In order to obtain insurance, you are required to provide personal information about yourself and the things that you want to insure. As a broker, protection of this information has always been one of our highest priorities.
At your request, we act for you in obtaining insurance from insurance companies. In order to do this effectively, we are obliged to reveal personal information to these companies. We must also collect information about you to confirm the data that you have provided. We seek confirmation of data from a number of sources such as the Vehicle Information Centre of Canada and your Motor Vehicle Report. However, this collection, distribution and retention of personal information can only be done with your consent, implied or stated.
We may collect only that information that is relevant to the insurance policy in question and which has a defined purpose.
Those in the insurance industry, government regulator and, especially, consumers are concerned about protection of privacy. Consequently, we have designated a senior member of our company to deal with all issues of privacy. The name of this individual is available upon request from any of our telephone representatives.
What Personal Information Do We Collect?
Personal information is information that identifies an individual and which is about that person specifically. Depending on the circumstances, the information we may need includes but is not be limited to the following personal information:
- Telephone number
- Facsimile numbers
- E-mail address
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Children in the household of driving age
- Prior Claims
- Driver’s license number
- Driving violations
- Length of time driving
- Vehicle ownership information
- Employment information
- Details on any medical condition that may impact the operation of a vehicle
- Details about personal property
The above information may be obtained from a number of sources, which include but may not be limited to:
- Insurance companies
- Other brokers or agents
- Motor vehicle and licensing authorities
- Financial institutions
- Medical authorities
Your name, business title, business address or business telephone numbers, facsimile numbers are not considered personal information.
Who Do We Give Information To?
We may have to share your personal information with other parties. These parties include insurance companies, other insurance brokers or agents, credit organizations, certain professionals working for us such as adjusters and lawyers and financial institutions such as those that carry your mortgage or lien.
Why Do We Collect And Use Personal Information?
We need personal information specifically to:
- Write or renew an insurance policy
- Assess ongoing insurance needs and to assist you in this regard.
- Advise you of any new product that we believe will benefit you.
- Ensure that the decisions regarding your insurance are based on the most current and most accurate information available.
- Protect you and us against error or fraud.
How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?
- We will not collect, use, disclose personal information for any purpose other than those we identify.
- We will respond as appropriate to any request for access to or to correct inaccurate personal information.
- We will obtain consent to obtain use or disclose personal information.
- If a new use for personal information is found, we will obtain consent from you before we use it.
Obviously, personal information is necessary to write insurance. However, we are committed to ensuring that only the information necessary to write and subsequently service your insurance policy is collected.
All of our personnel who collect personal information are able to explain accurately and precisely the purposes for which personal information is gathered, how it is collected and to whom it is disclosed.
Reasons for Collecting Your Personal Information
Every piece of information that we gather from you must have an identified purpose. Any use beyond that purpose is explicitly forbidden by privacy legislation.
We have reviewed our information to ensure that it is being used only for the purposes of providing continued insurance protection for you.
Consent to Gather, Use and Disclose Personal Information
When you request a quotation for insurance or take out an application for insurance and provide personal information to us, the authorization for us to collect and use the personal information on that application is implicit. You also implicitly authorize us to provide that information to an insurance company to enable us to obtain a quotation or an insurance policy.
Where we have not already obtained your permission to gather personal information, we will do so before gathering additional information.
We have a Consent Form that we require you to sign when you sign your application. Occasionally we will obtain your verbal consent but we will always follow this up with a request for the completion of the written Consent Form. If we do not have your consent to use the information about you, we cannot act on your behalf to provide you with insurance.
Limiting, Use, Disclosure, and Retention
Your personal information will only be used or disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected unless you consent otherwise or when it is required or permitted by law. We will retain personal information only as long as necessary to fulfil its purposes.
We strive to ensure that personal information is as accurate, complete and up-to-date as possible to fulfil the purposes for which it is to be used.
We employ appropriate safeguards to protect the confidentiality of personal information and limit access as appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. These safeguards are reviewed periodically to ensure that they are still adequate to their purpose.
Upon request, we will provide you with information about our policies and practices concerning personal information under our control.
You can obtain information about any personal information that we have for you. You may challenge the accuracy and completeness of their personal information and request that it be amended where appropriate.
You may address any concerns in writing to our Privacy Officer. We must also advise you of other possible recourses that might include the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario, industry associations and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
We will not obtain information through deceptive means.
Consent may be express – e.g., written – or implied. Written consent is always best since it leaves little room for interpretation.
Express consent may be obtained in a signed application or in an authorization form.
Express consent may be obtained verbally in person or over the telephone. In situations such as this the file must be documented and it is wise to follow up with written confirmation of the conversation to you.
Consent may be implied because you called us to provide insurance and gives us personal information of your own accord.
There are a few exceptions to the consent rule. Specifically, this may be the case in an emergency situation or when required to do so by law.