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Your insurance agency website needs a privacy policy
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Your insurance agency website needs a privacy policy

Do you have a privacy policy on your agency website? If not, do you need a privacy policy?

Yes, if you collect any personally identifiable information via forms. Personal information might be as simple as a name and email or tracking information collected via analytics and used to measure aggregate site performance; it might be as complex and highly sensitive as social security numbers, credit cards, medical data or financial data.

A privacy statement or policy is one that tells your site users how you gather, use, disclose and manage any data you collect from them. But even if your site is nothing more than a static billboard and you don't collect any information via forms, it's still an important document. Today, many site users look for privacy information. People want to know if your site is using "cookies" or code to track them on or off the site. Privacy is a big issue and not getting any smaller.

You might also need a privacy policy if you want an Errors & Omissions insurance policy for your agency. We often hear from agencies that their E&O insurer requires adding a privacy policy on their site. If you haven't heard this from your E&O insurer yet, you likely will. If this is something you haven't addressed, it's a good time to rectify that. Ask your E&O insurer if they have specific privacy policy requirements that should be addressed. They may even have sample policies that they could suggest or point you to. You can also research policies that appear on other sites - they are usually available via a link in the header or footer of a website.

Because there are legal implications to a privacy statement, you may want to enlist your attorney to draw up a policy. Or you may want to research and develop a draft and then run it by your attorney. What you need will depend on the type of data you collect and what you do with it. While there are no federal laws requiring you to post a privacy statement, there may be state-specific requirements or obligations in specific circumstances, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Here are some web privacy policy tools that may help.

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