Hiscox found not guilty in ICO criminal prosecution


Hiscox has been found not guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act in a court case brought against it by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

As first reported by sister title Insurance Age, the ICO brought the case against Hiscox Underwriting on three charges of breaching the Act, which could have resulted in an unlimited fine had the insurer been found guilty.

The case related to three incidents in 2015 when Hiscox had allegedly required a policyholder to supply information on criminal convictions in relation to a £30,000 claim on a Swiss watch.

The ICO formally offered no evidence in the criminal prosecution, due to “serious health issues” leaving a key prosecution witness unable to proceed.

Jeremy Pinchin, group claims director at Hiscox, told Age: “We have been found not guilty of all charges brought by the ICO.

“This case was always about our attempt to verify the validity of a single household insurance claim.

“We co-operated fully with the ICO throughout the investigation and we are very proud of our claims paying history.”

An ICO spokesperson said: “The ICO is naturally disappointed in this outcome, particularly as we felt this case, which concerned a key area of data protection and the rights of individuals, was an appropriate prosecution to bring.

“However, we accept that the health and personal welfare of the individual concerned must come first.”

The ICO is not seeking a retrial.

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