Insurers insert non-solicitation clause into terms of business agreements
Royal & SunAlliance has agreed to redraft its terms of business agreements (TOBA) to include a non-solicitation clause.R&SA UK director, commercial business Brendan McManus said the company had taken the decision after reaching an agreement with Biba. In a letter to brokers (see right) McManus said: "We have taken this move purely to reinforce our position that we have never, and will never, knowingly solicit our brokers' clients for business. It does not represent a change in our commitment to this fundamental principle."The IIB director general Andrew Paddick described the decision as "very, very pleasing". Norwich Union (NU) has also confirmed that its TOBA will contain a non-solicitation clause in line with that recommended in the joint ABI/Biba/IIB TOBA. Intermediary business director Ken Wallace said: "As far as NU is concerned, we would be pretty well following the ABI guidelines."Wallace said NU had developed its TOBA and would hold discussions with Biba and the IIB over the next two weeks before distributing it to brokers. NIG has also included a non-solicitation clause in its TOBA, which has been released to brokers. Groupama said it was in the process of finalising its TOBA. A spokeswoman for Zurich said it was still drafting its TOBA but hoped to finalise the details "imminently".
What R&SA has to say...Dear BrokerWe have today announced that our 2004 Terms of Business Agreements (TOBAs) will now include a 'non-solicitation' clause. I want to make clear that we have taken this move purely to reinforce our position that we have never, and will never, knowingly solicit our brokers' clients for business. It does not represent a change in our commitment to this fundamental principle.Royal & SunAlliance's (R&SA) TOBAs have changed little since 1999, and the issue of a 'non-solicitation' clause has rarely been raised in the past by our brokers. However, to remove any doubt in any brokers' minds, the clause has now been added and brokers will receive new documentation in the coming weeks. This will also apply to brokers who have already signed and returned their TOBAs. Our move comes after consultation with Biba, which, since 1999, has acted as a mediator for any disputes relating to client ownership. In five years, we have not had a single registered complaint of this type. It has never been R&SA's intention to 'pinch' clients. It is not part of our strategy and never will be.There are many positive features in our TOBA, including our favourable stance on credit risk transfer and co-mingling. I would urge any broker who would like to discuss any element of our TOBA moving forward to contact me direct and I will be happy to talk to them.Brendan McManusUK director, commercial businesses, Royal & SunAlliance