The Consumer Federation of California (CFC), a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, has awarded Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. an A- for its privacy policy, the highest grade assigned to any property and casualty insurer doing business in California.Novato, Calif.-based Fireman's Fund, a provider of homeowner's insurance in the state and commercial insurance to middle market businesses, was among only eight companies to receive an A- or better. Following a survey of 55 financial institutions, the CFC gave two thirds of the companies low or failing grades, including many major property and casualty companies.

Using the privacy provisions of Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) as a baseline, the survey examined the controls voluntarily afforded to consumers regarding sharing of non-public personal information. Institutions were then graded according the level of control consumers have over their own financial information. Factors contributing to a higher grade were:

  • Not sharing consumer information with affiliated businesses and non-affiliated third parties.
  • If such sharing occurs, voluntarily providing consumers with the means to limit that sharing.

"This study is independent validation of Fireman's Fund's commitment to protect the privacy of our customers, our agents and our employees," said Bill Paukovitz, chief privacy & security officer, Fireman's Fund. "Fireman's Fund does not share personal information with non-affiliated companies for marketing purposes. We believe that privacy is an inherent consumer right. We respect those rights and will do whatever we can to protect our customers from identity theft, from the sharing and selling of protected data, and from deceptive marketing practices."
Four of the eight high-scoring companies were insurers. A total of 12 insurance companies were surveyed and received grades ranging from A- to F. To read the full report of the 2004 Financial Privacy Report Card, please visit: www.consumerfedofca.org/edufund.html.

Source: Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

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