President Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act(GLBA) (P.L. 106-102) on November 12, 1999. GLBA requires state insurance regulators to issue rules protecting the privacy of insurance consumers’ personal information. These rules require insurance companies, producers, and other entities engaged insurance activities to protect the customer’s financial and health information. It requires insurers to:
- Notify consumers of their privacy policies;
- Give the opportunity to the consumer to prohibit the sharing of their information with non-affiliated third parties; and
- Obtain consent from consumers before sharing protected health information with any other parties, affiliates and non-affiliates alike.
The following non-public information is covered by these new protections on an insured’s information:
* the information held by your car insurer;
* the information held by your homeowners insurer;
* the information held by your employer’s group health plan;
* the information held by your life insurer;
* the information held by the insurer against which you made a claim related to a car accident;
* the information held by the life insurer for a life policy that names you as a beneficiary;
* the information held by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer
Everyone has right to protect their non-public information. Non-public information would include your health records, date of birth, social security number, financial records, unlisted phone number, etc. Public records (marriages, divorces, mortgages, lawsuits, etc.) can be found at the courthouse, in a phonebook, on Facebook just to name a few sources. In the hands of the producer or insurer, those public records become private and can not be disclosed without the insured’s approval.