Who we are
We are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information and to handling your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the “Privacy Act”) and the Australian Privacy Principles.
Personal information is information or an opinion (regardless of its accuracy or form) about an individual, or from which the identity of a person is reasonably identifiable. The personal information collected and stored by us about you (and other people) may include your name, residential and email address, date of birth, gender, health information, details of claims, complaints, incidents and proceedings regarding you or others covered on your policy, credit card and direct debit details, your claims and insurance history and status, practice details, education details and contact details. When you apply for or we need to facilitate a specific product or service, we may also collect information from you related to that product or service.
You are not required to give us your personal information. However, we may not be able to provide you with the products or services that you request of us without your personal information.
Collection of personal information from you
We collect your personal information from you in various ways, such as over the phone, in person at one of our offices, via email and over the internet if you transact with us online. We collect your personal information when you apply for products or services we offer, become a member or renew your membership, report an incident, complete questionnaires, have telephone conversations with us or otherwise transact with us.
Collection of personal information of patients and other people
Where necessary, we may also collect your personal information from someone else, such as:
• if you are a patient, your health practitioner;
• if you are covered under one of our policies as a dependent, the policyholder; or
• if you are named under one of our joint policies (e.g. a family policy) one of your joint policyholders.
If you are a policyholder and there are other persons covered on your policy, then unless we are notified otherwise, we may disclose the personal information of all persons covered on the policy to you. Likewise, we may disclose your personal information to your joint policyholders and to any other person who you have authorised to have access to your policy.
Collection of sensitive information
If you apply for membership, for certain insurance products, for services such as medico-legal advice or risk advice, or make a claim under a policy, we may need to collect sensitive information about you. In administering policies and providing services to you, we may also need to collect sensitive information about your patients if you are a health practitioner, or the other persons covered on your policy if you hold a policy with us. Depending on the policy or service, this sensitive information may include details about income, health and medical issues, and criminal history.
Collection of your personal information from third parties
Whenever possible, we collect your personal information from you. However, there may be occasions when we collect personal information about you from someone else. For example, you may apply for a product or service through a broker, corporate group, association or financial adviser.
We may also obtain information about you from other insurers if, for example, we need to obtain details of prior claims, and our related entities. We may also obtain information about you from medical providers, government bodies or other professional experts in order to provide you with a policy or assess or facilitate a claim you make.
We will only use your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles, including with respect to the purposes for which it is collected, to provide, administer and improve our products and services, and for marketing purposes. For example, if you apply for membership or insurance with us, we may collect and use your personal information to:
• assess your application
• underwrite and price any policy
• issue and administer any policy
• provide assistance, legal advice and legal defence
• provide risk management and education services
• provide medico-legal and ethical advice
• investigate, assess and pay any claim made by or against you under your policy,
• contact you as necessary on issues relating to your insurance or our services,
• processing your survey responses for the purpose(s) notified in the survey, and
• any other purpose identified at the time of collecting your information.
We also need to collect, use and store your personal information so that we can answer any questions you may have regarding our products or services.
Sharing and disclosure of your information
In providing and administering our insurance and other member services, we may need to disclose your personal information to third parties including our distributors, agents and brokers, other insurers and reinsurers, solicitors, professional advisers, actuaries, government regulatory bodies, tribunals, courts of law, hospitals, doctors and other ancillary providers, debt collection agents and those involved in managing corporate risk or strategies. We may also disclose personal information to our related entities (this excludes sensitive information, except where it is in de-identified form, unless you have consented to disclosure to related entities).
We may disclose information about you to outside contractors in connection with carrying out activities on our behalf, for example such contractors may include a mailing house, marketing agencies, technology or other service providers, solicitors or debt collection agencies. We impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are required not to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities we have asked them to perform. We may disclose your personal information in an emergency, investigation of suspected criminal activity or where we are otherwise authorised or required by law.
We may occasionally need to transfer or disclose your personal information to a foreign country, including the United Kingdom and the United States of America to administer a claim or incident relating to your policy, provide you with products and services or manage our relationship with you. You acknowledge that disclosure to third party service providers located overseas maybe required, and should this be necessary we will use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the recipient will not hold, use or disclose that information in a manner which is inconsistent with the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles.
We may also from time to time provide de-identified statistical data to third parties for research purposes.
Receiving marketing material from us
It is our aim to provide you with a range of leading products and services offered by us and our related entities. To do this, we use the information that you provide to us for market research purposes so we can better understand your needs. We then provide you with information, marketing materials, and related publications by phone, text message, postal mail or email about products and services that we believe will be of interest to you, as well as access to offers and competitions. In particular, we may contact you about products and services we think may be of interest to you after you cease to hold an insurance policy with us. For example, we might contact you about renewing your old policy or taking out a new policy.
We may share your personal information on a confidential basis with our related entities so that they can also offer you products and services. Direct marketing will not contain any of your sensitive personal information. We provide you with a choice to opt out of our marketing activities, and will respect your request not to receive marketing material from us. If you do not wish to receive marketing material from us, we ask you to contact us and our related bodies corporate at any time or by following the opt out instructions provided in the marketing communication. You should inform us if you do not want your personal information to be used and disclosed for marketing purposes. We will implement your request as soon as we can, and apologise if you do receive any materials during the intervening period.
We endeavour to keep personal information safe by taking all reasonable precautions to protect personal information from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Our staff receive training and information on the Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act.
We keep your information so that we can continue to provide the products and services you have requested from us.
Accessing, updating, complaints and questions about personal information
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the information we hold about you is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
For access to personal information we hold about you, if you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, or if you have a complaint or question about the privacy of your personal information, we ask that you contact us:
The Privacy Officer
Avant Mutual Group Limited
PO Box 746
Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
1800 128 268
We will, wherever possible, allow you access to the information we hold about you and correct that information if it is wrong.
We do not charge a fee to give you access to your personal information. However, we reserve the right to do so depending on the nature and extent or your request. If we decline a request for access, or refuse to update information, we will provide you with written notice of the reasons together with an outline of the procedure that you can follow to have this decision reviewed. No costs will be associated with this request.
Upon receipt of a complaint we will consider the complaint and attempt to resolve it in accordance with our complaints handling procedures. We will endeavour to promptly respond to your questions, concerns or complaints. We will also endeavour to resolve any concerns or complaints which you may have to your satisfaction within 45 days, unless an extension is required.
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint or the outcome you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner. The Australian Information Commissioner will make a determination in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.