July 28, 2021 by Greg Meckbach
Many brokerages that use AutoPlus to obtain auto insurance quotes will likely have to change their processes over the next couple of months.
AutoPlus’s vendor, CGI Group Inc., will start updating that online database product Aug. 13, says the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario.
Starting at the end of October, brokers who query AutoPlus, for motorists’ claims and driving history, will first need to get those motorists’ consent. The brokers will also need to keep a record of that consent. IBAO is sending recommended consent wording to brokers across Canada who use AutoPlus. IBAO has also put together a training package on brokerage processes and obtaining consumer consent in using AutoPlus.
AutoPlus lets brokers and carriers get claims and policy information on consumers using drivers’ licence numbers. In some cases, the data – which is intended to help carriers use claims and driving records to price the risk – goes back 25 years.
IBAO announced July 22 it has worked with CGI on a solution to limit the data that brokers and carriers can get, from an AutoPlus report, without creating additional cost and effort. IBAO has published a video training package on its website for brokers, Canada-wide.
Many insurers do not use all 25 years of data that could be available on a motorist from an AutoPlus report. Some carriers, for example, only use 10 years.
A consumer made a complaint in 2016 to the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner, IBAO president Colin Simpson said in an interview with Canadian Underwriter. That consumer complained, at the time, that AutoPlus contains more data than what some insurers actually use when they underwrite auto, said Simpson.
There is nothing to indicate that CGI was found to have broken any particular privacy rule. Canadian Underwriter contacted CGI on July 23, asking CGI to confirm it is making several changes to AutoPlus as a result of a complaint made in 2016 to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. At the time of writing, CGI had not confirmed that AutoPlus was the subject of a complaint.
CGI has agreed, at the request of the federal privacy commissioner, to make some changes to AutoPlus, said IBAO’s Simpson.
Beginning Aug. 13, CGI is changing its menu options on AutoPlus. It is expected to take until October to finish updating the AutoPlus menu options because there are more than 100 auto insurers.
The overall intent is to ensure that the only historical data on motorists available to an insurer is the data that particular insurer would actually use for underwriting. For example, if an insurer only uses 10 years of data, that insurer would only get an AutoPlus report going back 10 years, rather than 25 years of data.
But the broker could get all 25 years of data on a motorist – if the brokerage gets that motorist’s consent.
The idea is the broker would then supply some or all of that data to the insurers in order to get a quote.
“For a broker, in order to provide a consumer with a choice of quotes, you really need to scan the market. Doing it company by company would mean that multiple reports would have to be pulled per quote,” Simpson told Canadian Underwriter last week.
This would make it much more labour-intensive for brokers to get a quote for a client.
“We worked with CGI to figure out how to do this so that brokers could continue to pull one report prior to getting the quote,” said Simpson.
A B.C. broker who only places insurance in B.C. would not need it but if that B.C. broker places insurance for clients in other provinces, then that brokerage might be using AutoPlus.