Financial Services Guide

At Hirtes Insurance Brokers Pty. Limited we aim to make you feel totally at ease with the services we offer. In doing so we are providing you with this easy-to-understand Financial Services Guide (FSG).

Purpose of this FSG

This FSG sets out the services that we offer to you. It is designed to assist you in deciding whether to use any of those services and contains important information about:

  • The services we offer
  • How we and others are paid
  • Any potential conflict of interest we may have
  • Professional Indemnity insurance arrangements
  • Our internal and external complaints resolution procedures
  • Our Privacy Policy

The financial services referred to in this FSG are offered by:

Hirtes Insurance Brokers Pty. Limited ABN: 61002476619 Australian Financial Services Licence No: 238260 35 Alexander Parade Charlestown NSW 2290 www.hirtes.com.au (02) 49 422 244 (02) 49 422 233 reception@hirtes.com.au

About Us

We are a well known and established general insurance broker with over 25 years service, and with a reputation for professionalism and a commitment to understanding our client's insurance needs, concerns and issues.

We hold an Australian Financial Services Licence under the Corporations Act 2001 to provide financial product advice on, and deal in general insurance products and premium funding to wholesale and retail clients.

We are members of the Australian & New Zealand Institute of Insurance & Finance Ltd and we also subscribe to the General Brokers' Code of Practice, The Financial Ombudsman Services Limited and other industry bodies.

Date and Currency of this FSG

This FSG applies from 1 July 2014 and remains valid unless another FSG is issued to replace it. If we give you a supplementary FSG or other documents relating to our services or any products, they will not replace this FSG, however you should read them carefully.

Receiving Instructions

We are able to receive your instructions personally, or by any of the contact methods shown above.

For your protection under legislation, we are required to inform you of your duty of disclosure and draw your attention to the following important information.

Your Duty of Disclosure

Before you enter into a contract of general insurance, you have a duty, under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, to disclose every matter that you know of or could be reasonably expected to know, is relevant to the underwriters' decision whether to accept the risk of insurance and if so, on what terms. You have the same duty to disclose those matters before you renew, extend, vary or reinstate a contract of general insurance.

Non-Disclosure

If you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure, the underwriters may be entitled to reduce their liability under the contract in respect of a claim or may cancel the contract. If your non-disclosure was fraudulent, the underwriters may also have the option of avoiding the contract from its beginning.

In the event of a claim, if your insurance is inadequate to cover the loss, you may be required to bear a proportion of the loss or claim. You should also make aware of everyone who has an interest in the property or asset to be insured so that their interests are protected, and their details included in your policy.

If you have any questions regarding your duty of disclosure you should ask us to assist.

Retail Client

The Corporation Act 2001 (The Act) provides Retail clients with additional protection than other clients. Under The Act, a retail client is defined as:

  • Individuals or a manufacturing business employing less than 100 people;
  • A business employing less than 20 people;
  • Who are purchasing the following types of insurance cover:
    • Motor vehicle
    • Home building
    • Home contents
    • Sickness and accident
    • Travel
    • Pleasure craft
    • Caravan
    • Personal property
    • Consumer credit
    • And other classes prescribed by regulations

It is important that you understand if this definition applies to you or your business, as some of the information and additional protection in this FSG only applies to Retail Clients.

Our Services

We are committed to providing sound advice based on your needs and our comprehensive market knowledge. We offer a range of services to assist you to protect your assets and your legal liabilities. These include:

  • Reviewing and advising on your insurance needs
  • Arranging and renewing insurance contracts
  • Requesting premium funding quotes, if required
  • Assisting with insurance claims

How we will look after your insurance needs

New Business

If you need immediate cover, we can usually obtain an interim contract of insurance (which is generally valid for a month or less). To arrange this, we will need details of the property or risk and all other information which you need to disclose to the insurer.

We will then send you a proposal for completion. This must be returned to us before the interim cover expires.

We will send the original insurance contract documents as soon as they are issued correctly by your insurer. As these are legal documents, you should keep them in a safe place.


Renewals

We will give you at least 14 days notice of expiry of any insurance contract which we arranged or last renewed for you.

At that time we will send you an invoice which will automatically renew the insurance contract. If you want to change the details of the cover, contact us as soon as you receive the renewal offer. If you wish us to continue the contract on your behalf, you must pay the premium and other charges before the commencement date shown on the invoice or within 14 days of the commencement date.

If you have arranged or renewed insurance directly with an insurer or through another broker we will not be responsible for notifying you of expiry or arranging renewal unless you ask us to do so.


Variations to your Insurance Cover

You should carefully monitor and review that your insurance contract is adequate to cover your assets or business activities.

If you want to vary any cover, e.g. by increasing the sum insured or adding other property, please provide us with details of the changes you require and any other information you need to disclose to the insurer.

We will arrange the variation with the insurer and provide you with written confirmation.


Claims

We will receive your claims notifications, assist and advise you regarding the scope of cover and pass the information to the insurer.

If a loss adjustor is appointed we shall, with your permission, pass on your contact details and co-ordinate meetings. In the case of a major loss, we can attend the meetings with the loss adjustor if you wish us to.

We will promptly forward to you all claims documentation, insurance company settlement cheques and other information. If any claims are outstanding when you terminate our appointment as your insurance broker, we will do either of the following, whichever is preferable to you:

  • Negotiate settlement on your behalf subject to a claim service fee (to be agreed); OR
  • Provide details of the claim(s) to your new insurance broker so that they may continue to negotiate settlement on your behalf

Material Changes

You must also notify your insurer of any significant changes which occur during the period of insurance. If you do not, your insurances may be inadequate to fully cover you.

We can assist you to do this and to ensure that your contract of insurance is altered to reflect those changes.


Who we act for

We act for you as your insurance broker unless we advise you otherwise. Sometimes we may arrange with an insurer to act under a binding arrangement or as their agent. When we do this we will be representing the insurer and not you. We will tell you at the time when we are acting for the insurer and not for you.


Our Role as Advisor

If you are a Retail Client, then typically you will be provided with General Advice. General Advice does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances at the time therefore you will need to consider whether this advice suits your requirements prior to acting upon it. On these occasions we will give you a General Advice Warning.

If you are a retail client and we agree to give you Personal advice, we will give you a Statement of Advice (SOA). The SOA will contain advice we have given, the basis on which it was given, and details of relationships, associations, remuneration and other interests that may have influenced the advice we have given.

If we arrange an insurance policy for you, or if we recommend you buy a particular insurance policy, we will also give you, or give you access to a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). The PDS is produced by the insurer, and is designed to give you important information about the policy you are considering purchasing.


Our Remuneration

For placing your insurance we usually receive a commission paid by the insurer as a percentage of the premium you pay. This is the standard way insurance brokers are remunerated and depending on the type of insurance our rates of commission typically range from 10% to 20% before any government fees or charges.

For most policies we charge a broker service fee, which varies according to the level of services rendered and the commission we receive. This fee will always appear on your invoice.

For premium funding we may receive a commission of up to 5% from the finance provider, together with bonuses for volume or retention of business, and advanced commission and interest, plus 10% additional for Goods & Services Tax (GST). This does not affect the monthly instalments quoted as all commission/GST is included in the amounts shown. We may also charge an Administration Fee as quoted to partially cover our costs in arranging this finance for you.

Our employees that will be providing financial services to you are paid a market salary and may also receive an incentive bonus based on service, retention and increasing new business.


Premium Funding

We only use one premium funding provider: Elantis Premium Funding. If you have elected to pay your premiums monthly your numbered funding contract will be sent direct to you including terms and conditions.


Payment arrangements

You can pay for the insurance premium and services provided by any method described on the invoice. You need to pay us within the time stipulated on the invoice.

When you pay the premium to us it will be banked in our trust account where as allowed by law we will earn interest or we may earn a return by investing the premium. Any interest or investment return will be retained by us.


Cancellation and refunds

If your policy is cancelled, or altered, and there is a refund of premium due, unless before cancellation we have a written agreement with you that varies this statement, we will refund the proportion of return premium due. Please note that some insurers make refunds based on monthly or quarterly apportionments and there may be a minimum charge or the policy may be for a minimum premium irrespective of the actual period of insurance.

We have the discretion to retain or refund part or all of any fee relating to the arrangement of the policy.

If a separate premium funding contract has been arranged you may also be obliged to pay the interest component for the full year, and arrears and other charges by the premium funder, and any refund applicable will be paid to the financier for adjustment with you, either as a refund or a balance due.


Agreement Regarding Return Premiums

Credit invoices for any premium refunds are in most cases calculated on a PRO-RATA BASIS, unless the Underwriters or we state otherwise, and additional administration charges may apply to cover our handling costs. We do not normally refund pro rata Commission/Brokerage/ Brokers Fees or Underwriting Agency fees as these are deemed to be fully earnt at the inception of the policy.

In the event of you not paying the premium or premium funding shown on your Invoice within our credit terms you hereby authorise us to cancel this Policy from inception or from the date stated in our cancellation letter, and for us to notify any other interested party/parties accordingly. Please note that the Underwriters may contact you direct for any premium that may be due for the time on Risk, if applicable.


Protection against giving you negligent wrong advice

As an AFS licensee we must maintain adequate Professional Indemnity insurance to compensate you or your beneficiaries for loss or damage suffered as a result of our giving you negligent advice.

We are covered under professional indemnity insurance that complies with the requirements of section 912B of the Corporations Act, 2001.

Hirtes Insurance Brokers Pty. Limited has in place Professional Indemnity Insurance with Lloyds of London (an Australian approved insurer by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) relating to errors and omissions arising from advice provided by us or our employees or contractors. The insurance (subject to its terms and conditions) will continue to cover claims in relation to our representatives/employees who no longer work for us but who did at the time of the relevant conduct.

Complaints and disputes

If you should have any concern, complaint or dispute about the service we have provided you, then contact us and tell us about it. If your complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 24 hours, ask to be put in touch with our Complaints Manager or put your complaint in writing to us.

If you are still not satisfied with our determination, you have the right to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

FOS can be contacted on 1300 780 808. You can write to them at Level 5, 31 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 or fax (03) 9613 6399. Website address is www.fos.org.au


Privacy Policy

We collect personal information to ensure we can offer or provide you with products and services most appropriate to your needs, as outlined in this FSG. We value your privacy and have adopted the principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988 as part of our commitment to maintain client confidentiality in the collection, use, disclosure or handling of personal information. You can view our Privacy Policy on our website or ask us for a copy.


Electronic Delivery of Disclosure Notices

Where possible we prefer to provide all correspondence and disclosure notices to you electronically, via email or links to our website. If you provided us with your email address we will typically use that address for all correspondence and disclosure notices.

If you do not wish to receive correspondence electronically, please let us know and we will update our records.

Please retain this document for your reference and any future dealings with us.

  • Helping protect your financial security

  • Helping protect your financial security

  • Helping protect your financial security

  • Helping protect your financial security

Protect your lifestyle and financial security with Hirtes Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd . Family owned and operated, we have been providing professional insurance broking services since 1982. We can assist you with all aspects of general insurance. From setting up policies to submitting a claim, we will take care of your insurance priorities every step of the way.

Based in Charlestown, NSW, Hirtes Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd is proud to assist clients throughout Australia and the international arena.

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