Privacy and Disclosure Statements
When NorthStar places your insurance coverage with an insurance company, we are paid a sales commission by the insurance company. In addition to commissions, we may also receive additional income from insurance companies in the form of “contingent commissions”. These supplementary commissions are not guaranteed, and can be based on several factors including the size, growth, retention, and/or profitability of our overall book of business with the insurance company. These agreements do not impair our objectivity nor deter us from our commitment to provide the best combination of service, price, and benefits to our clients. Should you desire additional information regarding contingency compensation agreements or reimbursements, please contact us.
Any reference to NorthStar throughout the website refers to NorthStar Insurance Services, Inc. and NorthStar Benefit Insurance Agency, Inc.
NorthStar respects your privacy and understands the trust you place in us to safeguard your personal information. You can be assured that any information you share with us is used only to conduct NorthStar business. We do not sell or share your information with other companies to offer their products and services to you. To prevent unauthorized access to personal information and maintain data accuracy, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and administrative procedures to safeguard and secure the information we maintain.
When you apply to NorthStar for any type of insurance, you disclose nonpublic personal information about yourself (“NPI”) to us. It is NorthStar’s policy to maintain strict confidentiality of all NPI obtained in the course of our business and to:
- Collect only NPI necessary to our business;
- Use only legitimate means to collect NPI;
- Share NPI with third parties only for valid business reasons;
- Sign confidentiality agreements with nonaffiliated third parties with whom we share NPI;
- And limit employee access to NPI to those who need to know.
While you can be sure that NorthStar is protecting your NPI, we are required by law to tell you what NPI we have about you, to whom we disclose it, and how we protect it.
What types of NPI do we collect about you and from whom?
We get most of our NPI directly from you on the application or in conversations with you during the application process. During the underwriting and renewal processes, depending on the type of policy, we may need more information about you. For auto insurance, we may obtain motor vehicle records from state motor vehicle departments. For property insurance, we may inspect your property and verify its value and condition. Also, we may request insurance claims date, loss reports, and credit reports from consumer reporting agencies. For life insurance, we may obtain information about your health from medical providers, medical care institutions, and the Medical Information Bureau.
We may also request information about your character and reputation, habits, finances, occupation, other insurance coverage or participation in hazardous activities from insurance companies, agents, friends, neighbors, associates, and others with whom you have had business relationships. You should know that information obtained by an insurance support organization may be retained by it and shared with other users of reports.
What do we do with the NPI we obtain about you?
Any NPI collected about you is used only to service your policy or claim or to underwrite and price insurance products that meet your needs as you have described them to us. NPI that has been obtained about you may be stored in our files and in your agent’s files, if applicable. We use it to evaluate your requests for coverage and to determine your rates. We also use NPI in our files to issue and service policies and settle claims. We may use NPI in our files to send you information about other NorthStar products and services that may help you with your overall insurance program.
To whom do we disclose NPI about you?
During the ordinary course of business, we may share your NPI to carry out transactions you request, to service products you have applied for or purchased, to comply with legal requirements and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. For example, we may share NPI with:
- Our affiliated companies for marketing and other purposes;
- Your agent or broker;
- Consultants or other third parties who perform business, professional or insurance functions for our company, including our reinsurance companies;
- Independent claims adjusters, appraisers, investigators, and attorneys who need the NPI to investigate, defend or settle a claim;
- Businesses that help us with data processing or marketing;
- Businesses that perform record destruction services;
- Businesses that conduct research, including actuarial or underwriting studies;
- Other insurance companies, agents, or consumer reporting agencies as necessary in connection with any application, policy or claim;
- Insurance support organizations established to collect data for the purpose of detecting and preventing insurance crimes and fraudulent claims;
- Medical care institutions or medical providers to verify coverage or conduct an audit of services;
- Insurance regulatory agencies in connection with the regulation of our business;
- Police or other governmental authorities to protect our legal interests or in cases of suspected fraud or illegal activities;
- Persons as ordered by subpoena, warrant, or other court order or as required by law;
- or Lienholders, mortgagees, lessors, or other persons having a legal or beneficial interest in your policy.
Except as indicated above, NorthStar does not share NPI about customers or former customers with third parties. When NPI is shared with any of the above named third parties, it is NorthStar’s policy to require that they abide by the same privacy standards as indicated here.
How can you find out about NPI we have about you?
You have the right to know what NPI we have about you, to have access to it and to receive a copy upon request, where required by law. If you have questions about what we may have on file, please write to us. Give us your name and address, date of birth, type of policy and the type of NPI you want to receive. Some types of NPI obtained when settling claims or defending lawsuits need not be shared with you.
Within thirty (30) business days of receipt of your request, we will inform you of the nature and substance of NPI about you in our files. Where required by law, you may review the NPI in person or receive a copy at a reasonable charge. We will also reveal third parties with whom we have shared your NPI within the past two years, or for the time period required by state law. Also, we will give you the name and address of any consumer reporting agency that gave us a report about you so that you may contact the agency for a copy of the report. Medical records and details about our decisions regarding those records will only be released to your physician or a physician qualified to interpret them, unless otherwise provided by law.
You may contact NorthStar if you believe your file should be corrected, amended, or deleted. We will review your request, and within thirty (30) business days, we will make the requested change or provide an explanation of our refusal to do so. If we do not make the change, you may send a statement for insertion in your file, setting forth what you believe to be the correct NPI and explaining why you believe the NPI in our file to be incorrect. (Minnesota residents may file an appeal with the Insurance Commissioner.) If you ask us to, we will notify persons to whom we have shared NPI of the change or your statement. With any subsequent sharing of NPI, we will include a copy of your statement.
How do we protect your NPI?
NorthStar maintains physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to keep your NPI secure. We limit access to your NPI to employees who “need to know” in order to service your policy or claim. Also, we have a Confidentiality Policy that requires employees to maintain strict confidentiality with regard to all NPI obtained in the course of our business.
We at NorthStar hope that you find this notice helpful. We take our responsibilities and your rights seriously. If you have more questions, please contact NorthStar.
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