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How long are insurance companies allowed to keep my details for?
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# 1
purple spider
Old 24-10-2008, 2:44 PM
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Default How long are insurance companies allowed to keep my details for?

This week I got a phone call asking me about car insurance for a car I haven't owned for at least two years!! The company in question was one i used for a quote for three years ago when i compared prices, but i didnt use them as they were way too expensive.

I explained this to the caller, telling them i no longer owned the car, and to remove my records from their system - but they obviously didnt listen to me as i received a letter this morning saying that i previously asked for a quote, and I could get a free month if I renew my insurance with them. It even has my old car's registration and details on the side panel . I know the guy I sold it to, and he's insured it so the companys information is way out of date!

I'm really not happy about my personal details remaining with the company, and wondered if anyone knew how long insurance companies are allowed to keep my personal details on their system as I thought that companies were only allowed to keep you on file for a certain amount of time, while your details were relevant, certainly not for this long, especially as their information is now totally out of date.
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# 2
raskazz
Old 24-10-2008, 3:00 PM
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There are really two separate issues here:

1) The company's right to hold your data and process it for legitimate purposes; and

2) Your right to opt out of your data being used for the purposes of direct marketing and/or being passed to third parties.

You cannot force them to remove the data - they are allowed to keep it for legitimate purposes - in this case, primarily for monitoring historical marketing effectiveness and trends. You can, however, require them to cease using your data for the purpose of direct marketing. Put something in writing to them to that effect.

Last edited by raskazz; 24-10-2008 at 3:06 PM.
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# 3
dunstonh
Old 24-10-2008, 3:48 PM
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Financial services companies can hold your data forever. DPA does not overule protection of liability.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 4
purple spider
Old 25-10-2008, 6:48 PM
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Thanks, for your help, I'll write them a letter to stop them using my info for marketing
I had no idea that they could hold my data forever - I wish they had told me that, or at least explained themselves on the phone.
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# 5
Andrew24620
Old 13-11-2008, 1:27 AM
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Dunstonh - I'd question your advice on this one.

There was never any liability in place - the poster simply requested a quote. No contract established so no liability exists - the insurance co. has no right to keep personal details ad infinitum. It's reasonable for them to keep details for a period of time to assist in servicing any subsequent applicatiuon for cover.

Either way, suggest the poster write to the insurance co. stating he wishes them to be removed from their marketing data bases and to remove all traces of his personal data from their records as there is now no legitimate requirement for them to keep it any longer.
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# 6
dunstonh
Old 13-11-2008, 9:36 AM
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Quote:
Dunstonh - I'd question your advice on this one.
Liability doesnt just mean liability of claim. There is also the liability of complaint. If the person decides 10 years from now that the policy was wrong for them or there was something wrong with it that they found out with hindsight then they can put a complaint in and take it to the FOS if necessary. That complaint can also apply to pre-sale information. However, its less likely but still possible.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 7
tommygun
Old 13-11-2008, 9:49 AM
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But the poster stated that there was no sale so how can it apply to pre-sale info. The info they have is classed as non-relevant, therefore should be removed.
If he checks with FOS they will give him relevant info.
A marketing suppression marker will be placed against his record even though he is not a customer as such once he requests this in writing to the car insurance company that contacted him. This could take up to 8 weeks however to be applied.
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# 8
raskazz
Old 13-11-2008, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommygun View Post
But the poster stated that there was no sale so how can it apply to pre-sale info. The info they have is classed as non-relevant, therefore should be removed.
The insurer is perfectly entitled to retain the data as long as it is processed in accordance with the DPA. There is no evidence in this case that it has been processed otherwise than in accordance with the DPA. The OP would only have a right to erasure of any incorrect data (I'm not sure what you mean by 'non-relevant', this is not a term that really features in the DPA legislation).

As you and I both mentioned, all the OP should do is contact the insurer to opt out of the use of their data for the purposes of marketing. Problem solved.

Last edited by raskazz; 13-11-2008 at 10:41 AM.
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# 9
koexelek
Old 13-11-2008, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
Financial services companies can hold your data forever. DPA does not overule protection of liability.

Correct. Records must be held for a minimum term, but there is no maximum term
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