Belfast Telegraph

Insurance firm Zurich fined £2.2m over gaffe

By Nicky Burridge

Zurich Insurance has been fined a record £2.28m for losing personal details on 46,000 policyholders.

The Financial Services Authority said the fine, which has been levied on the UK branch of the company, was the highest it had yet imposed for data security failings.

The loss occurred in August 2008, when the South African branch of the firm lost an unencrypted back-up tape during a routine transfer to a data storage centre, but Zurich UK did not learn about the gaffe until 2009.

The disc contained personal information on general insurance customers, including details of their identity and in some cases bank account and credit card information. It also had details about the assets people had insured, and the security arrangements they had in place.

The FSA said the error could have led to serious financial detriment for customers, as well as exposing them to the risk of being burgled.