Last Updated: June 1, 2023
How We Collect Personal Information
We collect Personal Information directly from you, and from third parties, including from:
- Our affiliates;
- Agents and brokers;
- Service providers and vendors;
- Other individuals, such as individuals involved in litigation with us;
- Website/Social Media;
- Publicly-available sources;
- Consumer data resellers;
- Consumer reporting agencies and insurance support organizations;
- Your employer or other businesses that you have a relationship with;
- References you provide when you apply for a job with us;
- Other businesses, such as other insurance companies, and businesses involved in litigation with us; and
- Government agencies.
The Categories of Information We Collect May Include:
- Contact and profile information. We may collect personal information, such as your name, phone number, postal address, business information, gender, age, and e-mail address, when you register for our Services, sign up for our mailing list, purchase our products, or otherwise communicate or interact with us.
- Payment and transaction information. We may collect information such as items purchased, date and time of your transaction, agency or producer name and location, amount purchased, and payment information, such as your bank account.
- Comments, chat and opinions. When you contact us directly (e.g., by email, phone, mail or by completing an online form or participating in online chat), we may record your comments and opinions. We may also record comments and opinions you express when responding to surveys, or postings on our Social Media Pages.
- Information you may post or submit to our Sites. We may collect information about how you use and interact with our Services, including any content you post to the Services.
- Information provided by social networks. When you interact with our Service through various social media networks, such as when you “Like” us on Facebook or when you follow us or share our content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or other social networks, we may receive some information about you that you permit the social network to share with third parties. The data we receive is dependent upon your privacy settings with the social network. You should always review and, if necessary, adjust your privacy settings on third party websites and social media networks and services before linking or connecting them to our Sites or Service.
- Information provided by others. From time to time, we may receive information about you from third parties and other users. For example we may obtain information from third parties to enhance or supplement our existing user information. We may also collect information about you that is publicly available. We may combine this information with the information we collect from you directly.
- Information provided by our Agencies and Producers. We may receive information about you from our agencies and producers so that information you provide to them may be used by us to provide you services, communicate with you or provide you other personalized content.
How We May Use Personal Information
We may use Personal Information:
- To provide a quote, underwrite and rate bonds and policies, respond to your inquiries, fulfill your requests, and complete your transactions
- To process claims
- To service your bonds and policies
- To confirm or correct what we know about you
- To help us prevent fraud and other crimes
- To comply with applicable laws
- To perform research or send you surveys
- To send you information that we believe may be of interest to you
- To personalize your experience on the Services
- To facilitate social sharing functionality
- To inform you of job opportunities and to evaluate your suitability for a job
- To contact you at a telephone number you provide to us, including if the number is for a cell phone or other wireless device.
- For our other business purposes.
- As otherwise allowed by law.
How Personal Information May Be Disclosed
Merchants does not disclose personal information to others unless it is permitted by law. Your Personal Information may be disclosed in the following manner:
- To third parties to help us manage or service our business. These third parties can include but are not limited to agents or brokers, other insurance companies, regulators, administrators, and service providers or contractors that provide services such as website hosting, data analysis, payment processing, information technology and related infrastructure provision, email delivery and other services.
- To insurance support organizations and consumer reporting agencies. Information that we share with these organizations, such as your claims history, may be retained by them and disclosed to others.
- By you, on message boards, chat, profile pages and blogs and other services to which you are able to post information and materials (including, without limitation, our Social Media Pages). Any information you post or disclose through these services will become public information, and may be available to users of the services and to the general public.
- To a third party in the event of any reorganization, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of our business, assets or stock (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings).
- As we believe to be necessary or appropriate: (a) under applicable law, including laws outside your country of residence; (b) to comply with legal process; (c) to respond to requests from public and government authorities including public and government authorities outside your country of residence; (d) to enforce our terms and conditions; (e) to protect our operations; (f) to protect our rights, privacy, safety or property, and/or that of you or others; (g) to detect and prevent fraud; and (h) to allow us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.
- As otherwise allowed by law.
How We Collect, Use and Protect Social Security Numbers
Merchants may collect Social Security numbers (“SSNs”) in the course of our business. We strive to protect the confidentiality and security of SSNs in our possession, custody or control by: (i) limiting access to SSNS and (ii) maintaining reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect against the loss, misuse or unlawful disclosure of SSNs. We do not share SSNs for marketing purposes.
Cookies and Other Tracking Mechanisms
When you use our online resources, we may allow third party service providers to place their own cookies or similar technologies to collect identifiers, commercial information, internet or network activity information, geolocation data, and electronic and similar information. For example, we use third party “web analytics” services such as those offered by Google Analytics. We also use AddThis, a technology that allows websites and their users to share contents easily with others by means of exchange icons and social bookmarking sites.
In addition to cookies, we may also use pixel tags (sometimes called web beacons or “clear GIFs”) to collect information about you and your use of our Services. While cookies are stored locally on your device, pixel tags are embedded invisibly within web pages and online content. We may use these, in connection with our Services to, among other things, track the activities of users, help us manage content and compile usage statistics. We may also use these in HTML e-mails we send, to help us track e-mail response rates, identify when our e-mails are viewed, and track whether our e-mails are forwarded.
Our Services are not designed for children, and we do not knowingly collect Personal Information from children under the age of thirteen (13). If we learn that we have received information directly form a child who is under the age of 13, we will delete such information from our systems. If you are a parent or legal guardian and you believe we have collected your child’s information in violation of applicable law, please contact us using the contact information below.
When you use our Services, you may find links to other websites that we do not own or control. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of these other sites, including their collection of your Personal Information. You should review the terms and conditions and privacy policies of these other sites before providing your information.
We have implemented safeguards designed to protect Personal Information from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Please be aware that despite our efforts, no data security measures can guarantee security.
Changes to This Policy
If you have questions about this Policy or our privacy practices, please contact us using the contact information provided below.
Merchants Bonding Company
Attention: Compliance Officer
P O Box 14498
Des Moines, IA 50306-3498