Commission Structures

Commission Summary Document – Effective Date 31st March 2020

We, Robertson Low Insurances Ltd act as intermediary (Broker) between you, the consumer, and the product provider with whom we place your business.

The background

Pursuant to provision 4.58A of  the Central Bank of Ireland’s September 2019 Addendum to the Consumer Protection Code, all intermediaries, must make available in their public offices, or on their website if they have one, a summary of the details of all arrangements for any fee, commission, other reward or remuneration provided to the intermediary which it has agreed with its product producers.

What is commission?

For the purpose of this document, commission is the payment earned by the intermediary for work undertaken on behalf of both the provider and the consumer.   The amount of commission is generally directly related to the quantity or value of the products sold.

There are different types of commission models:

Single commission model: where payment is made to the intermediary shortly after the sale is completed and is based on a percentage of the premium paid/amount invested/amount borrowed.

Trail commission model:  where an initial commission is paid to the intermediary directly after the sale, and further payments at intervals are paid throughout the life span of the product.

Indemnity commission

Indemnity commission is the term used to describe a commission payment made before the commission is deemed to be ‘earned’. Indemnity commission may be subject to a clawback (see below) if the consumer lapses or cancels the product before the commission is deemed to be earned.

Other forms of indemnity commission are advances of commission for future sales granted to intermediaries in order to assist with set up costs or business development.

General insurance products

General insurance products, such as motor, home, travel, health, retail or liability insurance, are typically subject to a single or standard commission model, based on the amount of premium charged for the insurance product.

Profit Share arrangements

In some cases, the intermediary may be a party to a profit-share arrangement with a product provider and will earn additional commission.  Any business arranged with these product providers on a client’s behalf will be placed with the product provider because that product provider is at the time of placement, the most suitable to meet the client’s requirements, taking all the client’s relevant information, demands and needs into account.

Life Assurance/Investments/Pension products

For Life Assurance products commission is divided into initial commission and renewal commission (related to premium), fund based or trail relating to accumulated fund.

Trail commission, bullet commission, fund based or renewal commission are all terms used for ongoing payments. Where an investment fund is being built up though an insurance-based investment product or a pension product, the increments may be based on a percentage of the value of the fund or the annual premium. For a single premium/lump sum product, the increment is generally based on the value of the fund.

Examples of products include Life Protection, Regular Premium Life Assurance Investments, Single Premium (lump sum) Insurance-based Investments, and Single Premium Pensions.

Investments

Investment firms, which fall within the scope of the European Communities (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2007 (the MiFID Regulations), offer both standard commission and commission models involving initial and trail commission. Increments may be based on a percentage of the investment management fees, or on the value of the fund.

Credit Products/Mortgages

Commission may be earned by intermediaries for arranging credit for consumers, such as mortgages. The single, or standard, commission model is the most common commission model applied to the sale of mortgage products by mortgage credit intermediaries (Mortgage Broker).

Clawback

Clawback is an obligation on the intermediary to repay unearned commission. Commission can be paid directly after a contract is concluded but is not deemed to be ‘earned’ until after a specified period of time. If the consumer cancels or withdraws from the financial product within the specified time, the intermediary must return commission to the product producer.

Fees section

Service Fees

Service Fees may be received from providers in respect of specific services provided by the Intermediary as set out under relevant agreements. Such fees may be based on the amount of premium charged for the insurance product.

Other Fees, Administrative Costs/ non-monetary benefits

 The firm may also be receipt of non-monetary benefits such as:

  • Attendance at, and participation in, conferences, seminars, and other training events on the benefits and features of products or services we provide to consumers
  • Hospitality of a reasonable de minimis value, such as food and drink during a business meeting or a conference, seminar, or other training event.
  • Reasonable travel and accommodation expenses where the firm participates in or provides market research or training conducted by another firm.
  • Assistance with Advertising/Branding
  • Other minor benefits that are capable of enhancing the quality of the service provided to clients and do not impair the firm’s duty to act in the best interests of the client 

The list of the providers that our firm deals with can be accessed via the links below based on the product type required.