Credit Information The practice of insurers using an individual’s credit information is restricted in some provinces with respect to automobile insurance. IBC’s code of conduct for the use of credit information is designed to protect the interests of Canadian consumers. Your Credit Rating Paying bills on time is key to maintaining a good credit rating. When you lease or buy a car, lease an apartment or acquire a new credit card, your rating is often checked. When issuing or renewing an insurance policy, insurers that use credit information also consider multiple additional factors when calculating a fair premium for assuming particular risks.Do All Insurers Use Credit Information?No. In some provinces and territories, the practice of insurance companies using credit information for automobile insurance rating or underwriting is not allowed. For example, this practice is currently banned in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Ontario. Code of Conduct for Insurers’ Use of Credit Information (the Code)On December 14, 2010, IBC’s Board of Directors approved the Code of Conduct for Insurers’ Use of Credit Information. For insurers that choose to use consumer credit information, the Code provides standards that enhance consumer protection. For example, the Code:Requires insurers to obtain a customer’s informed and express consent prior to collecting credit informationStipulates that an insurer must not deny or cancel an insurance policy solely on the basis of a customer’s refusal of consent to allow an insurer to access credit informationProvides guidance for situations in which customers believe that their credit rating has been adversely affected by extraordinary life eventsRequires insurers, in cases in which a consumer does not have a credit history, to base their rating and underwriting decisions on other relevant information that is available to themIBC’s Code is widely supported and endorsed by personal property and auto insurance companies across Canada. Focused on Privacy and Consumer RightsIBC does not have a position for or against this practice or other practices insurers use to manage risk and compete in the marketplace. However, IBC firmly believes that insurers that use credit information should do so transparently. This is why IBC has introduced a code of conduct to ensure consumers remain informed about how their credit rating may be used. Although voluntary, the code has been adopted by 85% of Canadian personal property and auto insurers.Concerned About Your Insurer Using Your Credit Information?If you would like to know whether your insurer adheres to the Code, please contact your insurer directly or visit the company’s website. If you are concerned about how an insurer has used your credit information, learn four steps you can take to resolve the dispute. If you have further questions, please contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre. Some Canadian provinces and territories do not permit the use of credit information in the underwriting of auto and property insurance policies. Related ServicesBrochuresDownload PDFs with more detailed information about home, business and auto insurance. Provincial and Canada-wide brochures cover a range of topics and can be printed on letter-sized paper. You can also order multiple printed copies of any IBC publication. Dispute ResolutionYou have options when filing a complaint. Start by getting more information from your insurer. Consider contacting the company’s ombudsperson. If your dispute is not resolved, you can contact the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) or a federal or provincial Superintendent of Insurance. Useful LinksHow Insurance Works Insurers use a pool of many premiums to pay for the home, auto and business losses of Canadians unfortunate enough to experience a loss. You are covered for losses outlined in your contract only, not for predictable events. Insurance Vendors Insurance is a significant financial investment so it’s worthwhile to learn about your buying options. You can buy insurance from a broker, agent or direct writer. What the Industry Does with PremiumsThe premiums of many policyholders pay the claims of the few who suffer a claim. Insurers put premiums toward a mix of claims costs, investments and operational expenses.