How we use your information
- Visitors to our website
- Customers who use our services, e.g. make an enquiry, request a quote, seek advice and get a recommendation and/or buy insurance through us
Essential Insurance is owned and operated by Essential Finance Group (UK) Limited, who is the data holder, or controller, of any personal information provided to Essential Insurance.If you’ve any questions about how we use your personal information you can contact us.
Visitors to our website
When someone visits essentialinsurance.co.uk we use third-party site analytic tools provided by companies such as Google, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns that are collected through ‘cookies ’. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the site and its various pages, browsing habits, where you visited before you reached our website and the frequency that people return to the site. We also use other third-party advertiser pixels, which are common across most digital advertising platforms. These advertising tools consist of cookies that are placed onto our website to track visitors and these cookies are used to deliver advertising relevant to you. They also limit the number of times that you see an advert and help us measure the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns.This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone at an individual level. We do not make, and do not allow Google or any online advertisers to make, any attempt to analyse this data at a personal level. The information we gather from cookies will be stored and used for statistical purposes to help us make informed decisions about how to improve our online advertising and website content or functioning for returning and future visitors.
Customers who use our services
Why we collect your personal information >>
We use your information in several different ways, for different reasons — what we do with it, depends on the type of information that you provide to us and the reason why we need to ask for it. If you provide personal information about someone else, for example when a joint application is made, you must do so with the permission of the other person. If you enter into a policy jointly with another person your personal information and any information about the service provided to you may be shared with the other person. The personal information about the other person will be used in the ways as described in this privacy notice. You don’t have to give us any of your personal information, but if we are collecting your data to provide our services to you and it’s necessary to enter into a contract, we will be unable to provide our services if you choose not to provide your information.
- If you visit a third-party associate's website and make an enquiry or ask for a quote and you give your name, date of birth and telephone and/or email contact details, the third-party will explain that an FCA authorised broker will contact you – and they’ll introduce you to us by passing on your details to us. We’ll use your name, contact details and date of birth to contact you, help you with your enquiry and start the process of getting you a quote. It’s the same if you call us directly or fill in a form on our website, we are using these details at your request, to contact you as a first step prior to the possibility of entering into a contract with you.
- To provide you with a quote, and a recommendation we’ll ask you a few questions about your personal and financial circumstances. We’ve got to do this to give you what you have asked for and before we enter into a contract with you. We are also obligated to meet high standards that are expected of us as a broker that provides an advised service and one who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). To provide our services, we must ask you questions to take into consideration your individual needs before we can provide a recommendation to you.
- To complete an application for insurance, it is necessary to ask a few more questions about you, or your business if you are applying for business protection and your property if you want home insurance. We will pass your answers securely to an insurance provider to put arrangements in place and to fulfil our contract with you. If you are applying for life insurance, critical illness cover or income/business protection, some of the questions we ask relate to your physical or mental health, for example existing medical conditions, family or personal history in relation to some conditions. We ask for this information for insurance purposes and we need the information to arrange underwriting, so the provider can administer your policy and deal with claims. We request this personal information that’s related to risk factors in our own and the insurance providers legitimate interests, to maintain standard industry practice and allow the availability of insurance at a fair and reasonable cost through risk-based pricing. This essentially makes it fairer for everyone.
- If you purchase a policy, we’ll take payment information from you, but don’t worry, we do not keep this information. We need these details, so we can complete your contract and finalise your policy arrangements and we pass the information securely to your policy provider to process the sale.
- To perform our contractual duties and give you great customer service and support we’ll use your contact details to send you (by letter, email, telephone or any other appropriate means) routine service messages and provide you with any information you need, or we’re required to give you, in relation to any policies you enquire about/and or purchase.
- We think that if you express an interest in or use our services once and we serve you well, you might want to use our services again in the future and you might reasonably expect to hear about similar products and services that we offer. For this reason and in our own legitimate interest to promote our products and services and maintain a long-term relationship with you, we’ll ask when we speak to you in person for the first time, if you would mind us using your name, email address or phone number to keep you up to date about our range of similar products and services. If you would prefer us not to contact you for this reason, you can tell us at any time and we won’t bother you with marketing messages in the future. Or you can unsubscribe using the link within any messages you receive.
- All telephone calls, to and from our business are recorded. The only part of our conversation that is not recorded is credit or debit card details, we do not record or keep cardholder data to prevent payment card data loss. Calls are recorded because as an FCA authorised broker, we are legally obligated, and it’s in our own and the insurance providers legitimate interests, to keep an accurate record of our business transactions and so that they can be used for quality audits and risk assessment or evaluation and investigation; to ensure that we are acting in your best interests, providing correct advice, you are being treated fairly and that insurance providers and the regulator (FCA) know that products are being sold appropriately and that rules and/or codes of conduct are being followed. Call recordings are necessary for insurance purposes to help resolve matters in the event of queries, complaints or claim disputes and to help assist with the prevention, investigation of and detection of fraud, dishonesty or other unlawful acts – protecting the interests of the public and honest customers.
- If, during the course of progressing your enquiry, it becomes apparent that a related, or partner company that we have entered into a commercial agreement with, may be better placed to deliver services to you, in our legitimate interests to promote the products of our sister company, Essential Financial Solutions Limited, or those of specialist funeral planning partners, we will make an introduction and pass on your name, date of birth and contact details to them. We think you might reasonably expect us to do this in our further interests and desire to provide you with a good service, but we won’t make the introduction if you don’t want us to.
- As part of our ongoing service and commitment to our customers, we periodically offer a review service and if, during the course of progressing your review, it becomes apparent that an associated company that specialises in retirement income planning, mortgages or pensions may be well placed to deliver services to you, in our legitimate interests to provide you with the best possible ongoing customer service and to promote the services of partner companies that we have entered into a commercial agreement with, we will make an introduction and pass on any relevant personal information to the appropriate third party. We think you might reasonably expect us to do this in our interests to further our business and desire to provide you with a good service - but we won't make the introduction if you don't want us to.
- To prevent and detect fraud and protect you against unauthorised or unlawful access to your personal data we will use your personal information to verify your identity and in other instances where we have a legal or regulatory obligation to do so, for example, to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations and our data protection commitments.
- If you, a regulator or another authority makes a complaint about us, we will use your personal information to investigate, assess and resolve the complaint. It is in our own and the insurance providers interests to handle complaints competently and we are contractually and legally obligated to deal with customer complaints appropriately.
- We strive to put our customers first and at the heart of everything we do, so as you might reasonably expect, finding out whether you are satisfied with the level of service we provide, and whether we’re achieving the right outcomes for our customers is very important to us. That’s why we use your contact details, provided to us during the process of providing our services to you, to gather feedback from you post purchase. We use a third-party independent specialist to collect reviews from our customers in our own legitimate interests and so we have quality management information and reports that provide comprehensive and balanced insight to help us identify problems and get the information we need to help us to improve our services.
- Your personal information is also further used for statistical analysis purposes. For example, we will report back to a third-party ‘introducer’ to whether you took out a policy or not if your original enquiry came through a third party. Or we will share management reports and forecasting internally and with policy providers for whom we are acting as an intermediary. We do this to help develop our business, assess our performance and plan for the future.
Sharing your information >>
We do not, and will not, sell any of your personal data to any third party. We believe that this is essential to maintaining our relationship with you. However, we do pass your personal information securely to the following categories of companies, as an essential part of being able to provide our services to you:
- Insurance companies, intermediaries and re-insurers – we are an intermediary and we can help you make arrangements, but your policy will be put in place with a leading policy provider.
- Quote and policy comparison software providers – to provide you with a quotation and in some circumstances to make comparisons of plans based on their statistical likelihood of matching your needs or meeting a claim, we use a third-party software to obtain real-time pricing and comparative quotes from a range of leading UK insurance providers or to provide detailed knowledge about historical and current critical illness policies.
- Quality assurance auditors – companies who provide professional services to make sure we are complying with the rules of our regulator, the FCA, and independently provide assessment of our competence.
- Data validation and communication providers – companies who validate contact details and manage our phone systems and the distribution of post, email and text messages who need access to your personal information to provide elements of our service.
- IT service providers – we use developers who provide technology platforms, systems or other IT services that may have access to your personal information. However, we have strict access controls in place and only those contractors that need access to your data to provide their services will be authorised.
- Related and associated companies – if your enquiry comes to us via a third-party ‘introducer’ or a related company, or if your enquiry leads us to make an introduction to a related company or specialist company that we have partnered with, there will be an exchange of your personal information and subsequent reports to whether you do, or do not, take out a particular product or policy, for administrative, management forecasting and planning and statistical purposes.
- Regulators and authorities – upon their request and as we may be required to do so either by law or during investigation of a complaint.
- Law enforcement and fraud prevention agencies – we will share your data when we are required to do so under a legal or regulatory obligation or court order, so we can help tackle fraud.
- Feedback and review specialists – we will share your contact details with Feefo, so they can independently gather feedback from you about our services.
If the company receiving your personal information is processing the data to provide elements of our service for us, such as data validation, quote and policy comparison software providers, quality assurance auditors or Feefo the independent feedback platform, we have a contract in place with them to ensure that they cannot do anything with your personal information, unless we instruct them to. They will not share your personal information with any other organisation without our authorisation, they will hold it securely and they must comply with their data protection obligations.
We do not routinely transfer your personal information outside the European Economic Area (EEA). However, a product or service may be administered from a country outside Europe. When this is the case, we put a contract in place to ensure that your information is adequately protected, secure and any transfer of personal information outside of the EEA will comply with local data protection regulation.
Keeping your information >>
We’ll hold on to your information for as long as is needed to be able to provide our services to you, and for at least as long as your policy is in force. Your personal information will also be held for as long as is necessary or required for insurance purposes and to comply with legal or regulatory requirements, resolve disputes, prevent fraud, dishonesty and abuse, or to handle complaints. For these reasons we’ll keep your information for accurate records and evidence that may be required to help resolve the problem, provide risk-related reporting and quality of service analysis.
We may even keep your information for a reasonable period of time after your policy or your relationship with us has ended. However, we do periodically review data that we hold to decide whether it is still necessary to keep your information, if your policy is no longer in place, has been cancelled, has expired or your information is no longer needed for us to provide the services to you.
In the absence of specific legal, regulatory or contractual requirements but it’s necessary to keep your information for administrative, management forecasting and planning and statistical purposes, we will limit what we keep where possible to minimise risk and safeguard personal information.
Your rights >>
You have a lot of rights relating to your personal information:
- The right to be informed about how we use your personal information (that’s why we have produced this notice)
- The right to ask for confirmation of and access to the personal information we hold about you
- The right to ask us to amend your information if it is inaccurate or incomplete
- The right to stop marketing emails or calls from us, which you can do by contacting us at any time
- The right to request that we delete your information, or stop using it in some circumstances
- The right to complain to the data protection regulator in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office
By using our site, you agree to us placing these sorts of cookies on your device and accessing them when you visit the site in the future. If you want to delete any cookies that are already on your computer, the “help” section in your browser should provide instructions on how to delete specific cookies and change your cookie settings. Further information about cookies can be found at http://www.allaboutcookies.org. Please note that by deleting or disabling future cookies, your website experience may be affected, and you might not be able to take advantage of certain functions of our site.
There are two main types of cookies that we use – here’s what they do and why we use them.
(1) First party cookies – these are the very basic Google Analytics cookies that we set on our site automatically to help us measure how users interact with our website content. The ones we use on this site have names such as _ga, _gid, and _gat and they are used to distinguish users. We also use a cookie called PHPSESSID, that helps to maintain user session variables and a cookie banner cookie, that recognises if you have visited our site before and so will not serve you information that you don’t need to see again. Each of these cookies perform a function and allow us to measure and analyse how people use our site and so we can improve functionality and your experience.
(2) Third party cookies – these are set by third parties and can be used for providing tools or content on our site (such as incoming data validation tools or customer reviews that are published by Feefo), tracking or by marketing companies (e.g. advertising networks). Third party cookies originate from a domain that’s different to the website being visited. This means that companies with a different domain name also place cookies on our website, to assist with our content marketing and advertising and show you adverts that may be of interest to you. For example, when you visit our website, we may link to another company's website such as Facebook. These cookies allow us to deliver messages or advertising relevant to you when you browse the internet. They also help us limit the number of times that you see an advert from us and help us measure the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns.
How to contact us
We always have our customers best interests at heart and we want to hear from you, especially if:
- You have any requests or queries in relation to your personal information
- You want to exercise any of your rights
- You have a complaint
You can contact our Data Protection Officer by emailing
Or if you’d like to, you can write to us at:
Essential Finance Group (UK) Limited
Data Protection Officer
Third Floor Marshall House
Cheshire M33 6HE
We keep our privacy notice under regular review. Any future updates to this privacy notice will be found on this page.
EI PN V3 15/02/2019