May 16, 2018 09:45
The law firm of Waddell Philips Professional Corporation proposes a class action against The Personal and Desjardins general insurance Group. The applicant, Kalevi Haikola, brought an action against his automobile insurer since the latter has accessed his / her credit file while he was making a claim for an accident.
The application is made on behalf of customers whose credit file has been assessed by The Personal during a claims process after the January 18, 2012. It has not yet been approved by the Court. The firm is still waiting for a response from The Personal and Desjardins, and should receive it within the next 60 days, said in the Journal of the insurance counsel of record, Margaret Waddell.
The lawsuit alleges that the information on the credit file is not necessary if an insurer resolves a claim for an accident and that » the defendants could use this information for improper purposes and against the interests of their client «.
Violation of the law
The proposed class action alleges that the insurer was doing a triage between people with a good credit score and those whose rating was less than or who refused to disclose the information. The records of these latter would have been subject to greater scrutiny and a more thorough investigation for applications in potentially fraudulent.
M. Haikola complained to the Commissioner for the protection of the private life of Canada, arguing that the demand for information on the credit file was non-compliant. The agency has concluded that The Personal had violated the Law on the protection of personal information and electronic documents, as M. Haikola had not given his consent meaningful.
The Personal said the Commissioner’s office that it had stopped this practice in its process of evaluation of claims.
A practice that has continued
M. Haikola says that for a claim after an accident last march, The Personal has asked his consent to access his or her credit record and other financial information as more » intrusive «.
«The class action argues that the first obligation of an insurer to act in good faith towards its insured. This obligation includes the duty to respect the privacy rights of the insured. The intrusion into the personal financial affairs of its members, including credit ratings, is improper and illegal under the canadian legislation on the protection of privacy, » explains the firm.
M. Haikola request damages for the breach of the defendants rights to privacy and to the alleged bad faith of the defendants based on a continuation of the collection of personal financial information, although they have claimed to have stopped the practice.
«The action alleges that the people involved in road accidents are especially vulnerable in the hands of their insurance companies, and can reasonably expect that their insurer will treat them fairly. This includes a reasonable expectation that they do not benefit from a differentiated treatment because of their personal financial situation «, he adds.