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ICOBS 6A.1 1Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) contracts



1This section applies to a firm which sells a GAP contract to a customer in connection with the sale of a vehicle by:

  1. (1)

    the firm; or

  2. (2)

    a person connected to the firm.


1There is a sufficient connection between the GAP contract and the sale of a vehicle if the GAP contract is sold in connection with other goods and services, for example a credit agreement.


1A person connected with a firm includes acting as an introducer or appointed representative for that firm or if, regardless of authorisation status, it has a relevant business relationship with the firm.

Ensuring the customer can make an informed decision

  1. (1)

    1Before a GAP contract is concluded, a firm must give the customer the following information:

    1. (a)

      the total premium of the GAP contract, separate from any other prices;

    2. (b)

      the significant features and benefits, significant and unusual exclusions or limitations, and cross-references to the relevant policy document provisions;

    3. (c)

      whether or not the GAP contract is sold in connection with vehicle finance, that GAP contracts are sold by other distributors;

    4. (d)

      the duration of the policy;

    5. (e)

      whether the GAP contract is optional or compulsory;

    6. (f)

      when the GAP contract can be concluded by the firm, as described in ICOBS 6A.1.6R and ICOBS 6A.1.7R; and

    7. (g)

      the date the information in (a) to (f) is provided to the customer.

  2. (2)

    This information must be communicated in a clear and accurate manner and in writing or another durable medium, and made available and accessible to the customer.

  3. (3)

    This information must be drawn to the customer’s attention and must be clearly identifiable as key information that the customer should read.


1A firm must also comply with the rules in ICOBS 6 (Product Information).

Deferred opt-in for GAP contracts


1Except as specified in ICOBS 6A.1.7R, a GAP contract cannot be concluded by a firm until at least 2 clear days have passed since the firm complied with ICOBS 6A.1.4R.


1A firm can conclude a GAP contract the day after providing the information in ICOBS 6A.1.4R to a customer if the customer:

  1. (1)

    initiates the conclusion of the GAP contract; and

  2. (2)

    consents to the firm concluding the GAP contract earlier than provided for in ICOBS 6A.1.6R, and confirms that they understand the restriction in ICOBS 6A.1.6R.


1Before concluding a GAP contract, a firm should have regard to the information needs of its customers and consider whether it would be in the customer’s interest to receive the information in ICOBS 6A.1.4R again, for example, if a long time has passed between providing the information and the conclusion of the contract.

ICOBS 6A.2 Optional additional products

Restriction on marketing or providing an optional product for which a fee is payable

  1. (1)

    1A firm must not enter into an agreement with a customer under which a charge is, or may become, payable for an optional additional product unless the customer has actively elected to obtain that specific product.

  2. (2)

    A firm must not impose a charge on a customer for an optional additional product under an agreement entered into on or after 1 April 2016 unless the customer has actively elected to obtain that specific product before becoming bound to pay the charge.

  3. (3)

    A firm must not invite or induce a customer to obtain an optional additional product for which a charge will be, or may become, payable if the firm knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that:

    1. (a)

      a contravention of (1) or (2) will take place with respect to the product; or

    2. (b)

      the person supplying the optional additional product will act in a way that would contravene (1) or (2) if that person were a firm.

  4. (4)

    An omission by a customer is not to be regarded as an active election for the purpose of this rule.

  5. (5)

    It is immaterial for the purposes of (3) whether or not the firm would or might be a party to the agreement for the optional additional product.

  6. (6)

    A charge includes a financial consideration of any kind whether payable to the firm or any other person.

  7. (7)

    An optional additional product is a good, service or right of any description, whether or not financial in nature, that a customer may obtain (or not, as the case may be) at his or her election in connection with or alongside a non-investment insurance contract.

  8. (8)

    If the customer is required to obtain an additional product as a condition for the purchase of the non-investment insurance contract then that product is an optional additional product if the customer is given a choice:

    1. (a)

      as to the seller or supplier from whom to obtain the product; or

    2. (b)

      which specific product to obtain.

  9. (9)

    It is immaterial for the purposes of (7) and (8) whether the optional additional product is obtained from the firm or another person.

  10. (10)
    1. (a)

      If, under the terms and conditions of an optional additional product, there is to be an automatic renewal of the agreement on substantially the same terms, it suffices for the purposes of (1) to (3) if the customer actively elected before entering into the initial agreement or a preceding renewal to obtain the product.

    2. (b)

      An automatic renewal of the agreement is not to be regarded as being on substantially the same terms if, following the renewal, a charge will or may become payable for the optional additional product for the first time (in which case, (1) to (3) apply at the time of the renewal).

    3. (c)

      Except as set out in (b), changes in the level of charges for an optional additional product are to be disregarded in determining whether an automatic renewal of an agreement is on substantially the same terms.

  11. (11)

    A customer may make an active election for the purposes of this rule through an intermediary in the sales process or through a person acting on behalf of the firm.


An example of an omission by a customer which is not to be regarded as an active election is the failure by the customer to change a default option such as a pre-ticked box on a website.


Firms are reminded that a similar prohibition on opt-out selling of add-on products is imposed by The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 in relation to optional additional agreements where the main sale is not a financial service or product.


Firms are reminded that they must ensure that their appointed representatives comply with this section ICOBS 6A.2.