Privacy Statement – Your Privacy Is Our Concern
When you apply for any type of insurance, you disclose a certain amount of information about yourself to us. The collection, use, and disclosure of such information are regulated by law. In addition, Farmers Mutual and its agents recognize the confidentiality expectations of our applicants and policyholders. Therefore, it is the policy of Farmers Mutual and its independent agents to:
- Use only legitimate means to collect information.
- Collect only information necessary or relevant to our business.
- Make a reasonable effort to ensure that information we act upon is accurate, relevant, timely and complete.
- Make personal information available externally only to respond to legitimate business needs, to regulatory or other government authorities or as otherwise permitted by law.
- Limit employees’ access to those who need to handle personal information.
What kind of information do we collect about you and from whom?
We get most of our information directly from you. The application you complete, as well as any additional information you provide, generally gives us most of the information we need to know. Sometimes we may contact you by phone or mail to obtain additional information. Depending on the nature of your insurance transaction, we may need additional information about you or other individuals proposed for coverage from outside sources, such as motor vehicle records, loss information reports, credit reports, court records or other public records. For property insurance, we may send someone to inspect your property and verify information about its value and condition. A photo of any property to be insured might be taken.
We also might obtain information from third parties, such as other insurance companies or consumer reporting agencies. A consumer report from such an agency may contain information as to credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, hobbies, occupation, personal characteristics or mode of living. An investigative consumer report containing the same type of information may also be obtained from such an agency that will gather information through personal interview with your neighbors, friends, associated, acquaintances, or others who may have knowledge concerning those items of information. If we order any kind of consumer report, we will notify you, and under state law and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to ask to be personally interviewed. Upon written request, we will give you or tell you how to get a copy of the report. The agency preparing a consumer report for us may keep the information collected about you as permitted by law.
What do we do with the information collected about you?
Information which has been collected about you, which we keep, will be contained in either our policy records or in your agent’s files. We review it in evaluating your request for insurance coverage and in determining your rates. We will also refer to and use information in our policy records for purposes related to issuing and servicing insurance policies and settling claims. Your agent may use information about you in his/her files for insurance marketing purposes or to help you with your overall insurance program.
If coverage is declined or the charge for coverage is increased because of information contained in a consumer report we obtained, we will tell you as required by state law and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. We also will give you the name and address of the consumer-reporting agency making the report.
To whom do we disclose information about you?
We usually will not disclose information about you to others without your written consent unless the disclosure is necessary to conduct our business. By law, we are also permitted to share information about you without prior permission under certain circumstances to certain persons and organizations such as:
- Our affiliated insurance companies.
- Your agent or broker.
- Parties who perform a business, professional or insurance function for our company, including our reinsurance companies.
- Independent claims adjuster, appraisers, investigators and attorneys, who need the information to investigate, defend or settle claim involving you.
- Businesses that help us with data processing or marketing.
- Businesses that conduct scientific research, including actuarial or underwriting studies.
- Other insurance companies, agents or consumer reporting agencies as reasonably necessary in connection with any application, policy, or claim involving you.
- Insurance support organizations which are established to collect information for the purpose of detecting and preventing insurance crimes of fraudulent claims.
- Medical care institutions or medical professionals to verify coverage or conduct an audit of services.
- Insurance regulatory agencies in connection with the regulation of our business.
- Law enforcement or other governmental authorities to protect our legal interest or in cases of suspected fraud or illegal activities.
- Authorized persons as ordered by a subpoena, warrant or other court order or as required by law.
- Certificateholders or policyholders for the purpose of providing information regarding the status of an insurance transaction.
- Lienholders, mortgagees, lessors or other persons shown on our records as having a legal or beneficial interest in your policy.
How can you find out about information we have about you?
You have the right to know what kind of information we keep in our files about you, to have reasonable access to it and receive a copy. Write to us if you have questions about information you would like to receive. Provide your complete name, address, type of policy and policy numbers that was issued or applied for with us. Certain types of information generally collected when evaluating claims or possible lawsuits need not be disclosed to you.
Within thirty business days of receipt of your request, we will inform you in writing of the nature and substance of locatable and retrievable recorded personal information about you in our files. You may review this information in person or receive a copy at a reasonable charge. We will also identify the person or organization to which we have disclosed this information within the past two (2) years. In addition, you will be given the name and address of any consumer-reporting agency, which prepared a report about you, so that you can contact them for a copy.
After you have reviewed the personal information about you in our file, you can write to us if you believe it should be corrected, amended, or deleted. Tell us what you think is wrong and why. We will consider your request and within thirty (30) business days either change our files, or tell you that we did not and the reason. If we do not make changes, you will have the right to insert in our file a concise statement containing what you believe to be the correct, relevant or fair information and explaining why you believe the information on file to be improper. We will notify persons designated by you to whom we have previously disclosed the information of the change or your statement. Subsequent disclosures we make also will include your statement.
How do we protect the confidentiality of information about you?
Our Company maintains appropriate security standards and procedures to prevent unauthorized access to your information in whatever medium it is stored. We limit employee access to personally identifiable information to those with a business reason for knowing such information. Farmers Mutual also believes in educating our employees so that they will understand the importance of confidentiality of personal information, and in taking appropriate measures to enforce employee privacy responsibilities.