance contract and your membership terms.
- If Travel Vault is of the opinion that you have not provided adequate, complete or up-to-date information about your company or business, we shall have a right on 3 days’ notice within the hours of 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. to have access to your offices to inspect and audit the information and access shall also be granted to any accountants and other professional advisers engaged by Travel Vault. Access to copies of member’s bank statements shall also be provided if requested by Travel Vault.
- Our right of audit above does not limit our right to terminate your Scheme membership for any failure to provide adequate, complete or up-to-date information about your company or business.
8. Charges and Payments
- The ATOL licence fee is due annually and you must pay the fee directly to the CAA as instructed by Travel Vault.
- Insurance premiums will be invoiced by Travel Vault when due. Frequency of collection of premiums will depend on the particular insurance contract and you be advised before accepting the policy. Payments will be collected by direct debit from your nominated bank account. You will be required to complete a direct debit form as part of your membership application.
- APCs and the eTTTV Licence Fee will be invoiced monthly and will be payable to Travel Vault.
- If you fail to make any payment due to Travel Vault by the due date for payment indicated on the relevant invoice, then, without limiting Travel Vault’s right to terminate your membership under Section 14, Travel Vault may charge you interest on the overdue amount at the rate of 8% per annum above the Bank of England base rate from time to time. Such interest shall accrue on a daily basis from the due date until the date of actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You shall pay the interest immediately on demand by Travel Vault.
9. Third party services
- We may offer members access to various discounted services and products provided by third parties from time to time. Such services will only be available during the term of your membership.
- Where you obtain services or products from such third party, your contract will be with that third party and payment will be made directly to that third party
- A third party provider may withdraw services and products at any time or change the terms and conditions or their availability after you have become a member and Travel Vault shall have no liability for any such withdrawals or changes in terms and conditions or availability.
10. Suspension of membership
- If at any time, Travel Vault suspects, acting reasonably, that a circumstance or event has arisen in relation to a member which has or may have a detrimental effect on the financial position of the member, Travel Vault may suspend any and all services being provided to the member under the Scheme, including without limitation access to eTTTV, until Travel Vault is satisfied that the member’s financial health has been restored.
- Circumstances in which a member’s account may be suspended include, but are not limited to, failure to pay suppliers, changes in member’s personnel, changes to the ownership of the member or any other matter which is required to be notified to Travel Vault pursuant to the Procedures Manual.
11. Financial failure of member
- The member must advise Travel Vault immediately if the member or a member of its related group of companies seeks or is advised to seek advice from an insolvency practitioner or any other person relating to the member or member’s group financial position or ability to continue to trade. The member must comply with the requirements for access to information and other provisions related to a suspected failure in the Procedures Manual.
- If a member fails (as defined in the ATOL Regulations), the member must comply with the terms of the applicable insurance contract, any specifications of the insurer, the ATOL Regulations, and with any CAA, Air Travel Trust or Travel Vault specifications and requirements, including but not limited to those set out in the Procedures Manual.
- A member must allow Travel Vault, the CAA and insurers full access to all booking records in order to check the validity of claims made by the member’s customers in the event of the failure of the member.
- Travel Vault will have a right to immediately terminate the membership of any member who fails by giving a written notice to the member.
12. Data protection
- You consent to us providing information that may include personally identifiable information (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998) to the CAA, to insurers and to any third party data processor who processes the data on our behalf. We will retain, transfer and process any personally identifiable information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
- Without limiting section 12.1, you consent to us retaining and passing to the CAA and to potential insurers personally identifiable information relating to directors, including names, addresses and dates of births, which you provide to us in the ATOL application form and in response to our verification checks under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. We may also use this information to conduct credit reference checks.
- By applying to be a member of the Scheme, you agree that Travel Vault may pass contact details for your company that you provide to us to third party suppliers for the purpose of such suppliers offering their services to you.
- Subject to clause 12, we agree to keep strictly confidential all information provided by you in relation to your company that would be reasonably regarded as confidential and that is not information that is generally available to the public and shall not disclose it to third parties without your prior consent other than to the CAA, insurers or other regulatory or governmental bodies or as required by a court or other authority or competent jurisdiction.
14. Money laundering Regulations
- You must provide true, accurate and complete information in relation to our requests for information in order to verify the identity of the member pursuant to the Money Laundering Regulations. All personally identifiable data will be held in accordance with Section 12.
15. Member’s warranties and indemnities
- You represent and warrant to Travel Vault that all information that you or your representatives provide to us in connection with your membership of the Scheme, application or renewal of an ATOL or an insurance policy is true, accurate and complete and you agree to indemnify Travel Vault and hold Travel Vault harmless against any losses, costs, expenses, damages and claims that we suffer as a result of any failure to provide us with information that we require or as a result of the provision of inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information.
- You represent and warrant to Travel Vault that you will comply with the ATOL Regulations, the Package Travel Regulations, ORS3 and any other rules issued by the CAA or the Air Travel Trust and these terms and conditions of the Scheme and you agree to indemnify Travel Vault and hold Travel Vault harmless against any losses, costs, expenses, damages and claims that we suffer as a result of any non-compliance.
- Following your grant of membership, we will be entitled to refer to you as a member of the “The Travel Vault Membership Scheme “ on our website and on any promotional material that we publish in relation to the Scheme. We may require you to include the Scheme logo and the fact that you are a Scheme member on your website and in other promotional material.
- The member must provide a copy of any advertising or promotional material if requested by Travel Vault.
17. Termination of membership
- Travel Vault has the right to terminate your membership immediately on written notice if any of the following events occur:
- You fail to pay any payment due to Travel Vault by the due date, after having been served with a notice giving 7 days’ to make payment;
- Travel Vault considers that you no longer satisfy the financial or other criteria that we require in order for you to be a member of the Scheme, whether or not we have previously suspended any services to you under Section 10;
- Travel Vault or the CAA or both consider that you no longer satisfy the criteria necessary to hold an ATOL;
- You fail (as defined in the ATOL Regulations);
- Your ATOL application is rejected or is not able to be renewed or varied;
- Your insurance for failure is cancelled or is not able to be renewed or varied or other financial protection required by Travel Vault or the CAA is not able to be provided;
- We believe that any information you have provided to us is untrue, inaccurate or incomplete;
- We believe that you have breached the Package Travel Regulations, the ATOL Regulations, the ATOL Standard Terms or any other term of the ATOL or the ORS3;
- We believe that you have breached the terms of your financial failure insurance contract or the terms of any other form of security for customer monies that we have arranged for you;
- We believe that you have breached these terms and conditions of the Scheme or those contained in the Procedures Manual;
- You fail to install eTTTV or fail to ensure the integrity of eTTTV or otherwise breach the terms of the Member’s Licence Agreement; or
- We become aware of complaints about your business from consumers or trading or regulatory bodies.
18. Consequences of termination
- On termination or expiry of your membership:
- All services provided to you as part of your membership will cease;
- You will comply with all requests from Travel Vault or the CAA or the insurer in relation to your business; and
- We will return to you all information provided by you except for certain information that we may be required to hold by law, by the CAA, by your insurer or for the purpose of any customer claims being processed in the event of your failure.
- On termination or expiry of your membership, the following Sections shall continue in force: Section 7, Section 12, Section 15, Section 18 and Section 19, as well as any other provision of this agreement that expressly or by implication is intended to come into or continue into force on or after termination or expiry.
- Termination or expiry of your membership shall not affect any rights, remedies, obligations or liabilities of the parties that have accrued up to the date of termination or expiry, including the right to claim damages in respect of any breach of the Scheme terms and conditions which existed at or before the date of termination or expiry.
19. Travel Vault’s liability
- We will provide services to members as part of the Scheme with reasonable skill and care.
- Subject to Section 19.4, if we fail to provide services in accordance with Section 19.1 or otherwise to comply with these terms and conditions, we shall only be liable up to an amount equal to the annual membership application fee.
- Subject to Section 19.4, we will not be liable for any losses arising under or connection with your membership of the Scheme whether in tort, contract, breach of statutory duty, or otherwise that fall into the following categories:
- loss of income or revenue;
- loss of business or goodwill;
- loss of profits;
- loss of data; or
- loss of anticipated savings.
- Nothing in these terms and conditions excludes or limits our liability for:
- death or personal injury caused by our negligence;
- fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or
- any other matter for which it would be illegal for us to exclude or attempt to exclude our liability.
- These terms and conditions are governed by English law and you and we agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts if there is any dispute in relation to these terms and conditions.
- The references to “membership” or “member” in these terms and conditions and generally in relation to the Scheme means person who is accepted by Travel Vault to join the Scheme and to benefit from certain services to be provided by Travel Vault under the Scheme, and these terms do not confer to any person any rights, entitlements or shares in Travel Vault Limited.
- A person who is not a party to these terms and conditions shall not have any rights under or in connection with it under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
- These terms and conditions and the Procedures Manual constitute the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes and extinguishes all previous agreements, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter.
- Each party agrees that it shall have no remedies in respect of any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in these terms and conditions. Each party agrees that it shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in these terms and conditions. Nothing in this clause limits or excludes any liability for fraud.
- Any notice given to a party under or in connection with these terms and conditions shall be in writing (and this shall not include email) and shall be:
- delivered by hand or by pre-paid first-class post or other next working day delivery service at its registered office (if a company) or its principal place of business (in any other case); or
- sent by fax to its main fax number
- Any notice shall be deemed to have been received:
- if delivered by hand, on signature of a delivery receipt;
- if sent by pre-paid first-class post or other next working day delivery service, at 9.00 am on the second Business Day after posting.
- if sent by fax, at 9.00 am on the next Business Day after transmission.
(“Business Day” being defined in this Section as a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday in England when banks in London are open for business).
- Sections 20.6 and 20.7 do not apply to the service of any proceedings or other documents in any legal action or, where applicable, any arbitration or other method of dispute resolution.
The Travel Vault Membership Scheme: Terms of Business for Financial Protection and other Insurances
Status and authorisation
The Travel Vault Limited (“Travel Vault” or “we”) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) to act as an insurance intermediary. Travel Vault is included on the Financial Services Register under no. 610894. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.gov.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.
Travel Vault is an English registered company, company no. 08483758, with its registered office and principal place of business at Coppergate House, 16 Brune Street, London, E1 7NJ.
Terms and Conditions
Please read this document carefully as it sets out the terms and conditions on which we agree to act as agent for our clients (“you”) when arranging insurance on your behalf. It contains details of our responsibilities, as well as your responsibilities both to us and to insurers. Please contact us immediately if there is anything in this document that you do not understand or with which you disagree. By requesting us to arrange your insurance on your behalf you are deemed to have consented to these terms and conditions.
The contract of insurance that we arrange on your behalf will be subject to the separate terms and conditions of the relevant insurer. These will be provided to you for your consideration together with the insurance quotation.
1. Scope of our insurance services
It is a condition of joining The Travel Vault Membership Scheme that we arrange financial protection for customer payments on your behalf. We arrange financial protection insurance for members as a means of providing such financial protection. In addition, Travel Vault may offer to arrange various optional additional insurance policies from time to time relating to the operation of your travel business, including, without limitation: travel bond insurance; scheduled airline/supplier failure insurance; employers’ liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.
As an authorised insurance intermediary, our permitted activities include advising on non-investment insurance contracts, arranging deals in non-investment insurance contracts, assisting in the administration and performance of those contracts and dealing in those contracts as agent.
We can only offer products from a limited number of insurers. Please ask us for a list of insurers we offer insurance from.
We will provide you with information about the type of cover you require together with the costs involved. We will keep you informed of the progress of our negotiations and upon receipt of your instructions we will place, amend or renew insurance cover with insurers. We shall assume, unless you confirm to the contrary in writing, that you have authorised us to agree the terms of your insurance policy with insurers consistent with your instructions. We will advise you of any inability to place your insurance.
You are not to rely on any insurance policy you have instructed us to place on cover until we have confirmed in writing to you that the insurer has agreed to such insurance cover being in place. Please note that you must comply with the terms and conditions of the insurance policy you purchase including any matters where the insurer makes cover subject to your compliance with conditions or with express or implied warranties. Failure to comply will entitle the insurer to cancel your insurance contract and risk a loss you suffer not being paid in part or in full.
Prior to conclusion of each insurance contract or on renewal, we will remind you of your right to be advised of the level of commission that we receive from insurers. You are entitled at any time, to request information regarding any commission that we may have received as a result of placing your insurance business (see Remuneration).
2. Conflict of interest
As an intermediary and your agent we owe various duties to you. However, in certain circumstances we may act for and owe duties of care to other parties such as insurers who may authorise us to underwrite and settle claims on their behalf within a delegated authority. We will advise you if these circumstances occur so you will be aware of any possible conflict of interest and obtain your advice as to how you would wish us to proceed. A conflict of interest is something that we do or fail to do that is in our or someone else’s interest and which may work to the material detriment of a customer.
3. Client’s duty of disclosure
It is your responsibility to provide complete and accurate information to insurers and to us prior to and when you purchase an insurance policy, throughout the life of the policy and when you renew that policy. Failure on your part to immediately disclose information relevant to your insurance or any inaccuracies in the information given could result in your insurance cover being invalid or not fully operative.
All statements and material facts disclosed on proposal forms, statements of fact, claims forms and other documents should be full true and accurate. Material facts are those that would influence an insurer in deciding whether or not to accept a risk and the terms and conditions that would apply. Where forms are completely or partially completed on your behalf, you must check them for accuracy before signing. If you are in any doubt as to whether a fact is relevant. You should disclose it and then ask for guidance. Please note that this duty of disclosure applies to you and all persons who may benefit from the policy cover.
Quotations are valid until the date cover commences up to a maximum of 21 days, unless otherwise stated. Specimen policy wordings are available on request.
5. Insurance documentation
It is your responsibility to read all documentation upon receipt and raise any query regarding it otherwise you may risk any loss you suffer not being covered in part or in full. Documentation including your Policy and Certificate, as applicable, will be issued to you following receipt from insurers. Our documentation will confirm to you the basis of cover, provide details of the insurers, set out your demands and needs, confirm whether the contract has been personally recommended by us and if so, the reasons for making that recommendation.
You must check all documentation issued to you to ensure that the details are correct and the insurance cover provided meets your requirements. We will arrange insurance cover according to your instructions but only you can identify if it does not meet your requirements. If you are uncertain as to any meaning or have any concerns in respect of the insurance cover or if errors are discovered in the documentation, you must notify us immediately.
6. Notification of changes and alterations
Amendments to policies after acceptance may be arranged upon receipt of full details and on return of the Certificate of Insurance (if already provided). Cover is subject to acceptance by insurers and payment of any additional premium required.
We are usually remunerated by commission from the insurer in respect of insurance business placed with them, which we deduct from the premium paid by you. You are entitled at any time to request information regarding any commission that we may have received as a result of placing your insurance business.
We may also make individual charges to cover the administration of your insurances e.g. arranging a new policy, mid-term adjustments, short period or mid-term cancellations, renewals, replacement or duplicate documents, document fee and such other amounts that are confirmed in writing to you at the time of inception or renewal of your insurance. Please ask us for details of our charges.
We shall be entitled to retain all commission and agreed fees in respect of the full policy period including where you appoint another intermediary in our place during the currency of the policy or where a policy is cancelled after inception or renewal.
8. Payment of premiums and client account
Premiums payable by you in respect of an insurance contract must be paid to us acting as agent for the insurer. Your first premium payment must be made by bank transfer and we will require you to sign a Direct Debit form to allow us to collect your further premium payments on a monthly basis.
We are authorised to hold and control client money in respect of non-investment insurance contracts that we arrange and all money received from you or received from the insurer on your behalf, will be paid into in a statutory trust client account with an approved bank in accordance with the FCA Client Money rules. A copy of these rules is available at the FCA website at www.fca.gov.uk.
Unless we receive your written instructions to the contrary, we shall treat receipt of payment from you and of any claim payment and or refund of premium which fall due to you, as being your informed consent to the payment of those monies into a statutory trust bank account. Interest earned on client money is retained by us.
We have no obligation to fund any premium, taxes or fees (if applicable) on your behalf, nor do we have any responsibility for any loss you may suffer as a result of cancellation of insurance cover or any other steps taken as a result of late payment by you. If we decide to retain certain documents whilst awaiting full payment of premium, fees or administration charges, we shall provide full details of your insurance cover and any information or documents required by law. Please be aware that full or partial non-payment of a premium may result in a cancellation or lapsing of your policy.
We will assist you with advice when you make a claim under any insurance policies that you have placed through us, but it remains your responsibility to have read, understood, queried all documentation upon receipt. All incidents that could possibly give rise to a claim must be notified to us or your insurer, without delay and a claim form completed where required. Delay on your part in notifying a claim and or completing required forms may risk your claim not being met in part or in full.
You must not admit liability for a loss or agree to any course of action, other than emergency measures carried out to minimise loss, as you will risk your claim not being met in part or in full. All correspondence, claims, writs, summonses etc should be forwarded immediately, unanswered, either to us or your insurer. You must keep losses and costs arising from an incident to a minimum and must comply with all policy terms and conditions, otherwise cover may be invalidated.
We will remit claims payments received on your behalf to you as soon as practicable after confirmation of receipt of cleared funds. If the insurer becomes insolvent or delays making settlement, we do not accept liability for any unpaid amounts. Where we have a delegated authority from an insurer to settle your claim on their behalf we shall make you aware of this on notification of the claim and obtain your informed consent to proceed. We reserve the right to charge for our claims service if you request this to extend beyond our appointment to your Policy and this will be confirmed in writing before you incur any charge.
Your rights to cancel any insurance contract that we have arranged for you will depend on the insurer’s terms and conditions of contract. Details of applicable cancellation terms and charges will be found in your policy documents. Note that travel bond insurance is usually only cancellable in extraordinary circumstances with no refund of premium usually payable.
Our commissions are fully earned from the date insurance cover commences and may not be refundable in the event of cancellation, avoidance or early termination of a policy.
It is a condition of membership of The Travel Vault Membership Scheme that your customer booking payments are protected in the event of your insolvency and therefore we may terminate your membership of the Scheme in the event that you cancel your financial protection insurance and do not put in place any alternative financial protection arrangements approved by us.
11. Termination of our authority to act
You or we may terminate our authority to act on your behalf as your insurance intermediary by providing at least 14 days’ notice (or such other period we agree). Termination is without prejudice to any transactions already initiated by you and which will be completed according to these Terms of Business unless we otherwise agree in writing.
You will remain liable to pay for any transactions or adjustments effective prior to termination and we shall be entitled to retain any and all commission and or fees payable in relation to insurance cover placed by us prior to the date of the written termination of our authority to act on your behalf.
Notwithstanding the above, it is a condition of membership of the Travel Vault Membership Scheme that we arrange financial protection insurance on your behalf. Accordingly any termination of our authority to act will be automatically deemed to be a termination of your membership by you. See The Travel Vault Membership Scheme terms and conditions.
12. Our liability to you
Unless we have otherwise agreed with you in writing, we shall treat your instructions to us to place or renew your insurance cover as acceptance of the limitation of our liability to you and to any other person with an interest in your insurance cover, as follows:
Except in respect of any claim resulting from our fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or in relation to any liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or any other liability which cannot be lawfully excluded or limited, our liability to you (whether in contract, tort (including without limitation, negligence) or otherwise) shall be limited to £1 million in the aggregate in respect of any and all insurance mediation activities undertaken by us on your behalf during any annual period of insurance cover.
This Agreement contains all obligations owed by us to you.
If you have a complaint, please provide us with full details of your complaint and send it:
- by post to: Martin Alcock, 51 Burney Street, London, SE10 8EX
- by email to: email@example.com
- by phone: 020 8305 1233
We need you to help us by summarising the problem, the policies affected and the resolution you expect. Please ensure whenever possible that you quote the customer reference number.
Our complaint investigation will follow the FCA rules and guidance. The minimum standard you should expect from us is as follows:
- If we unable to resolve your complaint by close of business on the next working day after receipt of your complaint, we will send you an acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint and keep you informed about the measures that are being taken to progress the resolution of your complaint.
- If matters still remain unresolved and you have not accepted our response in writing, no later than 8 weeks after receiving your complaint we will provide you with either:
- our final written response which either (i) accepts the complaint and offers appropriate redress or remedial action; or (ii) offers redress or remedial action without accepting the complaint; or (iii) or rejects the complaint and gives our reasons for doing so; and which will provide details of your rights to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Services’s; or
- a written response which explains why we are not in a position to make a final response and indicates when we expect to be able to provide one; informs you that you may now refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service; and encloses a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service standard explanatory leaflet.
Nothing contained in this complaints procedure prejudices any rights you have to take legal proceedings.
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and you may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS if we do not meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Full details and further information on the scheme are available from the FCSC at www.fscs.org.uk.
If any provision of these Terms of Business are found to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the validity of the other provisions of these Terms of Business and the remainder of the provision in question will not be affected.
16. Rights of Third Parties
Unless otherwise agreed in writing between us, no provision of these Terms of Business is enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by any person other than you and us.
17. Applicable law and jurisdiction
These Terms of Business which form our agreement with you are governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. You and we each irrevocably agree that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with this agreement or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims).
If you are resident in a country other than the UK, the law or regulations in your country of residence may take precedence over any UK legislation. Therefore references in this document to the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme and any rights or benefits provided by those bodies may not apply. If you wish to clarify your position in this respect then we will discuss this with you on request.