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 inform​ation 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 Boa​rd 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 information
  • Stipulates 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 information
  • Provides guidance for situations in which customers believe that their credit rating has been adversely affected by extraordinary life events
  • Requires 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 them
IBC’s Code is widely supported and endorsed by personal property and auto insurance companies across Canada. 

Focused on Privacy and Consumer Rights

IBC 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 con​tact 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.​​