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Privacy Policy

The pages on this website are only directed at those based in the United Kingdom. We have provided this Privacy Policy to help you understand how we collect and use your personal information when you visit (our website).  Please also read our website terms and conditions of use, which also applies to your use of our website. 

If you give us information about another person, in doing so you confirm that they have given you permission to provide it to us to be able to process their personal data and also that you have told them who we are and how we will use their data, as set out in this Privacy Policy, or that you have referred them to this Privacy Policy. 

Click on the links above for further information about the VDS website and services that may help you.

Who we are
Wherever the term “The Veterinary Defence Society Limited”, “VDS” or “we” is used within this privacy policy, this refers to the trading company incorporated in England and Wales as The Veterinary Defence Society Limited, whose registered office is 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Industrial Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8XZ under Company No 2159441.

The Veterinary Defence Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules.

The Veterinary Defence Society Limited has notified the Information Commissioner of its data processing activities (registered under No Z6856064).

What information we collect and how

  1. Any personal details that you type in and submit via our website such as your name, address, e-mail address and other personal details. We may also collect sensitive personal data including information about disciplinary proceedings, convictions, or alleged criminal activity. The information that we collect via this website may include:
  2. Technical information, including your IP address (this is your computer's individual identification number for internet connection) that is automatically logged by our web server, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform; information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our website (including date and time); products you viewed or searched for; page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page and any phone number used to call our customer service number.
  3. Your preferences and use of e-mail updates and other marketing communications that are recorded by e-mails or other correspondence we send to you (only if you have consented to receiving e-mail updates).
  4. Information we receive from other sources. We may receive information about you if you use any other websites we operate or other services we provide. For example Veterinary Risk Management Training.  We are also working closely with third parties (including, for example, business partners, sub-contractors in technical, payment and delivery services, advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, credit reference agencies) and may receive information about you from them.

Your rights
In the case of personal data, with limited exceptions, and on payment of the appropriate fee of £10, you have the right to access a copy.  You also have the right to ask us to rectify, destroy, block or erase information held about you, prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress and stop processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes.

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website.  This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our website.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive.

We use the following cookies:

  • Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website.  They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website or make use of e-billing services.
  • Analytical/performance cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it.  This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
  • Functionality cookies. These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
  • Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and any advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests.  We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, over which we have no control.  These cookies are likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies.  Please note that if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our website.

What we do with your information
We will only use your information in accordance with data protection legislation applicable from time to time, and for legitimate business purposes, including those necessary for the provision of insurance cover, administering your policy and updating you about your policy, providing and developing our products and services, improving our customer care, preventing fraud and crime, research and analysis, legal and regulatory reasons (for example, to comply with laws but also defend our legal rights), for statistical purposes, to resolve complaints and handle requests for data or rectification, blocking, erasure and destruction and to manage our business operations (including compliance with internal policies and procedures).  To give you more detail about this usage:

Information you give to us. We will use this information:

  • to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and us and to provide you with the information, products and services that you request from us;
  • to notify you about changes to our service;
  • to ensure that content from our website is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer.

Information we collect about you. We will use this information:

  • to administer our website and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
  • to improve our website to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer;
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
  • as part of our efforts to keep our website safe and secure;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of any advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you;
  • to make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our website about products or services that may interest you or them.

Information we receive from other sources. We may combine this information with information you give to us and information we collect about you.  We may use this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).

How we will share your information
We may share your information with selected third parties including:

  • Business partners, suppliers and sub-contractors for the performance of any contract we enter into with you.
  • Reinsurers, professional advisers, intermediaries, agents and legal and regulatory bodies.
  • External third party suppliers such as accountants, actuaries, experts, document and records management providers, claim investigators and outsourced service providers for the purposes of assisting us to provide and administer insurance products and handle claims.
  • Governmental or other public authorities (including, but not limited to, courts and law enforcement authorities), third-parties who are part of civil processes involving you and their advisors, for the purposes of handling claims and responding to third party requests in so far as this is necessary and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other data protection legislation applicable from time to time.
  • Advertisers and advertising networks that require the data to select and serve relevant adverts to you and others.  We do not disclose information about identifiable individuals to our advertisers, but we may provide them with aggregate information about our users (for example, we may inform them that 500 men aged under 30 have clicked on their advertisement on any given day).  We may also use such aggregate information to help advertisers reach the kind of audience they want to target.  We may make use of the personal data we have collected from you to enable us to comply with our advertisers' wishes by displaying their advertisement to that target audience.
  • Analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our website, such as Google’s Analytics tool.
  • Credit reference agencies/professional bodies for the purpose of assessing your credit score where this is a condition of us entering into a contract with you. 

We may disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.
  • If the VDS or substantially all of its assets is acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by it about its customers will be one of the transferred assets.
  • If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of VDS, our customers or others.  This may include exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Your information may also be disclosed to regulatory bodies for the purposes of monitoring and/or enforcing VDS’ or any insurer's compliance with any regulatory rules/codes.

What we will not do with your information
We will not release, pass on, or sell any data to any other organisations for commercial purposes.

Retention of and changes to your personal data
The VDS will ensure that the personal data it processes for the above purposes is accurate and up-to-date.  The VDS will retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfill the above purposes, or as otherwise permitted under the Data Protection Act 1998.

If the personal data that the VDS processes for the above purposes becomes inaccurate or outdated, you must inform us as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Information storage and security
The VDS may pass share information with third parties (including reinsurers, legal advisers or agents) for these and other lawful purposes in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. This may involve the transfer of personal data to one or more countries outside the European Economic Area, where those countries or territories have adequate safeguards for personal data in place.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure and security of your data cannot be guaranteed.  Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted to our website; any transmission is at your own risk.  Once we have received your information, we will take appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, your personal data. 

If you have reason to believe that your personal data is no longer secure with us or if you become aware of a breach with respect to your personal data, please immediately notify us at The Veterinary Defence Society Limited of 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 8XZ.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our website, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential.  We ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Third party sites
This privacy policy only covers our website.  Any other websites that may be linked to or by our website will be subject to their own policies which may differ from ours. You should carefully read the privacy policies of any third party websites before submitting any personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Policy
This Privacy Policy may be reviewed to reflect changes in the law or our business practices.  You will be notified of any changes.

By using our website, submitting your details on it, renewing or taking out an insurance policy by using the services of the VDS, you consent to the VDS collecting and processing your personal data in the ways outlined above.

Further information and queries
For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 the data controller is The Veterinary Defence Society Limited of 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 8XZ.

If you have any queries in relation to the way in which the VDS processes your personal data, please write to us at the above address.