If full FCA authorisation isn’t for you, then the decision on how to offer insurance to your clients and who to partner with isn’t one to be taken lightly. Here Mark Savage, Client Service Manager for Gallagher’s specialist UK Block of Flats Insurance team explains why managing agents are electing to become Appointed Representatives and why it’s important to choose the right partner.
Handling the insurance for properties they manage can help property managers to provide a comprehensive service. Close involvement in purchasing the policy helps them to translate pro-active risk management into lower premiums and potentially save money for the blocks they manage.
Becoming an Appointed Representative of a respected Principal firm can provide the ideal solution. They can avoid the costs and much of the complex reporting that goes with full Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation, while offering their clients a better service.
Working with the right Principal firm, they can also be assured that they can access the widest insurance market to find the best value for the blocks they manage.
What is an Appointed Representative?
An Appointed Representative (AR) is a firm that conducts regulated activities on behalf of a directly FCA-authorised firm. This authorised firm is known as the AR’s Principal, and ARs benefit from their Principal’s specialist experience and resources.
As an Appointed Representative of a Principal firm, property managers are exempt from seeking FCA authorisation in their own right, but they do still appear on the Financial Services Register so their clients are reassured that they are in turn covered by the Financial Ombudsman service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Alternatives to being an AR would be to seek full FCA authorisation or receive a DPB Licence Firm Exemption from RICS, which may suit larger management companies. Alternatively, you could elect to become what is known as an introducer, in which case you can literally only introduce your clients to an authorised firm and cannot even help them make a claim.
Once you become an AR, the Principal takes responsibility for your FCA regulatory compliance on insurance matters, providing all the documentation and hands-on support needed. Principals are themselves closely monitored by the FCA at all times and their own reputation could be affected by the actions of an Appointed Representative. So, we choose our ARs carefully.
At Gallagher, the close relationship we forge with our ARs helps to ensure that their clients, landlords, and service charge payers are afforded exactly the same levels of service and protection they would experience if they were our direct clients.
Blocks of Flats Insurance from Gallagher
We understand that cover and price are important to you, and we will search our panel of well-known insurers to help find you suitable protection. Connect with a specialist or call us on 0800 612 8631.