I read with interest the article on client ownership (News Analysis, 2 November). While I do not always share Andrew Paddick's views, his comment that no one owns a client (whether bellowed or not) is absolutely correct - unless that client wants to be owned, that is.
Surely the most logical, practical (even legal) position must be that information passed by an insured to an intermediary and then an insurer, or direct to an insurer, is confidential and should never end up in the hands of another party, unless the insured expressly - and I would suggest in writing - confirms it should be so.
As everyone knows there are frequently cases where staff move on to other intermediaries/insurers and because of the relationship that the insured has developed with that person, the insured elects to move its business - this echoes Paddick's comment on ownership.
It seems apparent to me that the acid test of any question of ownership should not be the spats between intermediaries or insurers that get played out in the media, but whether or not the insured condones the act of information being passed to other parties and the purposes for which it will be used.
I would suggest in the main most clients would not condone such behaviour.
In simple terms, the client should ultimately decide who should or shouldn't have its information, and if it is mis-handled it should be the client that decides the course of action, not those that serve them.
David Saunders, Insurance consultant