Ali Hussein in The SUnday Times 25th May 2014 reports:
SOME of Britain’s biggest life insurers face an inquiry into claims that they are gathering unnecessary medical information about customers from GPs — including details about contraception, mental health and relationship problems.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to investigate growing concerns about the number of personal details requested for life insurance applications.
The move follows a Sunday Times investigation, which found that some insurers, including Aviva and Legal & General (L&G), routinely make “subject access requests” under the Data Protection Act to access all records held by GPs, rather than bespoke medical reports highlighting only relevant information.
John Canning of the British Medical Association expressed “grave concern”, saying: “A GP will hold all your medical history, containing details such as contraception use, termination of pregnancies and relationship issues that would have no bearing on an insurance policy.
“Our concern is that the consent obtained by insurers isn’t always understood by the person applying for a policy. Our belief is that this is a misuse of the Data Protection Act.”
How often is it that patients records are “not available” in the different Regional Health Services – which have failed to computerise, an act that would solve the problem? The opposite side of the coin of having too little information is giving away too much…