At Berkley Canada, we value your privacy. Our relationships have been built on exemplary service.
All organizations collecting, using or disclosing personal information in Canada in the course of commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act”). The Act requires the individual’s consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. These obligations extend to insurance companies in Canada, including BIC-Canada, and will continue to apply where personal information is transmitted outside of Canada.
BIC-Canada is responsible for the personal information it collects, uses, maintains and discloses. To ensure this accountability, BIC-Canada has developed this policy, and trained its staff about the policies and practices outlined herein.
What is “personal information?”
The Act defines personal information as any information about an identifiable individual, which is generally interpreted to mean any information that identifies an individual, or by which his/her identity could be deduced. However, personal information does not include the name, business title, business address or business telephone number of an employee of an organization.
Why does BIC-Canada collect personal information from clients and brokers?
We collect personal information from brokers and directly from clients at the commencement of the underwriting process and throughout the term of the relationships. BIC-Canada may collect personal information from clients and brokers, to the extent applicable, in order to:
- provide insurance products and related services;
- administer client databases;
- underwrite and price insurance coverage;
- investigate, evaluate, manage and administer claims and claim payments;
- reinsure insurance risks;
- determine and verify identity;
- detect and prevent fraud;
- monitor and investigate transactions;
- analyze business operations and results;
- market products and services to clients;
- provide information of interest to clients; and
- comply with applicable laws.
How does BIC-Canada collect personal information?
BIC-Canada collects information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible BIC-Canada collects personal information directly from insurance brokers or from the client, at the commencement of the underwriting process and throughout the term of the relationship.
BIC-Canada may also obtain information about clients and others from other sources, such as:
- another insurance company, broker or adjuster;
- insurance or reinsurance associations;
- from a government agency or registry; or
- other reinsurance companies and other financial institutions.
- Credit Bureaus: To help Berkley Canada make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, verify the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, Berkley Canada may request information about clients from the files of consumer reporting agencies with consent from the client.
To the extent applicable, BIC-Canada shall ask clients to provide explicit consent if it collects, uses, or discloses their personal information, or shall rely upon the express consents obtained by its insurance brokers. Although BIC-Canada may ask for a consent in writing in some circumstances, in others it may accept a verbal consent. Sometimes, a consent may also be implied through conduct with BIC-Canada.
In seeking consent, BIC-Canada shall apprise the client of the purposes for which, collection, use and disclosure are taking place, as further discussed below.
Use of Personal Information
BIC-Canada uses personal information for the reasons listed above under the heading “Why does BIC-Canada collect personal information from clients and brokers?”
If BIC-Canada is notified that a client no longer wishes to receive information regarding products and services or other information of interest to clients, BIC-Canada shall not send to the client any further materials of this nature.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Except for disclosure to BIC-Canada’s affiliated entities, BIC-Canada does not otherwise disclose personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, BIC-Canada does not provide its client mailing lists to other arm’s length insurance companies or intermediaries.
Under certain circumstances, BIC-Canada will disclose personal information when:
- required by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena;
- an individual has consented to the disclosure for the purposes of securing an insurance contract or settling a claim against a contract;
- the insurance products and services provided requires BIC-Canada to give personal information to third parties (for example, to a broker in an insurance transaction or a reinsurer in a reinsurance transaction) the consent will be implied, unless we are advised otherwise;
- necessary to establish or collect premiums or other amounts owing to BIC-Canada;
- if the information is already publicly known.
In addition, in the event of a sale, financing, merger, or other fundamental business transaction affecting BIC-Canada’s business or its assets, BIC-Canada may disclose personal information to the potential transaction counterparties and their professional advisors, however, this disclosure will be subject to confidentiality restrictions and will be limited to disclosure for the purpose of evaluating and closing the transaction. Any successor to BIC-Canada’s business may continue to use and disclose the personal information that it receives from BIC-Canada for the purposes outlined this policy, unless the successor obtains consents to new purposes for the use and disclosure of this information.
Personal information may be transferred by BIC-Canada outside of Canada for use by Berkley Insurance Company’s head office and its affiliates or for processing or storage purposes. Please note that, while personal information is located outside of Canada, it may be subject to access by local authorities acting under the laws of their respective jurisdictions.
Since BIC-Canada uses personal information to provide insurance products and services to brokers and customers, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date.
If any personal information regarding a client changes, the client or their broker shall be required to inform BIC-Canada promptly of the change so that it can make any necessary changes to its records.
If BIC-Canada holds information about an individual and the individual can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, BIC-Canada will take reasonable steps to correct it.
SECURITY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
BIC-Canada takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect personal information are:
- premises security;
- restricted file access to personal information;
- deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access; and
- internal password and security policies.
However, clients and brokers are reminded that email is not a 100% secure medium and should take caution when transmitting personal or confidential information.
ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
An individual may ask for access to any personal information BIC-Canada holds about them. Any questions, or requests for access to personal information, should be directed in writing to BIC-Canada’s Privacy Officer at:
Kate Tang, Chief Financial Officer
145 King Street West, Suite 1000
Toronto, ON M5H 1J8
Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to appropriate fees.
However, an individual’s rights to access their personal information are not absolute. BIC-Canada may deny access when:
- it reveals personal information about another individual;
- denial of access is required or authorized by law;
- information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings;
- granting access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
- to do so would prejudice negotiations with the individual;
- protecting BIC-Canada’s rights and property; or
- the request is frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny a request for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.
BIC-Canada does not use Social Insurance Numbers as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold about clients or others.
Request For Anonymity
Whenever it is legal and practicable, BIC-Canada may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without an individual providing a name (for example, by accessing general information on our website).
RETENTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
BIC-Canada shall keep personal information as long as is reasonably necessary for it to complete our dealings with an individual, or as may be required by law, whichever is longer.
Clients and brokers shall be made aware that email is not a 100% secure medium when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
Although the Act does not apply to BIC-Canada’s employee information, BIC-Canada has elected to follow privacy “best practices” in this area. If an individual applies to BIC-Canada for employment, personal information will need to be considered as part of the review process. BIC-Canada will normally retain information from employment candidates after a decision has been made, unless specifically asked not to retain the information.
Last Update: February, 2015