Our Commitment to Your Privacy
Doing business with a Property and Casualty insurance broker involves providing information about yourself, so protection of your personal information is one of our highest priorities.
This brochure is a brief summary of our privacy practices.
We are committed to providing our clients with excellent service.
Our brokerage and the insurance industry have a solid track record of respecting your right to privacy and safeguarding your personal information. As a result of federal legislation, we’ve further strengthened our privacy commitment by informing you of why and how we collect, use and disclose your personal information. You can be assured that we’ll only handle your personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.
You can control how we handle your personal information
We want you to know that you do have choices in this matter. You could refuse to allow us to obtain, use or share your personal information or you could also withdraw a previously given consent at any time.
However by doing that, depending on the situation, you may be limiting or even preventing our ability to provide you with the product or service you desire. For example, if you do not allow us to obtain information about your driving record, it is unlikely that we will be able to provide you with auto insurance.
We’ll be happy to discuss particular situations with you to help you with your decision.
Contact Information and Resources
We are committed to treating you with respect and courtesy, and to providing the highest level of service.
Please contact our Privacy Officer at the address below if you:
- Would like to access your personal information.
- Wish to change your consent to the ways in which we may collect, use or disclose your personal information.
- Have a complaint about our privacy policies, or the manner in which we’ve handled your personal information.
- Have any other questions about our privacy policies, wish to obtain a copy of our Personal Information Policy & Procedure Handbook, or request additional information
Lawrie Insurance Group Inc.
1400-105 Main St. E.
Hamilton, ON L8N 1G6
Phone: (905) 525-7259
We will respond to you promptly and do our utmost to resolve your concerns. To find out more about federal privacy laws, please contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner at 1-800-282-1376 or visit their website at www.privcom.gc.ca
Why do we collect personal information?
When you first become a client or whenever you acquire or renew a product from us, we need to collect some of your personal information. Common purposes for which we collect your personal information are to:
- Enable us to acquire or renew an insurance policy for you
- Assist you and assess your ongoing needs for insurance
- Assess your need for other products, such as financial products, and to offer them to you
- Ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date
- Protect us both against error or fraud
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is information that identifies you as an individual client and relates specifically to you. Depending on the purpose(s) for which we need to collect it, we may ask for the following personal information about you including:
- Basic information such as your name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, birthdate and marital status.
- Claims history
- Credit and past payment records
- Driver’s record
- Details about your property such as the value of your home and its contents
- Medical information such as any condition that may affect the operation of vehicle
- Employment information
We may obtain this information from:
- Insurance companies
- Other insurance brokers or agents
- Credit organizations
- Motor vehicle and driver licensing authorities
- Financial institutions
- Medical professionals
Who do we disclose your personal information to?
For many of the purposes identified above, we will need to share your personal information with others in order to serve your needs. These other parties commonly include:
- Insurance companies
- Other insurance brokers or agents
- Credit organizations
- Professionals working with us such as adjusters or lawyers
- Financial institutions. For example, the organization that carries your mortgage.
We may obtain your express consent or we may determine that consent has been implied by the circumstances.
- We might ask you for your express consent in writing, for example in a signed consent or application form.
- We may ask for your express consent in person or over the telephone.
- We may determine that by seeking insurance through our organization, your consent has been implied for us to deal with your personal information in a reasonable manner.
There are also legal exceptions in which we will not need to obtain your consent or explain the purposes for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information. For example, this could apply when there is an emergency situation, or if it is necessary for your protection or ours.
How do we protect your personal information?
In order to protect your personal information and right to privacy, we will:
- Not collect, use or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than those that we identify to you.
- Keep your personal information only for as long as we need it to fulfill the stated purpose or as required by law.
- Maintain your personal information in as accurate, complete and up-to-date a form as possible.
- Safeguard your personal information to the best of our ability.
- Respond to any request you may make to access or correct the personal information we hold about you.
- Obtain the appropriate consent from you for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information.
Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO) Principles of Conduct for Intermediaries
The CISRO Principles of Conduct for Intermediaries (the Principles) reflect common regulatory standards for insurance intermediaries in Canada. The Principles outline professional behaviour and conduct expectations for the fair treatment of Customers.
Intermediaries should conduct their business following the Principles that are relevant to them, while ensuring compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, rules or regulatory codes within their respective jurisdiction. Any stricter or more specific requirements, rules or standards of conduct take priority over the Principles.
The Principles are intended to supplement, complement and build upon the intermediary elements in the Guidance on Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers (FTC), issued by CISRO and the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR). The Principles also align with Insurance Core Principles (ICP) of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ (IAIS).
The Principles reinforce the fair treatment of Customers as a core component of the intermediary business culture. This includes conducting business in an honest and transparent manner. Expectations for the conduct of insurance business may differ depending on the nature of the relationship to the Customer (whether it is direct or indirect), the type of insurance provided and the distribution method. Intermediaries with oversight responsibilities must ensure that their employees and representatives meet high standards of ethics and integrity.
Definition of Intermediary: Intermediary is given broad meaning, and will differ based on the applicable definitions within different jurisdictions across Canada. It encompasses adjusters, individual agents, brokers and representatives as well as business entities that distribute insurance products and services, including managing general agencies and third party administrators. It also applies to all distribution methods, including the internet.
Definition of Customer: Customer refers to policyholder (which itself, as the case may be, includes a certificate holder) or prospective policyholder with whom an insurer or intermediary interacts, and includes, where relevant, other beneficiaries and claimants with a legitimate interest in the policy.
The Principles outline professional behaviour and conduct expectations for the fair treatment of Customers:
1. Compliance / Outcomes: Intermediaries must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, rules and regulatory codes to which they are subject.
2. Customers’ Interests: Intermediaries must place Customers’ interests ahead of their own. This includes when an intermediary is developing, marketing, distributing and servicing products.
3. Conflicts of Interest: Intermediaries must identify, disclose and manage any actual or potential conflict of interest that is associated with a transaction or recommendation. They must avoid entering into or pursuing agreements for which conflict(s) of interests cannot be managed, or if it interferes with the fair treatment of Customers.
4. Advice: If providing advice to or for a Customer, intermediaries must seek complete information from the Customer in order to understand and identify their unique needs. Intermediaries must provide objective, accurate and thorough advice that enables Customers to make an informed decision. Advice must be suitable for the needs of the Customer based on the Customer’s disclosed circumstances.
5. Disclosure: Intermediaries must provide Customers with objective, complete, relevant, and accurate information and explanations so that they can make informed decisions. Intermediaries must:
- Properly disclose relevant information to all necessary parties; including the insurer; and
- Disclose information and explanations in a manner that is clear and understandable for Customers, regardless of the distribution model or medium used.
6. Product and Service Promotion: Intermediaries must ensure that products and services are promoted in a clear and fair manner. Regardless of the distribution model or medium used, Intermediaries must ensure that
promotions are not misleading, and are easily understandable. Product promotions must disclose all necessary and appropriate information.
7. Claims, Complaints Handling, and Dispute Resolution: Intermediaries must handle or assist in the handling of claims, complaints, and disputes in a timely and fair manner.
8. Protection of Personal and Confidential Information: Intermediaries must take necessary and appropriate measures to protect personal and confidential information. They must:
- Only collect information that is necessary and appropriate for the fulfillment of the service or product provided;
- Use and disclose the information only for purposes and for the duration for which the Customer has given consent; and
- Comply with all applicable privacy legislation to appropriately manage the information.
9. Competence: Intermediaries must maintain an appropriate level of professional knowledge to ensure the fair treatment of Customers. Continuing education requirements must be fulfilled and duties must match training/
education. Intermediaries must not misrepresent their level of competence or conduct business beyond their level of professional knowledge and experience.
10. Oversight: Intermediaries with contractual or regulatory oversight obligations are also responsible for the conduct of any employee or third party involved in the distribution or servicing of an insurance product.
Intermediaries have tools at their disposal such as policies and procedures, training and control mechanisms to ensure the fair treatment of Customers is achieved in relation to their oversight obligations.
About Your Insurance Broker
Registered insurance brokers offer independent advice and Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance products from a variety of companies. Brokers must be licensed by the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). All RIBO licensees must carry an errors & omissions policy, as well as a fidelity bond, which is designed to provide customers coverage in the unlikely event that a broker mishandles their premiums. RIBO licensees are required to follow the RIBO Code of Conduct, which establishes rules and standards of professional conduct.
As a customer, you have the right to professional advice from a broker who is well informed about the products they are selling. You have the right to be treated with fairness and integrity.
- How Insurance Works – You have the right to be informed about how your insurance premiums are calculated. You have the right to access your policy and be clearly informed about the coverage and the
claims settlement process.
- Broker Compensation – You have the right to ask how a broker is paid, the insurance companies they represent, and be informed about any potential conflicts of interest the broker may have. All RIBO licensed brokers must disclose commission information at the point of sale which outlines how they are paid.
- Understand Your Insurance Needs – You should consider your insurance needs and prepare relevant questions before you talk to a broker. Ask yourself if there have been changes in your personal or business life that could impact your insurance needs. Make sure you provide a detailed and accurate explanation of your circumstances to your broker so they can provide informed recommendations that meet your needs.
- Insurance Quotes – When obtaining a quote, your broker should always present the best value products available based on your current needs, and document why certain coverage and product options, including lower cost options, which may or may not be appropriate for you. Brokers are also expected to comply with the Take-All-Comers rule. For more information on buying auto insurance and the Take-All-Comers rule, visit here.
- Personal Information – You have the right to understand how your personal information is used and protected. Ask for a copy of the privacy statement from your broker and the insurer.
- Customer Obligations – You need to ensure that you know and understand your obligations under your insurance policy. For example, your policy will require you to provide updates to your broker and insurer regarding any material changes in your circumstances.
- Insurance Claims – If you need to file a claim, you have the right to be informed about the procedures and typical timelines for settling your claim, and you may inquire about the status of your claim throughout the process. If your claim is denied, you have the right to an explanation as to why it was denied. Your broker is your advocate as you work through your claim with the insurance company and will liaise as required.
- Making a Complaint – You can submit a complaint to RIBO if you believe your insurance broker failed to comply with the Registered Insurance Brokers Act, its regulations, or RIBO by-laws. File a complaint here.
- OmbudServices – In the event you have an insurance claim, your broker will provide you with information about the insurer’s claims process. For any unresolved disputes with an insurer, you may contact the insurer’s Ombudsman, who will attempt to resolve the conflict. If the conflict is not resolved, you will be referred to the General Insurance OmbudServices for P&C insurance.