Over a year ago, something which was my co-op’s responsibility malfunctioned, causing damage in my apartment.  Things dragged and I notified my insurance company (Insurance Company One) of my intent to file a claim.  I received a claim number, but never actually filed a claim, because the co-op (finally) repaired the damage (at its expense).

Fast forward a year.  I am shopping for homeowner’s insurance.  Insurance Company Two reports that it will not write me a policy because it is aware that I received a claim number a year ago. 

Let’s not focus on the fact that I did not actually file a claim, and that even if I had properly exercised that contractual right, there is no logical relation between the co-op’s behavior and my status as an insurance risk.

Instead, I wonder about the privacy issue.  Company One disclosed (without my actual knowledge or consent) information about my claim to Company Two (and an unknown number of other insurance companies), with the result that Company Two refused to do business with me.  Bear in mind that no action disclosing the existence of the event, such as the filing of a lawsuit, had been necessary.

I’m not going to pursue this because my damages are de minimis and speculative (I found another insurance company to write me a policy).  However, the thought that Company Two refuses to deal with me without even getting to know me, wounds me deeply.  If you know the law on this, consider clicking on the envelope to the left and dropping me a line.