Right to be informed
Insurers and their distribution networks, and governments, also have important roles to play in ensuring that your rights are protected. 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 insurers calculate price based on relevant facts. Insurers will typically advise an insurance customer or the customer’s intermediary of changes to, or the cancellation of, a policy, at least thirty days prior to the expiration of the policy, or, if the customer provides information required for determining renewal terms of the policy, at least forty-five days prior to the expiration of the policy.
You have the right to ask who is providing compensation to your broker or agent for the sale of your insurance. Your broker or agent will provide information detailing for you how he or she is paid, by whom and in what ways.
Insurance companies will disclose their compensation arrangements with their distribution networks. Brokers and agents are 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 under it.
You can access information through brochures and websites, as well as through one-on-one meetings with your broker, agent or company representative. You have the option to shop the marketplace for the combination of coverages and service levels that best suit your insurance needs. To maintain your protection against loss, you must promptly inform your insurance company, broker or agent of any change in your circumstances. Information required to determine renewal terms of your policy must be provided at least forty-five days prior to the expiration of the policy.
Right to complaint resolution
Insurance companies, their brokers and agents are committed to high standards of customer service. If you have a complaint about the service you have received, you have a right to access the company’s complaint resolution process. Your insurer, agent or broker can provide you with information about how you can ensure that your complaint is heard and handled promptly. Consumers may also contact the independent General Insurance OmbudService (www.giocanada.org).
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. Brokers and agents must exhibit extensive knowledge of the product, its coverages and its limitations in order to best serve you.
Right to privacy
It is important for you to disclose all information required by an insurer to provide the insurance coverage that best suits you. The information you disclose will be used for the purpose set out in the privacy statement made available to you by your broker, agent or insurance representative. This information will not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted by law. You should know that insurers are subject to Canada’s privacy laws.
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