Code of Consumer Rights & Responsibilities
The Guarantee Company of North America (The Guarantee), along with brokers and agents who sell home, auto and business insurance, are committed to safeguarding your rights when you shop for insurance and when you submit a claim following a loss. Your rights include the right to be informed fully, to be treated fairly, to timely complaint resolution, and to privacy. These rights are grounded in the contract between you and The Guarantee and the insurance laws of your province. With rights, however, come responsibilities including, for example, the expectation that you will provide complete and accurate information to The Guarantee. Your policy outlines other important responsibilities. Insurers and their distribution networks, and governments also have important roles to play in ensuring that your rights are protected.
Right to be informed
You can expect to access clear information about your policy, your coverage, and the claims settlement process. You have the right to an easy-to-understand explanation of how insurance works and how it will meet your needs. You also have a right to know how it will meet your needs. You also have a right to know how insurers calculate price based on relevant facts.
You have the right to ask who is providing compensation to your broker for the sale of your insurance. Your broker or agent will provide information detailing for you how he or she is paid, by whom, and in what ways.
The Guarantee will disclose its compensation arrangements with its distribution network. Brokers are committed to providing information relating to ownership, financing, and other relevant facts.
Responsibility to ask questions and share information
To safeguard your right to purchase appropriate coverage at a competitive price, you should ask questions about your policy so that you understand what it covers and what your obligations are under it. You can access information through brochures and websites, as well as through one-on-one meetings with your broker or representative. You have the option to shop the marketplace for the combination of coverages and service levels that best suits your insurance needs. To maintain your protection against loss, you must promptly inform The Guarantee or broker of any change in your circumstances.
Right to complaint resolution
The Guarantee and its brokers are committed to high standards of customer service. If you have a complaint about the service you have received, you have a right to access your company’s complaint resolution process. The Guarantee or your broker can provide you with information about how you can ensure that your complaint is heard and promptly handled. Disputes involving claims settlement matters may be handled by the independent General Insurance OmbudService www.giocanada.org where your complaint may be referred to an independent mediator.
Responsibility to resolve disputes
You should always enter into the dispute resolution process in good faith, provide required information in a timely manner, and remain open to recommendations made by independent observers as part of that process.
Right to professional service
You have the right to deal with insurance professionals who exhibit a high ethical standard, which includes acting with honesty, integrity, fairness and skill. Brokers must exhibit extensive knowledge of the product, its coverages and its limitations in order to best serve you. These standards are outlined in A Consumer’s Guide to Property and Casualty Insurance Transactions, supported by members of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada.
Right to privacy
Because it is important for you to disclose any and all information required by The Guarantee to provide the insurance coverage that best suits you, you have the right to know that your information will be used for the purpose set out in the privacy statement made available to you by your broker or insurance representative. This information will not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted by law. You should know that The Guarantee is subject to Canada’s privacy laws.
Last updated: Jan.13 2005
The Guarantee Company of North America (The Guarantee) distributes its products solely through independent brokers across Canada. We have a standard broker agreement, which is based on the requirement that our brokers exercise a high degree of independence, professionalism, honesty and integrity while performing their duties outlined in that contract.
Our brokers are compensated on each policy written with a flat rate of commission based on the premium charged to their client. As a niche underwriter of insurance these commission rates will vary based on the type of policy sold. Base commission levels by product line are:
Personal Lines: Automobile 11% - 12% and Residential 20%
Surety and Corporate Insurance Lines: 10% to 27.5%
A second form of commission is payable to brokers who have placed a profitable book of business with our company. These profit commission programs reward only those brokers who have provided profitable business over prior years. Payments under these programs are dependent upon profitability, growth, size, and retention of the broker’s entire portfolio of business and not individual policies. These programs foster solid business relationships between our company and the brokers that place the type of business that meet our underwriting standards. Annual profit commission program payments for the past few years amounted to approximately 1.6% of our annual premium revenue.
Some brokers provide additional services or activities such as advertising, underwriting, data entry, claims processing and administration. We compensate these brokers for the cost of providing these services on our behalf.
The Guarantee is affiliated with Cowan Insurance Group, Millennium CreditRisk Management Limited and Frank Cowan Company Limited through common ownership.
The Guarantee has no direct equity investment in any independent broker in Canada.
When The Guarantee was founded, the directors of The Guarantee believed that the best way to build a successful business was through product specialization and financial strength. Today, The Guarantee still conducts its business based on those original principles.
The Guarantee will remain a steadfast partner in the growth of Canada while serving the interests of its shareholders and clients as it has done so proudly since our inception in 1872.
We are committed to excellence in every way and we trust that in the unfortunate event of a Claim, our team will respond to your needs in a manner exceeding your expectations. In the unlikely circumstance that you are unsatisfied, we will respond to complaints promptly and efficiently to ensure that your concerns are resolved satisfactorily.
How to Make a Complaint:
The Guarantee Company of North America
4950 Yonge st.
Suite 1400, Madison Centre