We collect personal information in order to provide your insurance. We need this information to properly evaluate the risk you are asking us to accept, to determine what cover we will offer you, to receive and handle any enquiries or claims relating to your policies, to manage your account with brokers and make arrangements with underwriters who share the risk. We also need it to arrange reinsurance. Without this information we would not be able to carry out our business and provide insurance products and services to you. Before we can do this we need you to know who you are and who will be covered by the policy. Some of our products and services may require us to collect sensitive information such as information about any insurers’ refusal to insure you in the past. We will only collect this information if we need to and then only in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act. If you do not provide the personal information that we request then we may not be able to process your application for insurance or process a claim made on your policy.
Where possible, we will collect the information from you or from someone authorised to act on your behalf such as your insurance broker, accountant, financier or an employee. When you give us personal information about other individuals, such as employees and share farmers, we rely on you to have obtained their consent for you to do this and for you to inform them of the types of third parties that we may provide it to and the reasons why we will do this. Obtaining the consent is particularly important if you are providing us with sensitive information about that person. We may collect the information in writing, by telephone, and by other electronic communication channels. You will provide much of the information we require in the completed proposal form you give to us. We may need to ask you or others further questions to enable us to properly assess the risk. We collect this information through our staff and through our contracted agents and other service providers. Wherever practicable, we will ask you (or your authorised representative) for the information directly. However, we may need to contact other people and organisations such as your crop or livestock agent, business associates, bankers, credit reference agencies and referees to collect information about you. Some products and services require us to collect information from claims investigators. In handling claims, we may need to contact your agronomist or veterinarian, and other agricultural professionals.
Unless we are required to provide your personal information to others for purposes of public safety, law enforcement or as may be otherwise required by law, your information will only be seen or used by persons working for or on behalf of Agricola or our contracted service providers. These people will include our staff, brokers, underwriters, risk assessors, claim managers, loss assessors, insurance reference bureaus, credit reference bureaus, investigators, statisticians, reinsurers and other companies with whom we share the risk. Some of these people may be located in countries outside Australia. If your cover is group insurance cover, which is organised through a scheme, trade association or union, we may exchange personal information with that scheme to verify your entitlements to benefits.
We recognise that you are concerned about the security and confidentiality of the information we hold about you. We recognise the value of that information and we will do everything we reasonably can to prevent unauthorised access to, or disclosure, misuse or loss of that information. Our staff that have access to your information have been briefed on the requirements of the Privacy Act and our contracted service providers have been made aware that they are required to comply with the Privacy Act. We use data protection techniques whenever we store or transmit information electronically and when storing personal information in hard copy form in secure facilities. Our information systems and files are kept secured from unauthorised access and our staff and Agricola’s contracted agents and service providers have been informed of the importance we place on protecting your privacy and their role in helping us to do this.
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect is accurate, complete and up to date whenever it is used, collected or disclosed. You are entitled to access your information if you wish and, subject to any legal restrictions, we would be happy to advise you what personal information we hold about you if you request this. There may be some cost to you to cover the cost of retrieving and processing the information. If you believe there are errors in our records about you, please let us know and we will be happy to investigate and correct any inaccuracies.
On occasion, we may need to transfer information we hold about you overseas to underwrite your risk or to investigate or process your claim. We will not transfer information outside Australia without your consent unless we are satisfied, or have put arrangements in place to ensure, that the information will be handled in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act.
We are committed to ensuring to the best of our ability that we meet the requirements of the National Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act. Due to the nature of our insurance services, we are not able to offer insurance to customers who wish to be anonymous or who do not provide us with sufficient information to enable us to properly assess the cover requested.
We have adopted the General Insurance Information Privacy Code. If you believe that your privacy has been prejudiced you have a right to lodge a complaint with us. You should contact our Privacy Officer. We will respond to you in writing within fifteen days of receiving your complaint. If you are not satisfied with the response, you may refer your complaint to our Privacy Committee. Should you wish to read more information about the privacy legislation or the National Privacy Principles we recommend that you visit the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s website at www.privacy.gov.au.