CALIFORNIA PRIVACY Statement

Last Updated: September 2020

Consumers residing in California have some additional rights with respect to their personal information under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). If you are a California resident, this California Privacy Statement (“Statement”) section applies to you and supplements the main privacy statement here. This Statement is provided on behalf of Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) and Merchants National Bonding, Inc. (“Merchants”).

What Personal Information Does Merchants Collect?

The type of personal information we collect may vary depending on your relationship with us, such as if you are an insured, an applicant for insurance, a representative or indemnitor of one of our corporate insureds, or a third party filing a claim.  We may have collected the following categories of personal information:

Category Examples
A. Identifiers Name, alias, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, Internet Protocol address, email address, account name, Social Security number, driver's license number, or other similar identifiers.
B. Personal information, as defined in the California Customer Records law
(Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80(e))
Name, signature, Social Security number, physical characteristics or description, address, telephone number, driver's license or state identification card number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account number, or any other financial information, medical information, or health insurance information. Some personal information included in this category may overlap with other categories.
C. Characteristics of protected classification under California or federal law Age (40 years or older), marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, sex, and veteran or military status.
D. Commercial information Records of personal property, transaction information and history.
E. Biometric information None.
F. Internet or other similar network activity Browsing history, search history, information on a consumer's interaction with a website, application, or advertisement.
G. Geolocation data None
H. Sensory data Photographs or video recordings created in connection with our business activities, and recordings of calls to our representatives and call centers.
I. Professional or employment-related information Current or past job history or performance evaluations.
J. Non-public education information (per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g, 34 C.F.R. Part 99)) None
K. Inferences drawn from other personal information Profile or summary drawn from any of the personal information listed above to create a profile or summary about, for example, and individual’s preferences and characteristics.

For purposes of this Statement, “Personal Information” does not include:

  • Publicly available information from government records.
  • De-identified or aggregated consumer information.
  • Information excluded from the CCPA's scope, like:
    • Health or medical information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) or clinical trial data;
    • Personal information covered by certain sector-specific privacy laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) or California Financial Information Privacy Act (FIPA), and the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994

What Are Merchants' Sources of Personal Information?

We collect the personal information described above directly from you such as through your transactions with Merchants, including through our insurance producers, business partners, and your interactions with us on our websites and social media pages.  We also collect this personal information from other categories of sources such as publicly available databases, consumer reporting agencies, commercially available sources, third parties authorized by you such as financial service providers, and prior and current employers, when they share the information with us.

How Does Merchants Use Personal Information?

Depending on your relationship with us, we may use the personal information described above for the following purposes:

  • To operate, manage, and maintain our business, such as to make insurance decisions, communicate with you and others as part of our business, provide our products and services, and maintain records;
  • To develop and improve our products and services, such as to undertake quality and safety assurance measures, audit customer interactions, facilitate social sharing functionality, resolve complaints, and evaluate customer service;
  • To personalize your Website experience and to deliver content and product and service offerings relevant to your interests, including targeted offers and ads through third-party sites (with your consent, where required by law);
  • For our employment and vendor management purposes;
  • For security purposes, such as to maintain our facilities and infrastructure, protect against malicious, deceptive, or fraudulent activity, and conduct internal investigations;
  • For monitoring purposes, such as to establish the existence of facts, maintain compliance with regulatory or self-regulatory practices, or for other purposes permissible under applicable law;
  • To perform other necessary and appropriate internal functions, such as accounting and auditing;
  • To report to credit bureaus;
  • To conduct research, analytics, and data analysis, and for marketing purposes, such as to personalize, advertise, and market our products and services and administer contests and promotions, in accordance with applicable law, and
  • To comply with legal and regulatory requirements, defend legal claims, and assist with legal processes such as investigations, and regulatory requests, litigation, and arbitration.
  • As described to you when collecting your personal information or as otherwise set forth in the CCPA.

How Does Merchants Share Personal Information?

Depending on your relationship with us, we may share your personal information for the purposes described in this privacy statement with the following categories of recipients:  entities within the Merchants family, including subsidiaries and affiliates; insurance and distribution parties; service providers; providers of Internet-connected devices and associated software; governmental authorities and third parties involved in court action; parties to a merger or acquisition; and our business partners or other third parties as may be required and where we have obtained the appropriate authorization.

The following categories of personal information may have been disclosed as described above:

A:  Identifiers, such as name, contact information, online identifiers and Social Security numbers and other government-issued ID numbers;

B:  Personal information, as defined in the California Customer Records law, such as insurance policy or bond number, education, employment, employment history, financial information and medical information;

C:  Characteristics of protected classification under California or federal law, such as age (40 years or older) marital status, sex, and veteran or military status.

D:  Commercial information, such as transaction information and history;

F:  Internet or network activity information, to the extent you visit our websites or use our software applications, such as browsing history and interactions with our and other websites and systems;

I:  Professional or employment-related information, such as work history, prior employer, information relating to references, details of qualifications, skills and experience, human resources data, and data necessary for benefits and related administration services; and

K:  Inferences drawn from other personal information listed above to create a profile or summary about, for example, and individual’s preferences and characteristics.

When we share personal information with a non-affiliated third party, that third party cannot use the information except to perform services of Merchants, or as may be permitted or required by law.

What Information Does Merchants Sell About Me?

In the preceding twelve (12) months, we have not sold our consumers' personal information to other companies for marketing purposes. However, you still retain your right to opt out of the sale of your personal information. If in the future, we anticipate selling your personal information to any party for marketing purposes, we will provide notice so that you may exercise your opt-in and opt-out rights required by federal and state laws and regulations including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) if you have not done so already.

Does Merchants Use Cookies?

A cookie is a small file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the website. On each subsequent visit cookies are then sent back to the originating website, or to another website that recognizes that cookie, to develop a record of the user’s online activity.  You can learn more about cookies from this third-party website: http://www.allaboutcookies.org/.

Merchants’ website uses cookies to improve the website’s functionality and to track information about how visitors use the website.  Cookies help us enhance your experience when using the website. They also help us understand how people use our site, such as which pages are most popular, so that we can better serve our customers.  Some or all of the cookies identified may be stored in your browser. Below are the different types of cookies that Merchants may use.

Performance/Preference Cookies: We may use performance/preference cookies. These cookies allow our websites to remember information that changes the way the site behaves or looks, such as your preferred language or the region you are in. These cookies can also assist you in changing text size, font, and other parts of web pages that you can personalize.

Security Cookies: We may use security cookies to authenticate users, prevent fraudulent use of login credentials, and protect user data from unauthorized parties.

Third Party/Targeting Cookies: Third party cookies are cookies that are set by a domain other than that of the website being visited by the user. If a user visits a website and another entity sets a cookie through that website, this would be a third-party cookie. Our third party business partners or service providers may place cookies to collect or receive information from your internet usage and use that information to provide measurement services and target advertisements to you. Merchants does not control the privacy practices of these websites. For example, we use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Please use the following link to understand how Google Analytics collects and processes data: https://policies.google.com/technologies/partner-sites. We also use services from YouTube that may also collect or receive information from your internet usage. Please use the following link to understand the types of cookies that Google uses: https://policies.google.com/technologies/types

Social Media Cookies: We may use social media cookies, which are a type of third party cookie. These cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to our website to enable you to share our content with your peers or networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit.

Some cookies may fulfil more than one of these purposes.

If you'd like to delete cookies or instruct your web browser to delete or refuse cookies, use the settings of your web browser. Each browser has a slightly different approach to cookies. Please note, however, that if you delete cookies or refuse to accept them, you might not be able to use all of the features we offer, you may not be able to store your preferences, and some of our pages might not display properly.

Strictly necessary cookies do not require your consent. For other types of cookies, you can give your consent by continuing to use our website, or by clicking on the appropriate button on the banner displayed to you. If you do not wish to give consent or wish to withdraw your consent to any performance, functionality, targeting or social media cookies at any time, you will need to delete, and block or disable cookies via your browser settings. Please note that disabling these cookies will affect the functionality of the website and may prevent you from being able to access certain features on the website.

What Rights Are Available To Me?

If you are a California resident and this Statement applies to you, you may request that we:

1. Disclose to you the following information covering the 12 months preceding your request:

  • The categories of personal information we collected about you and the categories of sources from which we collected such personal information;
  • The specific pieces of personal information we collected about you;
  • The business or commercial purpose for collecting personal information about you;
  • The categories of personal information about you that we otherwise shared or disclosed, and the categories of third parties with whom we shared or to whom we disclosed such personal information (if applicable).

2. Do not sell your personal information. Merchants does not sell your personal information for marketing purposes. However, for the purposes of the CCPA, “selling” information broadly means scenarios where we have shared personal information with partners in exchange for valuable consideration. You have the right to receive the categories of personal information that were sold and the categories of recipients of that information.

3. Delete certain personal information we collected from you. In the event that you choose to exercise this right, please note that we may nevertheless retain your personal information as permitted under applicable law, including but not limited to the following purposes:

  • To provide goods or services within the context of our relationship with you;
  • To detect security incidents or other fraudulent or illegal activity;
  • To comply with Merchants’ legal and regulatory obligations; and
  • To enable other uses that are compatible with your expectations or appropriate given the context in which the personal information was collected.

Merchants will not discriminate against you for exercising any of the above listed rights. Specifically, Merchants will not:

  • Deny you products and services; 
  • Charge or suggest to charge you different process or rates for products and services, including the use of discounts or other benefits or imposing penalties; or
  • Provide or suggest to provide a different level or quality of products or services to you. 

Exercising Your CCPA Rights

In order to make any of the requests listed above, please contact us using any of the methods below:

  • Visiting www.merchantsbonding.com/privacy
  • Calling us at 1-800-678-8171
  • Mailing your request to:
    Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)
    Attn: Compliance Officer
    P O BOX 14498
    Des Moines, IA 50306-3498

Notification of Changes to This Statement

We reserve the right to amend this privacy statement at our discretion and at any time. When we make changes to this privacy statement, we will post the updated statement on the Website and update the statement's effective date. Your continued use of our Website following the posting of changes constitutes your acceptance of such changes.