Code of Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
Safeguard your rights when you shop for insurance and you submit a claim. You have the right to be informed fully, to be treated fairly, to timely complaint resolution and to privacy. These rights are grounded in the contracts between you and your insurance company, and in the insurance laws of Ontario. With rights, however, come responsibilities including, for example, the expectation that you will provide complete and accurate information. Your policy outlines other important responsibilities.
Right to Be Informed
You can expect to access clear information about your policy, your coverage, and the claims settlement process. You have the right to an easy-to-understand explanation of how insurance works and how it will meet your needs. You also have the right to know how we calculate price based on relevant facts. You have the right to ask who is providing compensation to your agent or broker for the sale of your insurance. Your agent or broker will provide information detailing how he or she is paid, by whom, and in what ways. Agents and brokers should be committed to providing information relating to ownership, financing and other relevant facts.
Responsibility to Ask Questions and Share Information
To safeguard your right to purchase appropriate coverage at a competitive price, you should ask questions about your policy so that you understand what it covers and what your obligations are. You can access information through brochures and websites, as well as through one-on-one meetings with your agent or broker. You have the option to shop the marketplace for the combination of coverages and service levels that best suits your insurance needs. To maintain your protection against loss, you must promptly inform your agent or broker of any change in your circumstances.
Right to Complaint Resolution
If you have a complaint about the service you have received, you have a right to access a complaint resolution process. Your agent or broker can provide you with information about how you can ensure that your complaint is heard and promptly handled. Disputes involving business practices may be handled by an ombudsman. Information on this process is available from the company or from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, www.fsco.gov.on.ca
Responsibility to Resolve Disputes
You should always enter into the dispute resolution process in good faith, provide required information in a timely manner, and remain open to recommendations made by independent observers as part of that process.
Right to Professional Service
You have the right to deal with insurance professionals who exhibit a high ethical standard, which includes acting with honesty, integrity, fairness and skill. Agents and brokers must exhibit extensive knowledge of the product, its coverages and its limitations in order to best serve you. These standards are outlined in A Consumer’s Guide to Property and Casualty Insurance Transactions, supported by members of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada.
Right to Privacy
Because it is important for you to disclose any and all information required to provide the insurance coverage that best suits you, you have the right to know that your information will be protected by law, and will not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted by that law. All insurers are subject to Canada’s privacy laws.
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