The Insurance Council of B.C. has suspended an agent’s license for 18 months, after finding that he improperly looked up an industry executive in its database to see what sort of car he drove.

The Council ruled that the general insurance license of Ashish Kulkarni should be suspended for 18 months, from Jan. 28 to July 28, 2015. He was also fined $1,000 and assessed $600 in costs. The penalties came after the council found that the Kulkarni improperly accessed the database of the Insurance Corp. of B.C. (ICBC) and “failed to be forthright” when asked about the improper access.

According to an agreed statement of facts, the 22-year old, who is a university student that works as an agent part-time and in the summer, accessed the ICBC database in order to determine the type of car the ICBC president drives. “The licensee had no interest in the individual personally, he was curious to see what kind of car an ICBC president drove,” it said, noting that there’s no evidence that he disclosed the information. It also says that he initially did not admit to accessing the database, but later acknowledged that he had looked up the personal information of the ICBC president.

The hearing committee found that improperly accessing the ICBC database for personal reasons “represent a significant breach”. Moreover, it found that denying the breach, “raised serious flags about his suitability to hold an insurance licence, such that a licence termination may be warranted.”

Ultimately, it concluded that a significant penalty was required, but that it was not necessary to terminate his licence entirely. “By imposing a significant suspension, it will not only ensure the licensee does not make a similar mistake in the future, but, just as importantly, the industry will appreciate that council does not accept such breaches and that it is going to take a stand against anyone who elects to breach the public’s confidential information,” it concluded.