Aviva employees shared 'tens of thousands' of motorists' details with claims firms
Had an accident? Want someone to pay you compensation? Better call a no-win-no-fee firm.
If you have had a car accident in the past few years, and received a personal injury like whiplash, chances are you probably haven’t had to call one of these firms, as often they miraculously conjure your number from thin air. Anyone who has been in this position probably believed that it was your naughty old insurer passing on your details (a practice that has now been stopped) but it seems there may be foul play afoot.
One of the country’s largest insurers, Aviva, has recently announced a ‘data security breach’ and is pursuing criminal charges against two employees for selling customer data to claims companies. They are writing to customers they think may have been affected, but assuring them that no medical or financial details had been stolen. Although it is difficult to see how Aviva can be sure of this when they apparently do not know the exact scale of the theft or when the data started being sold, which is the subject of a police investigation. They estimate tens of thousands of motorists have been affected.
Aviva have now released a statement confirming that they were looking at what they need to do to prevent this happening again, the overall gist of the statement that it is all the fault of the nasty old claims companies leading their employees astray, rather than any need on their part to protect customers’ data. The statement to BBC’s Moneybox said "We are of course sorry for the inconvenience this has caused... This was illegal activity. We identified it and immediately reported it to the police and the relevant financial authorities, and we are contacting affected customers."
"It is sadly the case that financial services are being targeted by unscrupulous claims management companies, who are very keen to acquire customer contact details so they can encourage compensation claims - for which they expect a percentage of any damages."
"Aviva has long called for stricter regulation of these firms and prosecution for any unlawful activity."
City of London Police says two men have been arrested and released on bail on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position.
So have you been hounded by random callers after an accident? Both Aviva customers and people involved in car accidents where the other party was insured by Aviva could be affected. Let us know if you’ve had an accident that has nothing to do with Aviva, and still received multiple calls, or vice versa.