POPIA: how Sanlam is protecting your personal information

POPIA: how Sanlam is protecting your personal information

Sanlam is committed to protecting your personal information in a way that is fair, lawful and secure. Read on to find out how we are doing this in compliance with the POPI Act.

Why the POPI Act matters

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), No 4 of 2013 is important because it protects individuals like you (also referred to as data subjects) by not allowing any harm to come to you through the mishandling or misuse of your personal information. The Act commenced on 1 July 2020, and the deadline for organisations to comply is 1 July 2021.

Every person is affected by POPIA, as it strengthens every citizen’s right to privacy, afforded by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It sets out some conditions for responsible parties to lawfully process the personal information of individuals.

In line with global best practice and Sanlam Group principles, Sanlam respects clients’ constitutional rights to information privacy, and is committed to protecting the personal information of our clients, employees and business partners in a manner that is fair, lawful and secure. As a reputable financial services institution, Sanlam is committed to a culture of compliance with the law.

Why does Sanlam require your personal information?

The Act is important because personal information is crucial for doing business and must be managed securely and responsibly. As the underwriter of group policies, Sanlam Corporate: Group Risk (a division of Sanlam Life Insurance, referred to as Sanlam in this article) is the trusted custodian of the personal information of many policyholders.

In addition to the Policyholder Protection Rules (PPRs) that require an insurer to collect and store monthly member data, Sanlam requires personal member information for the purpose of:

  • Underwriting a scheme
  • Administering and processing insurance claims
  • Paying client claims accurately and effectively
  • Implementing digital initiatives focused on improving your experience as a client

POPIA regulates the flow of information in a secure and responsible manner balanced with other rights and constitutional values. As a policyholder, your employer or fund can therefore assure you that your personal information is collected for legitimate insurance and underwriting purposes.

What are the implications if I don’t provide personal information?

The aim of PPRs is to enhance protection for you as a customer by requiring insurers to play a more informative and engaging role with their clients and members. PPRs require members like you to receive clear information about their insurance before, during and after entering into a policy. The provision of this information to members can be done by Sanlam, or if it is not reasonably practicable for Sanlam to communicate directly with the members of a group scheme, it can be facilitated through the policyholder (your employer or fund).

Sanlam is required to provide evidence to the regulator that all reasonable steps have been taken to communicate material insurance matters with members using their contact details. Without this information, not only is Sanlam’s ability to pay claims compromised, but members are at risk of not understanding their insured benefits (for example, their rights, benefits and duties as they are affected by the policy). The provision of your data as a member is therefore in your best interest.

What measures are Sanlam taking to protect your personal information?

Although certain sections of POPIA are effective as of 1 July 2020, Sanlam has already been applying these principles.

All personal information collected and stored by Sanlam is securely managed in accordance with strict information- and data-governance frameworks. Sharing of client contact details with any part of Sanlam or any call centres (for example, as lead generation for new product sales) would conflict with the requirements of the data-governance frameworks, and therefore are not practised in Sanlam.

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