Privacy FAQ

Q: Does "opting out" of information sharing mean that I won't get junk mail anymore?
Q: If my insurance company didn't sell my information to marketers, why do I get junk mail?
Q: How can I get off the junk mail list?
Q: Your notice says you can "share information as permitted by law." What does that mean?
Q: What kind of sharing occurs in order to process my transactions with you?
Q: Your notice says that I cannot prevent you from sharing my name, address, and transaction experience with your affiliates. What do you do with that information?
Q: Exactly what measures do you take to safeguard my information?
Q: What kind of sharing do you do with Consumer Reporting Agencies?
Q: I've heard a lot about identity theft. What can I do to protect myself?

 

Q: Does "opting out" of information sharing mean that I won't get junk mail anymore?
A: No. We don't sell information to third party marketers and don't intend to in the future. Your name could have gotten on mailing lists based on information you shared with others entities including retailers from whom you have purchased products and services.
 
Q: If my insurance company didn't sell my information to marketers, why do I get junk mail?
A: There are a number of ways. Filling in the preference questions on a warranty card, purchasing items by catalog and subscribing to magazines are some of the ways. Public records, such as real property records, are another way.
 
Q: How can I get off the junk mail list?
A:

Direct Marketers Association has a service that puts you on a "no contact" list. If you would like to reduce your junk mail and telephone solicitations, write to the following:

For advertising received by mail:

For advertising received by telephone:
Mail Preference Service
C/o Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Telephone Preference Service
C/o Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014

Be sure to provide complete information about each name, address and telephone number you would like excluded from these lists. If you have moved recently, remember to include your old address and phone number. If your name has changed, remember to include your old name and the addresses and phone number associated with it as well.

 
Q: Your notice says you can "share information as permitted by law." What does that mean?
A: A number of statutes--federal and state-either authorize or require sharing of your information among affiliates or third parties. These scenarios include:
  • In order to carry out transactions you authorized (e.g. processing your premiums)
  • In response to a subpoena or administrative request (provided that it complies with the Right to Financial Privacy Act or other applicable law)
  • Communicating with consumer reporting agencies (in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act)
  • As part of an audit
  • In order to sell or merge with another institution
 
Q: What kind of sharing occurs in order to process my transactions with you?
A: Different third parties may participate in processing an insurance claim such as a claims adjuster or assisting in underwriting your application like an inspection service.
 
Q: Your notice says that I cannot prevent you from sharing my name, address, and transaction experience with your affiliates. What do you do with that information?
A: First, if your name or address (e.g. through marriage) changes, we process the change for all affiliates. If you apply for coverage with our company we share your application and consumer reports with our affiliates to better serve you. Sharing application information can save you time-and money.
 
Q: Exactly what measures do you take to safeguard my information?
A: You are our greatest asset and your confidence in us is of paramount importance! Only employees who need to know have access to your information and then, only for the purpose of handling your account. Our personnel policies emphasize the importance of confidentiality. We use firewalls, passwords and other technology to protect information in our computer systems.
 
Q: What kind of sharing do you do with Consumer Reporting Agencies?
A: We share information in two ways. First, we use information from consumer reports to make underwriting decisions. Second, we report information about customers to these agencies. Under Fair Credit Reporting Act, when you apply for insurance we have the right to obtain information from a consumer reporting agency. If we make an adverse decision based on that information we must notify you. We are also required to do our best to submit correct information about our customers to consumer reporting agencies. You have the right to correct any wrong information.
 
Q: I've heard a lot about identity theft. What can I do to protect myself?
A:
  • Don't carry a Social Security Card, passport or birth certificate in your wallet. Keep them in a safe place at home. Don't give your credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you initiate the call and know to whom you are speaking.
  • Don't give Social Security or credit card numbers or other personal information (like bank account numbers) over the Internet unless you are dealing with a site you know and trust and your browser indicates that you have a secure connection.
  • Keep documents with personal information safe, including credit and debit card receipts. Shred them when you dispose of them. Before revealing personal info, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared with others.
  • Get off mailing lists. Remove your name from marketing lists of the three major credit bureaus by calling 1-888-5OPT-OUT.
  • Reduce the number of credit cards you carry. Keep an emergency phone list of credit card companies to contact in case your credit cards are stolen.
  • Order credit reports and check for fraudulent activity by logging on to www.experian.com, www.transunion.com or www.equifax.com. or call Experian at 1-888-EXPERIAN, TransUnion at 1-800-888-4213 or Equifax at 1-800-997-2493. The usual cost is about $8.

If you are a victim of identity theft, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT or write:

Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington DC 20580

For more information, also log on to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/.

 


Products offered by Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association.

Germania Insurance
PO Box 645
Brenham,TX 77834-0645
Phone (979) 836 - 5224
Toll-free (800) 392 - 2202
Fax (979) 836 - 1977
gins@germaniainsurance.com

Please email suggestions and comments regarding the website to webmaster@germaniainsurance.com