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ICOBS 4.1A Means of communication to customers



1This section applies to all information required to be provided to a customer in this chapter and in other chapters or sections where stated.

Means of communication to customers; non-telephone sales

  1. (1)

    1A firm must communicate information to a customer using any of the following:

    1. (a)

      paper; or

    2. (b)

      a durable medium other than paper; or

    3. (c)

      a website (where it does not constitute a durable medium) where the website conditions are satisfied.

  2. (2)

    The firm must communicate the information in (1):

    1. (a)

      in a clear and accurate manner, comprehensible to the customer;

    2. (b)

      in an official language of the United Kingdom where the State of the risk is the United Kingdom,2 or in any other language agreed by the parties; and

    3. (c)

      free of charge.

    [Note: article 23(1), (2), (4) and (5) of the IDD]


1Where the information is communicated using a durable medium other than paper or by means of a website, the firm must, upon request and free of charge, also send the customer a paper copy.

[Note: article 23(3) of the IDD]


1A firm must ensure that a customer’s choice or consent to receive the information by means of a website (whether a durable medium or where the website conditions are satisfied) is an active and informed choice or consent.

  1. (1)

    1For the purposes of ICOBS 4.1A.4R for example an option to allow a change to the e-mail address to be used or an option to allow information to be provided by means of a website should be presented in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading.

  2. (2)

    The following are examples of circumstances not evidencing active or informed choice or consent:

    1. (a)

      a pre-ticked box (suggesting that option has been selected) which appears in a more prominent place than an un-ticked box allowing another option to be selected; and

    2. (b)

      the customer electing to be informed by a website without being first given other options.


1On renewal of a policy a firm may rely on a customer’s previous choice or consent as appropriate where:

  1. (1)

    there is evidence that the customer has regular access to the internet;

  2. (2)

    the provision of information in that medium is appropriate in the context in which the business between the firm and the customer is carried on; and

  3. (3)

    the customer is made aware, for example in the renewal documentation, of the option to receive the information on paper in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading.

Means of communications to customers: telephone sales


1In the case of telephone selling:

  1. (1)

    the information must be given in accordance with the distance marketing disclosure rules (see ICOBS 3.1.14R); and

  2. (2)

    if prior to the conclusion of the contract the information is provided:

    1. (a)

      orally; or

    2. (b)

      on a durable medium other than paper;

    the firm must also provide the information to the customer in accordance with ICOBS 4.1A.2R immediately after the conclusion of the contract of insurance.

[Note: article 23(7) of the IDD]