Insurance Advisers

Who they are These may be company representatives or independent advisers. Anyone can use the title 'adviser' or 'consultant' but 'brokers' must be registered with the Insurance Brokers' Registration Council (IB RC) - this lays down its own rules regarding conduct of business. Brokers must give independent advice.

What they offer Advice on insurance and pensions. Some also offer tax advice, unit trust advice, and an investment management service. Some insurance brokers advise on and arrange general insurance, such as car insurance, holiday and household insurance (see Section ).

What they charge Usually nothing - they get commission from the companies whose products they sell. For investment management services, charges will be similar to those for general advisers ).

Who they are authorised by Usually FIMBRA, though brokers who do a limited amount of investment business might be authorised by virtue of their membership of the IBRC (a Recognised Professional Body). Company representatives will be covered by LAUTRO.

TIP - Although no authorised adviser is supposed to take into consideration their commission when recommending a policy, you could ask about life policies from the few insurance companies who don't pay commission (such as Equitable Life and Ecclesiastical), if none have been mentioned. The adviser might charge you a fee if they arrange a policy with a non-commission company.

Which Adviser?

The following webpages give a rundown of the main types of financial advisers and what they have to offer. For details of what protection and rights of action you have if things go wrong, see Section 8.

General investment advisers

Who they are They go under a variety of names - for example, personal investment adviser, investment manager, collective investment intermediary, investment dealer, investment broker. They should be prepared to give advice about the full range of available investments but some may turn out to be just insurance advisers.

What they offer General... see: Which Adviser?

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