September 15, 2017

When you’ve been around the block as many times as Bankstone News has, it’s a safe bet you’re someone who knows their onions. Either that or your satnav’s on the blink.

But when you have got a bit of experience under your belt, or wherever you choose to store it (we’ve actually had to move ours due to a major build up of unsightly pie-derived portliness, maybe you have too), you come to recognise that there are really only two main kinds of concern in this life.

There’s real concerns (the stuff you feel somewhat justified about losing sleep over) and there’s unreal concerns, where you just go meh, or whatever, or do I look bothered? or something, and you probably shrug or blow some air sideways and downwards out of one corner of your mouth.

Leaping insurance industry publication Insurance Ache this week stressed that the Impending General Data Protection Regulations (IGDPR) are very much a cause for the former type of concern, at least as far as UK insurance brokers are concerned (and concerned they certainly should be!)

In a news item helpfully entitled ‘GDPR a real concern for brokers’ the paper quoted Ian Huge of the Consumer Inteligenzia urging brokers to ‘implement change’, ‘set up a task force’, and ‘get an education’.

They should probably also stop chucking people’s data around like confetti at a confetti factory wedding, although he didn’t actually say that.

“Any wrong-doing,” Huge warns sternly, “could be disastrous.” By way of exemplification, he reveals that “if they do not get explicit permission from historic customers to store their information, home and motor insurers could face a £100m bill.”

Worrying that ‘disastrous’ may not, perhaps, have captured the full attention of Insurance Aids readers, Huge says “GDPR could be cataclysmic for brokers.” This is because any data that brokers ‘hold’ on customers, past or present, now needs to be held ‘with consent or with a legitimate purpose’

Sadly, Huge believes the scope of ‘legitimate purpose’ does not extend to things like ‘keeping them on file just in case’. If brokers do feel there’s a legitimate reason for hanging on to data without the customer’s explicit say-so, then apparently they have to write down somewhere what they think that reason is.

As of 25 May 2018, Huge says, GDPR fines will start raining down on non-compliant brokers like [see what we’ve got left in the metaphor cupboard]. That means brokers need to do a lot of looking at what they’re doing with data now, and make sure they’ve finished that looking, and ideally done something about it, by the aforementioned date.

If you go tapping up ‘lapsed’ customers for business after 25 May you’ll probably be putting yourself in the way of ‘stiff’ fines, Huge cautions.

Insurance H also spoke, briefly, to Dave Sparks of retro fashion house BIBA who was happy to confirm that BIBA has been looking at GDPR for quite a while now and ‘will continue to follow the progress of the Data Protection Bill and engage with Government.’

If you’d like to know more about GDPR and how your business could be affected, that might actually be quite a good idea by the sound of it. Otherwise you could find yourself caught up in a cataclysmic disaster or something.


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