Insurance Reference Services Limited (IRS) collects Australian motor and home insurance claims data from insurance company members to assist these insurers with understanding policy holder claims history, for the purpose of supporting claims management, claims investigation, loss assessment, fraud detection and risk underwriting. This data is held in the IRS Database, an externally hosted insurance data bureau.
IRS approves access to IRS Database for its members pursuant to the IRS Membership Deed. Data collected by IRS from members is made available to members, and is generally collected on the basis that it can be used for “insurance related purposes”. Users must operate within the terms of the IRS Membership Deed and for an Authorised Purpose.
The Authorised Purposes may constitute the following activities:
- assessment and prevention of insurance fraud where the intent in using the IRS Database is to provide added information to confirm the accuracy of information provided by applicants;
- management of insurance claims where the intent in using the IRS Database is to analyse claims and the management of claim payments;
- assessment of risk where the intent in using the IRS Database is to provide complete information to enable insurers to assess material and moral risk;
- assessment of risk to support underwriting where the intent in using the IRS Database is to provide added information to confirm the accuracy of information provided by applicants;
- benchmarking analysis to show how the Member is performing against industry norms (not against named IRS Members as competitors);
- identity verification;
- collecting, processing and assessing Confidential Information for the purpose of administering, processing, assessing, underwriting and investigating insurance policy applications and claims;
- a purpose that is related to paragraphs 1 to 7 above for which the individual or the individuals to whom the Confidential Information relates would reasonably expect the Confidential Information to be disclosed;
- using or disclosing Confidential Information, where an IRS Member reasonably believes that the use or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary for one or more enforcement related activities conducted by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body, subject to complying with clause 3.1(d) of the IRS Membership Deed;
- using or disclosing Confidential Information where required under any Law, subject to complying with clauses 3.1(c) or 3.1(d) of the IRS Membership Deed;
- assisting IRS, the police or any other Law enforcement agency, with detection, investigation and/or prosecution of individuals or entities engaged in unlawful activities in relation to insurance claims lodged with an IRS Member, subject to complying with clause 3.1(d) of the IRS Membership Deed; or
- submitting information to the Service Provider for purposes of completing a data analysis to identify patterns or common claims data between IRS Members and to provide a report or reports to the IRS Members as to the outcome of those assessments.