Regulator cautions brokers about sharing and storing shopper information Canadian Underwriter

As the pandemic continues to plunge Canada’s home and casualty insurance coverage business deeper into the electronic space, regulators are issuing ongoing reminders — and warnings — about how brokers are sharing and storing their clients’ own data.

Most lately, Peter Blodgett, president of the Registered Insurance coverage Brokers of Ontario (RIBO), the province’s broker regulator, issued a typical caution to brokers about sharing their clients’ info with insurers.

“The electronic world, and superficially digital commerce, destinations a high worth on customer facts,” Blodgett notes in RIBO’s Fall 2020 bulletin. “Brokers are generally below force from business enterprise associates to share details gained from their clients. That info can be made use of for a wide range of purposes, such as specific marketing attempts.

“It is important to try to remember that buyer facts gained by brokers does not belong to the brokers, but to their clients who give it. It need to be safeguarded inside of the brokerage.”

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As for “safeguarding” data, in some excessive conditions, brokers are not even retaining the info in their individual methods, RIBO observed in its Spring 2020 bulletin. For instance, the regulator documented examples of brokers simply punching their clients’ info into insurance policies enterprise on the internet portals without the need of inputting the identical information and facts into their own broker management techniques — to often catastrophic outcome.

In some disciplinary instances, RIBO noticed, the broker did not have any documentation in the client documents.

“We have noticed that some brokers doc all customer files on the insurers’ system by means of portal entry rather than keeping the file facts and downloading the policy documentation into the brokerage’s Broker Administration Program.”

For case in point, the group reported, all documentation can be misplaced owing to:

  • The insurer’s portal remaining down,
  • Insurers switching the procedure,
  • Getting rid of the insurer agreement, and
  • Insurers purging old plan wordings.

All through a latest inspection, RIBO described it “was educated by a broker that the broker no lengthier experienced access to the information and facts on the insurer’s portal. This was thanks to the insurance company switching methods and, as a result, only freshly inputted information and facts currently being accessible to the broker.”

So the group desires to remind all brokers of the worth of preserving whole file documentation in just their possess system. “Failure to maintain and have access to the file documentation may possibly not only affect the brokers and clientele, but may lead to a official criticism against a broker.”

 

Function picture courtesy of iStock.ca/Laurence Dutton