Privacy policy

Last updated February 2020

Privacy notice

We are committed to protecting your privacy when dealing with your personal information. This privacy notice provides details about the information we collect about you, how we use it and how we protect it. It also provides information about your rights. The information we process, and the reasons why we process it, may be different across our products and services. For example, the information we process to provide insurance services may be different to the information we process to provide dental or care-home services. We explain any differences in this privacy notice.

If you have any questions about how we process your information, please contact us at dataprotection@bupa.com.

We (British United Provident Association Limited or Bupa) are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, registration number Z6831692. Bupa is made up of a number of trading companies (see Legal Notices), many of which also have their own data-protection registrations.

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Privacy notice

  • In this privacy notice, ‘we’, 'us’ and ‘our’ mean Bupa. Find out more about our company contact details.

    Depending on which of our products and services you ask us about, buy or use, different companies within our organisation will process your information. You can find out more about the companies that handle your information, including which company makes decisions about how your information is handled based on the products and services you access or use.

  • This privacy notice applies to anyone who interacts with us about our products and services (‘you’, ‘your’), in any way (for example, by email, through our website, by phone, through our app). We will give you further privacy information if necessary for specific contact methods or in relation to specific products or services. For example, if you use our apps we may give you privacy notices which apply just to a particular type of information which we collect through that app.

    If you have any questions about this, please contact us at dataprotection@bupa.com.

  • We collect personal information from you and from third parties (anyone acting on your behalf, for example, brokers, health-care providers and so on). Please see below for more information..

    Where you provide us with information about other people, you must make sure that they have seen a copy of this privacy notice and are comfortable with you giving us their information.

    We collect personal information from you:

    • through your contact with us, including by phone (we may record or monitor phone calls to make sure we are keeping to legal rules, codes of practice and internal policies, and for quality assurance purposes), by email, through our websites, through our apps, by post, by filling in application or other forms, by entering competitions, through social media or face-to-face (for example, in medical consultations, diagnosis and treatment).

    We also collect information from other people and organisations.

    For all our customers, we may collect information from:

    • your parent or guardian, if you are under 18 years old;
    • a family member, or someone else acting on your behalf;
    • doctors, other clinicians and health-care professionals, hospitals, clinics and other health-care providers;  
    • any service providers who work with us in relation to your product or service, if we don’t provide it to you direct, such as providing you with apps, medical treatment, dental treatment or health assessments;
    • organisations who carry out customer-satisfaction surveys or market research on our behalf, or who provide us with statistics and other information (for example, about your interests, purchases and type of household) to help us to improve our products and services;
    • fraud-detection and credit-reference agencies; and
    • sources which are available to the public, such as the edited electoral register or social media.

    If we provide you with insurance products and services, we may collect information from:

    • the main member, if you are a dependant under a family insurance policy;
    • your employer, if you are covered by an insurance policy your employer has taken out;
    • brokers and other agents (this may be your broker if you have one, or your employer's broker if they have one); and
    • other third parties we work with, such as agents working on our behalf, other insurers and reinsurers, actuaries, auditors, solicitors, translators and interpreters, tax advisers, debt-collection agencies, credit-reference agencies, fraud-detection agencies (including health-insurance counter-fraud groups), regulators, data-protection supervisory authorities, health-care professionals, other health-care providers and medical-assistance providers.

    If we provide you with health-care, dental or care-home services, we may collect information from:

    • your employer, if you are covered by a contract for services your employer has taken out or if we are providing occupational health services;
    • brokers and other agents (this may be your broker if you have one, or your employer's broker if they have one); and   
    • those paying for the products or services we provide to you, including other insurers, public-sector commissioners and embassies.
  • For all our services, we process the following categories of personal information about you and (where this applies) your dependants:

    • standard personal information (for example, information we use to contact you, identify you or manage our relationship with you);
    • special categories of information (for example, health information, information about your race, ethnic origin and religion that allows us to tailor your care); and
    • information about criminal convictions and offences (we may get this information when carrying out anti-fraud or anti-money-laundering checks, or other background screening checks to prevent crime).

    For more information about these categories of information, see below.

    Standard personal information includes:

    • contact information, such as your name, username, address, email address and phone numbers;
    • the country you live in, your age, your date of birth and national identifiers (such as your National Insurance number or passport number);
    • information about your employment;
    • details of any contact we have had with you, such as any complaints or incidents;
    • financial details, such as details about your payments and your bank details;
    • the results of any credit or any anti-fraud checks we have made on you;
    • information about how you use our products and services, such as insurance claims; and
    • information about how you use our website, apps or other technology, including IP addresses or other device information please see our Cookies Policy for more details.

    Special category information includes:

    • information about your physical or mental health, including genetic information or biometric information (we may get this information from application forms you have filled in, from notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you have received or need, or it may be recorded in details of contact we have had with you such as information about complaints or incidents, and referrals from your existing insurance provider, quotes and records of medical services you have received);
    • information about your race, ethnic origin and religion (we may get this information from your medical or care-home preferences to allow us to provide care that is tailored to your needs).
  • We process your personal information for the purposes set out in this privacy notice. We have also set out some legal reasons why we may process your personal information (these depend on what category of personal information we are processing). We normally process standard personal information if this is necessary to provide the services set out in a contract, it is in our or a third party’s legitimate interests or it is required or allowed by any law that applies. Please see below for more information about this and the reasons why we may need to process special category information.

    By law, we must have a lawful reason for processing your personal information. We process standard personal information about you if this is:

    • necessary to provide the services set out in a contract  that is, to provide you and your dependants with our products and services);
    • in our or a third party’s legitimate interests details of these legitimate interests are set out in more detail in the ‘Legitimate interest’ section below; or
    • required or allowed by law.

    We process special category information about you because:

    • it is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, to assess whether you are able to work, medical diagnosis, to provide health or social care or treatment, or to manage health-care or social-care systems (including to monitor whether we are meeting expectations relating to our clinical and non-clinical performance);
    • it is necessary for an insurance purpose (for example, advising on, arranging, providing or managing an insurance contract, dealing with a claim made under an insurance contract, or relating to rights and responsibilities arising in connection with an insurance contract or law);
    • it is necessary to establish, make or defend legal claims (for example, claims against us for insurance);
    • it is necessary for the purposes of preventing or detecting an unlawful act in circumstances where we must carry out checks without your permission so as not to affect the outcome of those checks (for example, anti-fraud and anti-money-laundering checks or to check other unlawful behaviour, or carry out investigations with other insurers and third parties for the purpose of detecting fraud);
    • it is necessary for a purpose designed to protect the public against dishonesty, malpractice or other seriously improper behaviour (for example, investigations in response to a safeguarding concern, a member's complaint or a regulator (such as the Care Quality Commission or the General Medical Council) telling us about an issue);
    • it is in the public interest, in line with any laws that apply;
    • it is information that you have made public; or
    • we have your permission. As is best practice, we will only ask you for permission to process your personal information if there is no other legal reason to process it. If we need to ask for your permission, we will make it clear that this is what we are asking for, and ask you to confirm your choice to give us that permission. If we cannot provide a product or service without your permission (for example, we can’t manage and run a health trust without health information), we will make this clear when we ask for your permission. If you later withdraw your permission, we will no longer be able to provide you with a product or service that relies on having your permission.

    We may process information about your criminal convictions and offences (if any) as a result of anti-fraud and anti-money-laundering checks or to check other unlawful behaviour, or carry out investigations with other insurers and third parties for the purpose of detecting fraud. We do this if it is necessary to prevent or detect a crime. 

  • We process your personal information for a number of legitimate interests, including managing all aspects of our relationship with you, for marketing, to help us improve our services and products, and in order to exercise our rights or handle claims. More detailed information about our legitimate interests is set out below.

    Taking into account your interests, rights and freedoms, legitimate interests which allow us to process your personal information include:

    • to manage our relationship with you, our business and third parties who provide products or services for us (for example, to check that you have received a service that you’re covered for, to validate invoices and so on);
    • to provide health-care services on behalf of a third party (for example, your employer);
    • to make sure that claims are handled efficiently and to investigate complaints (for example, we may ask your treatment provider for information to make sure we receive accurate information and to monitor the quality of your treatment and care);
    • to keep our records up to date and to provide you with marketing as allowed by law;
    • to develop and carry out marketing activities and to show you information that is of interest to you, based on our understanding of your preferences (we combine information you give us with information we receive about you from third parties to help us understand you better);
    • for statistical research and analysis so that we can monitor and improve products, services, websites and apps, or develop new ones;
    • to contact you about market research we are carrying out;
    • to monitor how well we are meeting our clinical and non-clinical performance expectations in the case of health-care providers;
    • to enforce or apply our website terms of use, our policy terms and conditions or other contracts, or to protect our (or our customers’ or other people’s) rights, property or safety;
    • to exercise our rights, to defend ourselves from claims and to keep to laws and regulations that apply to us and the third parties we work with; and
    • to take part in, or be the subject of, any sale, purchase, merger or takeover of all or part of the Bupa business.
  • We may use your personal information to send you marketing by post, by phone, through social media, by email and by text. We can only use your personal information to send you marketing material if we have your permission or a legitimate interest as described above. If you don’t want to receive emails from us, you can click on the ‘unsubscribe’ link that appears in all emails we send. If you don’t want to receive texts from us you can tell us by contacting us at any time. Otherwise, you can always contact us to update your contact preferences. You have the right to object to direct marketing and profiling (the automated processing of your information to help us evaluate certain things about you, for example, your personal preferences and your interests) relating to direct marketing. Please see the section about your rights for more details.

  • Like many businesses, we sometimes use automation to provide you with a quicker, better, more consistent and fair service, and marketing information we think will be of interest to you (including discounts on our products and services). This will involve evaluating information about you and, in some cases, using technology to provide you with automatic responses or decisions (automated decisions). You can click below for more information about this.

    You have the right to object to direct marketing and profiling relating to direct marketing. You may also have the right to object to other types of profiling and automated decision-making set out below. In these cases, you have the right to ask us to make sure that one of our advisers reviews an automated decision, to let us know how you feel about it and to ask us to reconsider the decision. You can contact us to exercise these rights.

    By law, we must tell you about:

    • automated decision-making (making a decision using technology, without any person being involved); and
    • profiling (automated processing of your information to help us evaluate certain things about you, for example, your personal preferences and your interests).

    This is because you have certain rights relating to both automated decision-making and profiling. You have the right to object to profiling relating to direct marketing. If you do this, we will no longer carry out profiling for direct marketing purposes. You also have the right to object to profiling in other circumstances set out below.

    When we make decisions using only automated processing which produce legal effects which concern you or which have a significant effect on you, we will let you know. You then have 21 days to ask us to reconsider our decision or to make a new decision that is not based only on automated processing. If we receive a request from you, within 21 days of receiving your request, we will:

    • consider the request, including any information you have provided that is relevant to it;
    • meet your request; and
    • let you know in writing what we have done to meet your request, and the outcome.

    You can contact us to ask about these rights. For more information on all your rights, please read the ‘Your rights’ section below.

    Profiling and automated decision-making

    The processes set out below, which only apply to our insurance products and services, involve both profiling and automated decision-making. 

    • Depending on the type of insurance product that you want to benefit from, to help us decide what level of cover we can offer you, we will ask you to provide information about your medical history. We may use software to review this information to find out whether you have any previous or existing health conditions which we cannot cover you for and which will be excluded from your policy.
    • We may use software to help us calculate the price of products and services based on what we know about you and other customers. For example, our technology may analyse information about your claims history and compare it with the information we hold about previous claims to evaluate how likely you are to need to make a claim. We may also evaluate your age, where you live and other details relating to your health (such as existing health conditions and whether you smoke) to calculate prices for community-rated products which are based on predefined groups with similar risk profiles.

    Profiling

    For all our services, the processes set out below involve profiling.

    • In order to improve outcomes and be more efficient, and allow us to offer advice about different treatment paths (for example, alternatives to surgery or other invasive treatments), we may use software to evaluate medical history and information about the general population in an area to identify customers who are likely to need that advice most.
    • When your policy is due for renewal, our software tells us this and may also evaluate your payment and claims history, other information you have given us about yourself, and other information we have received from third parties, to automatically provide you with a renewal quote and to decide what incentives we can offer you and the marketing messages you will receive.
    • We ask other organisations to carry out some of our consumer and market analysis to improve our marketing processes. This involves sharing personal information relating to our customers with third parties who specialise in profiling and segmenting people (putting people into groups of different types of customer, based on different kinds of information collected about them, to help us to better target our products to them). These companies match the information we give them with information they get from other sources to improve the accuracy of their analysis. We use the results of this analysis to help us target marketing and offers.
    • We may use information about the products you have bought, and information about what other customers who have bought the same products you have bought, to make sure we send you information about the products you are most likely to be interested in.
    • We may share your personal information (including your name, date of birth, sex and the country you live in) with third-party companies who carry out fraud checks. We will review any matches from this process. (We will not use automated decision-making for this.)
  • We share your information within the Bupa group of companies, with relevant policyholders (including your employer if you are covered under a group scheme), with funders arranging services on your behalf, with people acting on your behalf (for example, brokers and other agents) and with others who help us provide services to you (for example, health-care providers and medical-assistance providers) or who we need information from to allow us to handle or confirm claims or entitlements (for example, professional associations). We also share your information in line with the law. For more information about who we share your information with and why, please see below.

    We sometimes need to share your information with other people or organisations for the purposes set out in this privacy notice. The exact information we share depends on the reason we are sharing it. For example, if we need to share information in order to provide health care, we will share special categories of information, such as medical details, with the treatment provider.

    For all our customers, we share your information with:

    • other members of the Bupa group of companies in order to provide our products and services to you;
    • other organisations you belong to, or are professionally associated with, in order to confirm your entitlement to claim discounts on our products and services;
    • doctors, clinicians and other health-care professionals, hospitals, clinics and other health-care providers so that they can provide treatment;
    • suppliers who help deliver products or services on our behalf;
    • people or organisations we have to, or are allowed to, share your personal information with by law (for example, for fraud-prevention or safeguarding purposes, including with the Care Quality Commission);
    • the police and other law-enforcement agencies to help them perform their duties, or with others if we have to do this by law or under a court order;
    • if we (or any member of the Bupa group) sell or buy any business or assets, the potential buyer or seller of that business or those assets; and
    • a third party who takes over any or all of the Bupa group of companies' assets (in which case personal information we hold about our customers or visitors to the website may be one of the assets the third party takes over).

    If we provide insurance or manage a health-care trust, we share your information with:

    • the policyholder or their agent if you are not the main member under an individual policy (we will send them all membership documents and confirmation of how we have dealt with a claim, and all people who are insured on the policy may have access to correspondence and other information we provide through our online portal);
    • your employer (or a their broker or agent) for product or service administration purposes if you are a member or beneficiary under your employer’s group scheme;
    • your broker or agent (or both);
    • other third parties we work with to provide our products and services, such as agents working on our behalf, other insurers and reinsurers, actuaries, auditors, solicitors, translators and interpreters, tax advisers, debt-collection agencies, credit-reference agencies, fraud-detection agencies (including health-insurance counter-fraud groups), regulators, data-protection supervisory authorities, health-care professionals, health-care providers and medical-assistance providers; and
    • organisations who provide your treatment and other benefits, including travel-assistance services.

    If we provide health-care, dental and care-home services, we share your information with:

    • your employer, if your employer is paying for the services we are providing;
    • our insurance partners, for example, brokers, reinsurers, actuaries, auditors, solicitors, translators and interpreters, tax advisers, debt-collection agencies, credit-reference agencies, fraud-detection agencies, regulators, data-protection supervisory authorities;
    • those paying for the products or services we provide to you, including insurers, public-sector commissioners and embassies;
    • those providing your treatment and other benefits;
    • current or former Bupa consultants involved in legal proceedings (for example, those relating to negligence or malpractice);
    • national registries such as the Cancer Registry;
    • national screening databases, such as the NHS Cervical Screening recall system;
    • government authorities and agencies, including the Health Protection Agency (for infectious diseases such as TB and meningitis).

    If we share your personal information, we will make sure appropriate protection is in place to protect your personal information in line with data-protection laws.

  • We support ethically approved clinical research. We may use anonymised information (with all names and other identifying information removed) or information that is combined with other people’s information, or reveal it to others, for research or statistical purposes. You cannot be identified from this information and we will only share the information in line with legal agreements which set out an agreed, limited purpose and prevent the information being used for commercial gain.

  • We deal with many international organisations and use global information systems. As a result, we transfer your personal information to countries outside the EEA (the EU member states plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) for the purposes set out in this privacy notice. Not all countries outside the EEA have data-protection laws that are similar to those in the EEA and if so, the European Commission may not consider those countries as providing an adequate level of data protection.

    We take steps to make sure that, when we transfer your personal information to another country, appropriate protection is in place, in line with data-protection laws. Often, this protection is set out under a contract with the organisation who receives that information. For more information about this protection, please contact us at dataprotection@bupa.com.

  • We keep your personal information in line with set periods calculated using the following criteria.

    • How long you have been a customer with us, the types of products or services you have with us, and when you will stop being our customer.
    • How long it is reasonable to keep records to show we have met the obligations we have to you and by law.
    • Any time limits for making a claim.
    • Any periods for keeping information which are set by law or recommended by regulators, professional bodies or associations.
    • Any relevant proceedings that apply.

    If you would like more information about how long we will keep your information for, please contact us at dataprotection@bupa.com.

  • You have the right to access your information and to ask us to correct any mistakes and delete and restrict the use of your information. You also have the right to object to us using your information, to ask us to transfer of information you have provided, to withdraw permission you have given us to use your information and to ask us not to use automated decision-making which will affect you. For more information see below.

    You have the following rights (certain exceptions apply).

    • Right of access: You have the right to make a written request for details of your personal information and a copy of that personal information.
    • Right to rectification: You have the right to have inaccurate information about you corrected or removed.
    • Right to erasure ('right to be forgotten'): You have the right to have certain personal information about you deleted from our records.
    • Right to restriction of processing: You have the right to ask us to use your personal information for restricted purposes only.
    • Right to object: you have the right to object to us processing (including profiling) your personal information in cases where our processing is based on a task carried out in the public interest or where we have let you know it is necessary to process your information for our or a third party’s legitimate interests. You can object to us using your information for direct marketing and profiling purposes in relation to direct marketing.
    • Right to data portability: You have the right to ask us to transfer the personal information you have given us to you or to someone else in a format that can be read by computer.
    • Right to withdraw consent: You have the right to withdraw any permission you have given us to handle your personal information. If you withdraw your permission, this will not affect the lawfulness of how we used your personal information before you withdrew permission, and we will let you know if we will no longer be able to provide you with your chosen product or service.
    • Right in relation to automated decisions: you have the right not to have a decision which produces legal effects which concern you or which have a significant effect on you based only on automated processing, unless this is necessary for entering into a contract with you, it is authorised by law or you have given your permission for this. We will let you know if we make automated decisions, our legal reasons for doing this and the rights you have.

    Please note: Other than your right to object to us using your information for direct marketing (and profiling for the purposes of direct marketing), your rights are not absolute. This means they do not always apply in all cases, and we will let you know in our correspondence with you how we will be able to meet your request relating to your rights.

    If you make a request, we will ask you to confirm your identity if we need to, and to provide information that helps us to understand your request better. We have 21 days to respond to requests relating to automated decisions. For all other requests we have one month from receiving your request to tell you what action we have taken.

    If we do not meet your request, we will explain why. In order to exercise your rights, please contact dataprotection@bupa.com.

  • If you have any questions, comments, complaints or suggestions relating to this notice, or any other concerns about the way in which we process information about you, please contact our Privacy Team at dataprotection@bupa.com. You can also use this address to contact our Data Protection Officer.

    You also have a right to make a complaint to your local privacy supervisory authority. Our main establishment is in the UK, where the local supervisory authority is the Information Commissioner.

    Information Commissioner's Office

    Wycliffe House

    Water Lane

    Wilmslow

    Cheshire, United Kingdom

    SK9 5AF

    Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)

    You can also make a complaint with another supervisory authority which is based in the country or territory where:

    • you live;
    • you work; or
    • the matter you are complaining about took place.
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