Class Actions

The Personal Insurance Co. Privacy Breach Class Action —

This proposed breach of privacy class action is brought in Federal Court on behalf of all persons resident in Canada who made insurance claims under their automobile insurance policies with The Personal Insurance Company after January 18, 2012 and who had their credit score information accessed by The Personal or its agents.

Case Overview

Persons involved in motor vehicle accidents in Canada expect their first-party insurers to treat them fairly. These include reasonable expectations that they will not be given a different treatment than other insureds based upon their financial history, and they expect that their privacy will be respected. Insurers have a legal obligation to act with utmost good faith towards their insureds.

This proposed breach of privacy class action is brought in Federal Court on behalf of all persons resident in Canada who made insurance claims under their automobile insurance policies with The Personal Insurance Company (“The Personal”) after January 18, 2012 and who had their credit score information accessed by The Personal or its agents.

On March 14, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “OPCC”), found that The Personal collected and used credit information from one of its insureds, without obtaining meaningful consent, and in a manner that a reasonable person would consider inappropriate. In doing so, the OPCC concluded that The Personal violated Section 5(3) and Principle 4.3 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

The Claim asserts that The Personal invaded the privacy of its insureds by seeking credit score information from insureds who were making claims for accident benefits under their automobile insurance policies. Further, the claim alleges that The Personal used such information to “triage” claims, with those with lower credit scores (or those who refused to disclose this information) being subjected to more scrutiny and enhanced investigation for potentially fraudulent claims as opposed to those with higher credit scores.

The Personal advised the OPCC that it has ceased the practice of collecting and using credit score information during its claims assessment process, but when the plaintiff was the victim of a further motor vehicle accident, the Personal sought not only to obtain his credit score, but also sought his consent to obtain personal financial information about him from a variety of sources. The Plaintiff alleges that The Personal acted in bad faith in seeking the financial information when it knew that the OPCC had ruled this was a privacy breach, and The Personal had committed to the OPCC that it had stopped collecting this information.

Amongst other relief, the action seeks damages on behalf of all class members for the alleged unreasonable breach of their privacy and the insurer’s alleged breach of the duty of utmost good faith.

Was your privacy breached?

If you believe that you or someone you know was asked to disclose their credit score, or other personal financial information, as part of an accident benefits insurance claim, we would like to hear from you.

If you complete our online form, we will respond to your inquiry, typically within one business day. Or you can contact us at:

reception@waddellphillips.ca

(t) 647-261-4486
(f) 416-477-1657

36 Toronto St., Suite 1120, Toronto, ON, M5C 2C5, attn.: The Personal Privacy Class Action

Case Overview

Persons involved in motor vehicle accidents in Canada expect their first-party insurers to treat them fairly. These include reasonable expectations that they will not be given a different treatment than other insureds based upon their financial history, and they expect that their privacy will be respected. Insurers have a legal obligation to act with utmost good faith towards their insureds.

This proposed breach of privacy class action is brought in Federal Court on behalf of all persons resident in Canada who made insurance claims under their automobile insurance policies with The Personal Insurance Company (“The Personal”) after January 18, 2012 and who had their credit score information accessed by The Personal or its agents.

On March 14, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “OPCC”), found that The Personal collected and used credit information from one of its insureds, without obtaining meaningful consent, and in a manner that a reasonable person would consider inappropriate. In doing so, the OPCC concluded that The Personal violated Section 5(3) and Principle 4.3 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

The Claim asserts that The Personal invaded the privacy of its insureds by seeking credit score information from insureds who were making claims for accident benefits under their automobile insurance policies. Further, the claim alleges that The Personal used such information to “triage” claims, with those with lower credit scores (or those who refused to disclose this information) being subjected to more scrutiny and enhanced investigation for potentially fraudulent claims as opposed to those with higher credit scores.

The Personal advised the OPCC that it has ceased the practice of collecting and using credit score information during its claims assessment process, but when the plaintiff was the victim of a further motor vehicle accident, the Personal sought not only to obtain his credit score, but also sought his consent to obtain personal financial information about him from a variety of sources. The Plaintiff alleges that The Personal acted in bad faith in seeking the financial information when it knew that the OPCC had ruled this was a privacy breach, and The Personal had committed to the OPCC that it had stopped collecting this information.

Amongst other relief, the action seeks damages on behalf of all class members for the alleged unreasonable breach of their privacy and the insurer’s alleged breach of the duty of utmost good faith.

Was your privacy breached?

If you believe that you or someone you know was asked to disclose their credit score, or other personal financial information, as part of an accident benefits insurance claim, we would like to hear from you.

If you complete our online form, we will respond to your inquiry, typically within one business day. Or you can contact us at:

reception@waddellphillips.ca

(t) 647-261-4486
(f) 416-477-1657

36 Toronto St., Suite 1120, Toronto, ON, M5C 2C5, attn.: The Personal Privacy Class Action

STATUS OF LITIGATION

The Amended Statement of Claim has been issued and served on the Defendants.

The Defendants have not yet delivered a statement of defence.

Counsel anticipates that a motion for certification of the action as a class proceeding in the Federal Court will be scheduled shortly.

PRESS RELEASE

A press release was provided for the public on May 14, 2018

IN THE NEWS

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