The heir can access the data of the insurance policies stipulated by the deceased

That is what has been established by the Tribunal of Treviso with a ruling of February 27th, 2020, in a case pertaining a heir to whom the insurance company had opposed the impossibility of communicating the names of the beneficiaries of the policies stipulated, while alive, by the deceased person.

In fact, it has to be noticed that the premiums paid during the life of the insured person are to be considered, according with the case law, as donations in favour of the future recipients of the insurance money, and must therefore be counted in the value’s estimation of the deceased’s estate. Therefore, in order to request their collation or take legal action pursuant to articles 553 et seq. of the Italian civil code, the heir needs to know the names of the insurances’ beneficiaries.

According to the Court of Treviso, the heir’s interest is not hindered and indeed it is protected by the current legislation on the processing of personal data, governed by Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 (so called Privacy Code), and by the most recent Legislative Decree no. 101/2018, that modified the former in order to comply with the EU Regulation no. 2016/679, best known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Indeed, art. 6 par. 1 letter f) of the aforementioned EU Regulation states the prevalence of the right of defence with respect to confidentiality of personal data, if the competing interests and fundamental freedoms of the interested subject (the person whose data has to be processed), are not meant to prevail, based on the specific case.

Also, with reference to the so-called sensitive data (particularly protected by the legislator) the EU Regulation admits that the processing may intervene in the absence of the interested person’s consent if the processing is necessary to ascertain, exercise or defend a right in court (article 9 par.2 letter f) GDPR ).

Furthermore, art. 2-terdecies of Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, as modified by the Legislative Decree no. 101/2018, with reference to the processing of the data of deceased persons, in attributing the rights of the deceased to those who have an interest of their own or act to protect the deceased’s interests, expressly provides that even the deceased will to prohibit the exercise of such rights by the heir cannot, in any case, jeopardise the rights deriving to the latter as a successor.

The said regulation – according with the judge – “reaffirms the supremacy of the right of defence over the right to privacy“, and therefore not only the heir must have the right to access the personal data of the beneficiaries of the insurance policies stipulated, while still alive, by the deceased, but also the insurance company can be ordered, by the court, to exhibit those data.

Sara Cancian