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Is consent to collect personal information required for a commercial-lines insurance claim?

Publication date: December 1, 2020

Q. Are we required to use the “Consent for the collection and communication of personal information” form when processing a commercial-lines insurance claim?

A. No, since business-related information is not personal information. You are therefore not required to use this type of form.

Personal information is any information which relates to a natural person and allows that person to be identified.[1]

This being said, the obligation to respect the confidentiality of the information collected remains intact:

Claims adjusters must not disclose, other than in accordance with the law, personal or confidential information obtained nor use such information to the detriment of one of the parties involved or with a view to obtaining a benefit for themselves or another person.[2]

Although consent is not required in order to collect and use a business’s information, it is nevertheless mandatory—even when processing a commercial-lines claim—in cases where you must collect or communicate information concerning a natural person.

For example, if you compile a personal file on one of the company’s employees or a third party who was injured and is claiming damages from the company, it is strongly recommended that you use the Consent for the collection and communication of personal information when making a claim form; it will make your work easier, protect all parties involved, enable you to comply with your legal and ethical obligations, and allow you to consolidate and record in a single document all the relevant information regarding having obtained consent and the means used to do so.  

To learn more about obligations related to the protection of personal information, read this page or take Renseignements personnels lors d’un sinistre : comprendre, utiliser et expliquer le formulaire de consentement (AF1020) [Personal information and claims: understanding, using and explaining the consent form (AF 1020), in French only], a course given by Me Ingi Khouzam on ÉduChAD.

[1] Section 2 of the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector.

[2] Section 23 of the Code of ethics of claims adjusters.