Car insurance companies are compelled to protect the personal information of their clients. Personal information may include:
- Marital status
- Contact information
- Identification numbers
- Employment history
- Financial information
Generally, insurance companies do not share information. All personal information that is required can be collected by the insurance company you purchase your car insurance policy from.
Do Insurance Companies Communicate With Each Other?
Typically insurance companies do not communicate with each other regarding personal information.
No, insurance companies do not share claims.
Do Insurance Companies Know if You Have Had an Accident?
Yes. There is a common data bank that all insurance companies have access to regarding claims.
What Information Do Insurance Companies Have Access To?
Insurance companies have access to the personal information you provide to them and other authorized entities where legally permitted.
Do Insurance Companies Follow You?
In the event of a fraud investigation, an insurance company may have employed investigative staff or may hire a third party to follow you.
Information Collection Automation
When someone visits a car insurance comparison website, or insurance company website, or a broker’s website, certain information is automatically collected. Examples of collectible information include:
- The internet browser you used
- Your computer operating system
- Your IP address
- The domain name of the website from where you linked to the website
The purpose of collecting this type of information is to allow the service providers the tools to better enhance their website and user experience.
3rd Party Social Networking Platforms
On occasion, you may engage with an insurance provider through a third-party social networking platform. Insurance providers may access information associated with your social media account. This information may be used by the insurance provider to confirm someone’s identity.
Personal Information Insurance Companies Collect
For the purpose of determining risk factors for clients insurance providers must collect a lot of personal information. Most of the personal information is collected directly from the client, however other sources of information collection may also be used. Personal information that insurance companies collect pertaining to their clients for the purpose of car insurance may include:
- Birth Date
- Marital status
- Telephone numbers
- Fax numbers
- E-mail addresses
- Employment information
- Medical and Health information
- Driving record
- Moving traffic violations and convictions
- Year, make, model, and value of the vehicle (s)
- Banking information
- Credit card information
- Credit scores
- Credit history
- Previous insurance and claims history
- Customer and claims experience and satisfaction
- Any other information that is required with the client’s consent or that is required or permitted by law
What Sources Do Insurance Companies Collect Personal Information From?
- Insurance companies are permitted to collect information from the following sources:
- Third-party, reputable market research agencies hired by the firm for the purpose of customer and claims satisfaction surveys
- When information is directly provided by a client through a website, contest entry ballot, sales, or customer service representative when obtaining a quote
- Customers continued business with the insurer regarding claims settlements and payment history
- Entities authorized by law, government, and industry, that have information pertaining to claims history, or other information that may be relevant to the application for insurance
- Consumer reporting agencies
- Government agencies, motor vehicle agencies, credit bureaus, and any other authorized fact verifying and collecting entities.
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act is also known by its acronym PIPEDA. Organizations such as insurance companies must obtain the consent of an individual prior to collecting personal information. The personal information which is collected can only be used for the purposes it was collected. So in the case of car insurance, the insurance provider can collect the necessary information in order to make a fair determination of a person’s insurance rate. If the information collected is going to be used for any other purpose the insurance company must first receive consent again. Insurance companies are compelled to protect all personal information collected by appropriate safeguards.
10 Fair Information Principles
Businesses, including insurance companies, must follow the 10 fair information principles to protect the personal information they have collected. The 10 fair information principles are:
- Identifying Purposes
- Limiting Collection
- Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention
- Individual Access
- Challenging Compliance
Insurance companies have the right, with your consent, to share your personal information with those involved in the line of fulfilling their duties such as:
- Any person authorized by you
- Any person that is necessary to meet the insurance company’s legal, regulatory, insurance, audit, processing, and security requirements
- Motor vehicle drivers license authorities and motor vehicle registries
- Any person permitted or required by law to have access to your personal information
- Credit and financial organization
- Other insurers if necessary
- Credit card companies
- Authorized providers of claims history and motor vehicle abstracts
- Professionals involved in the claims process, doctors, lawyers, adjusters that work with or are hired by the insurance provider
- Organizations in which you hold a membership in the insurance provider’s sponsorship programs, to confirm membership, eligibility, etc.