This policy explains how we obtain, use and disseminate your personal information, within the limitations and subject to the requirements set by the Protection of Personal Information Act (“POPI” or ‘the Act’).

Western is committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring that your personal information is collected and used properly, lawfully and transparently.

Key principles

The purpose of this policy is to explain how we deal with your personal information within the parameters set by POPI.  From the outset, it is important to know that you are entitled to all rights which you may have in terms of the Act, and for more information on what these rights involve, we refer you directly to the Act.  Furthermore, the Regulator may from time to time issue Codes of Conduct for various industries.  Western will adhere to those Codes of Conduct which apply to it.  For this reason and as set out in more detail below, this policy is subject to the Act and any applicable Codes of Conduct issued by the regulator from time to time.

However, the key principles of this policy are:

  1. We value the trust that you place in us by giving us your personal information. We will always use your personal information in a way that is fair and worthy of that trust.                         
  2. You are entitled to clarity on how we use your personal information. We shall always be transparent with you about what information we collect, what we do with it, with whom we share it and whom you should contact if you wish to know more or have any concerns.                                                                                                                                           
  3. We will work with you to promptly resolve any query or concern which you may have on how we use your information.                                                                                               
  4. We will take all reasonable steps to protect your information from misuse and keep it secure.                                                                                                                         
  5. We will comply with all applicable data protection laws and regulations and we will co-operate with data protection authorities. In the absence of data protection legislation, we will act in accordance with generally accepted principles governing data protection. 

Who we are

In this policy, “Western”, “Western Group” or “we” refers to one or more of the companies in Western Group Holdings that operate in South Africa and Namibia.

The information we collect

We collect and process your personal information mainly to provide you with access to our products and services, to help us improve our offerings to you and for certain other purposes explained below.

The type of information we collect will depend on the purpose for which it is collected and used. We will only collect information that we need in order to provide you with the product which you have selected and services flowing therefrom at the standard which you are entitled to expect.

We collect information directly from you where you provide us with your personal details, for example when you take out an insurance product with us or when you submit enquiries or claims to us or contact us. Where possible, we will inform you what information you are required to provide and what information you may choose to provide, or not.

We also collect information about you from other sources as explained below.

Website usage information is collected using “cookies” which allows us to collect standard internet visitor usage information.

How we use your information

We will use your personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected or agreed with you, for example:

  • To provide our products or services to you, to carry out the transaction you requested and to maintain our relationship with you;
  • For underwriting purposes;
  • To assess and process claims;
  • To conduct credit reference searches or verification;
  • To confirm and verify your identity or to verify that you are an authorised user for security purposes;
  • For operational purposes, and where applicable, credit scoring and assessment and credit management;
  • For purposes of claim checks;
  • For the detection and prevention of fraud, crime, money laundering or other malpractice;
  • For debt tracing or debt recovery;
  • To conduct market or customer satisfaction research or for statistical analysis;
  • For audit and record keeping purposes;
  • For liaising with third-party-service-providers to offer those services to you which may be necessary in terms of the policy we have with you;
  • In connection with legal proceedings.

We will also use your personal information to comply with legal and regulatory requirements or industry codes to which we subscribe or which apply to us, or when it is otherwise allowed by law (for example to protect Western’s interests).

The processing of your personal information will at all times be done lawfully and not in a manner that infringes on your privacy.

Disclosure of information

We may disclose your personal information to our service providers who are involved in the delivery of products or services to you, in terms of the policy. We have agreements in place with them to ensure that they comply with these privacy terms.

We may share your personal information with, and obtain information about you from:

  • Third parties for the purposes listed above, for example credit reference and fraud prevention agencies, law enforcement agencies;
  • Other insurers to prevent fraudulent claims;
  • Other third parties from whom you have chosen to receive marketing information.

We may also disclose your information:

  • Where we have a duty or a right to disclose in terms of law or industry codes;
  • Where we believe it is necessary to protect our rights.

Information Security

We are legally obliged to provide adequate protection for the personal information we hold and to stop unauthorised access and use of personal information. We will, on an ongoing basis, continue to review our security controls and related processes to ensure that your personal information is secure.

Our security policies and procedures include, amongst others:

  • Physical security;
  • Computer and network security;
  • Access to personal information;
  • Secure communications;
  • Security in contracting out activities or functions;
  • Retention and disposal of information;
  • Acceptable usage of personal information;
  • Governance and regulatory issues;
  • Monitoring access and usage of private information;
  • Investigating and reacting to security incidents.

When we contract with third parties, we impose appropriate security, privacy and confidentiality obligations on them to ensure that personal information that we remain responsible for, is kept secure.

We may need to transfer your personal information to another country for processing or storage. We will ensure that anyone to whom we pass your personal information agrees to treat your information with the same level of protection as we are obliged to.

Your Rights: Access to information

You have the right to request a copy of the personal information which we have on record for you. To do this, simply contact us and specify what information you would like. We will take all reasonable steps to confirm your identity before providing details of your personal information.

Please note that any such access request may be subject to a payment of a legally allowable fee.

Correction of your information

You have the right to ask us to update, correct or delete your personal information. You may do this by contacting us at the numbers/addresses provided on our website, subject to the requirements to which we must comply in terms of the law.

We will take all reasonable steps to confirm your identity before making changes to the personal information we may hold about you.

We would appreciate it if you would keep your personal information accurate. In the event that there are changes to your personal information such as, but not limited to, a change in contact detail and or a residential address, please contact us in order that we may update your records.

Comments

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about how we handle your personal information, then you may contact us.

You have the right to tell us if you:

  • don't want to be contacted in the future by us
  • would like a copy of the personal information which we hold about you
  • would like us to correct, update, or delete your personal information in our records
  • wish to report any misuse of your personal information

To assist us in dealing with your request, please provide your full name and details.

Changes to the policy

This document might change as required from time to time.  Please check this website periodically to inform yourself of any changes.

How to contact us

If you have questions about this policy or believe we have not adhered to it, or need further information about our privacy practices or wish to give or withdraw consent, exercise preferences or access or correct your personal information, please contact us at +27(0)861 937 7628 or popi[at]westnat.com.