Security & Privacy

Columbus Direct Privacy Policy

Columbus Direct (the trading name of Columbus Travel Insurance Services Limited) takes our customers’ desire for privacy seriously and is committed to complying with the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (the ‘UK Act’), which implements the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC.

This privacy policy explains how we make sure that the personal information we may collect about you is used and kept safe and secure. We may update or amend this Policy from time to time, to reflect changes in our privacy practices, or changes to applicable law and regulations. You should therefore check this Policy each time you use our website, or call our telephone sales line, to make sure you’re aware of any changes made since your last visit.

Who we are

Columbus Travel Insurance Services Limited is part of the Collinson Group of companies, who also own PTI Insurance Company Limited.

Columbus Travel Insurance Services Limited (“we” or “us”) is responsible for safeguarding the security of personal information collected by you, as controller of that data for the purposes of the Act.

You can contact us by any of the following means:

Address: 19 Bartlett Street, Croydon, CR2 6TB, United Kingdom.

Telephone: 0845 888 8893

Email: customerservices@columbusdirect.com

Why we collect information / what information is collected

We ask you to provide relevant personal information about yourself so that we may provide you with an insurance quotation and then manage that policy if you have agreed to purchase it. Some of the personal information we ask you to provide may be sensitive personal information such as medical conditions or criminal convictions. We will not use the sensitive personal information which you provide except for the specific purpose for which you provide it.

Other information we may collect and store about you includes:

  • Financial information (e.g., credit card account information)
  • Unique identifier information (e.g., customer number or password)
  • Transaction information (e.g., dates on which customers made purchases, amounts and types of purchases)
  • Communications that the consumer/visitor has directed to our site (e.g., e-mails, customer inquiries)

If the policy you are interested in is intended to cover people other than yourself (such as members of your family), then we will ask you to provide the same information for those people. It is important that, in those circumstances, those people have consented to you disclosing information about them to us, and that they’re happy for us to use that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. We may ask you to confirm that or for them to confirm it to us directly where practicable.

For our mutual protection and training purposes, any telephone calls will be recorded and may be monitored.

Where we obtain information from

Most of the personal information about you which may be in our possession will have been provided by you (or by someone obtaining insurance cover on your behalf), either via this website, via our telephone sales line, or by completing a policy application form offline.

We may also collect your email address, where you have communicated with us via email or where you have provided this information, such as in a survey. If you do not want to receive information from us via email, please let us know by emailing customerservices@columbusdirect.com.

How we store and protect your information

All personal information collected by us is stored on secure servers located in the United Kingdom. Non-sensitive personal information collected on the website including the web chat log is held on secure servers in the United States. While there are always risks associated with providing personal information, whether in person, or by phone, via the internet or otherwise, we take appropriate technical and organisational information security measures to prevent and minimise such risks.

Such measures include, where appropriate, the use of firewalls, secure server facilities, encryption, implementing proper access rights management systems and processes, careful selection of service partners and other technically and commercially reasonable measures to provide appropriate protection for your personal information against unauthorised use or disclosure.

With regards to information transferred or received via our website, we always use industry standard encryption technologies. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site.

How we use cookies

We use cookies to store visitors’ preferences and record past activity at a site in order to provide better service when visitors return to our site.

A cookie is a small file that can be placed on your computer’s hard disk or on a website server. Such cookies do not retrieve information about you stored on your hard drive and do not corrupt or damage your computer or computer files. You are not obliged to accept a cookie that we send to you, and you can in fact modify your browser so that it will not accept cookies. For more information about cookies including how to set your internet browser to reject cookies please go to www.allaboutcookies.org

We make use of the Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting, which allows us to aggregate Visitors' data from Google's Interest-based advertising or 3rd-party audience data (such as age, gender and interests) within Google Analytics.

The data is collected anonymously and it is analysed with the sole purpose of gaining insights in the Visitors' interests and demographic characteristics.

How we use your information and who we share it with

Personal information which you provide will be used to manage your insurance policy, including underwriting and claims handling.

The insurance policies we sell are underwritten by PTI Insurance Company Limited. The Scheduled Airline Failure cover is underwritten by Lloyd’s syndicates, as detailed in our policy summary. In the event of you making a claim under a policy, the underwriters or any other company they have appointed to handle their claims, will require access to personal data we have collected concerning you. In those cases, the underwriters may become data controller of your personal data for the purposes of the Act, and will handle your data in accordance with their own privacy policy.

Personal information about you may also be accessed by other members of the Collinson Group of companies, who provide us with policy administration and management support. Some of those companies are located outside the European Economic Area, and therefore personal information we have collected about you – including medical information - may be made available to those companies in countries where the UK Act (or equivalent privacy legislation) does not apply. In those circumstances, we have put in place strict contractual terms to make sure that your personal information remains safe and secure, and that those companies handle that information in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the UK Act.

If you supply us with your postal address, email address or telephone numbers you may receive periodic contact from us and other companies within The Collinson Group via telephone, email, post or mobile text messaging, with information on selected products, services, free offers, discounts and relevant news. You can choose not to receive these communications by contacting us by any of the means shown above. Please provide us with your exact name and address and we will ensure your name is removed from our mailing list.

If you choose to add the TravelConcierge benefit to your travel insurance policy, your name and email address will be passed on to TravelConcierge, part of the Collinson Group. This information will be used to provide you with details of the service as well as manage your account. 

How you can request access to personal information about you

The UK Data Protection Act gives you the right to access information held about you. If you would like to obtain a copy of the personal information we hold, or to correct or delete any such information from our databases, you can contact us at: customerservices@columbusdirect.com.

We are permitted by the UK Act to charge a small fee (usually £10) for this access, and reserve the right to do so.

We take your privacy seriously, and welcome any questions or comments regarding this Policy, or our approach to privacy generally. Please address any such queries to the email or postal address shown above.