We’ve signed up to operate within the ABI Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance. This is an agreement between the Association of British Insurers and the Department of Health on the use of predictive genetic test results.
When does my client have to tell you about a genetic test result?
- Diagnostic genetic tests: If your client is already showing signs or symptoms of a genetic condition and the test is taken to confirm whether they have it. They need to tell us about the signs and symptoms as well as the tests and investigations undertaken for the underlying disease.
- Predictive genetic tests: This is where a genetic test looks at your client’s DNA to predict their future risk of developing a medical condition. Your client does not need to tell us about these tests unless they’ve had a predictive test for Huntington’s Disease and they are applying for life cover that means the total amount of life cover exceeds £500,000.
- Research tests: Your client doesn’t have to tell us about genetic testing that is undertaken as part of their direct participation in a research project.
Completing application forms
Your client must answer all the questions on the application form honestly and in full, including:
- Existing medical conditions
- Their family history, including any screening that’s been arranged due to family history
- Any non-genetic tests and investigations
- Any other screening or investigations
Favourable test results
We won’t require, or put pressure on anyone to undertake a predictive or diagnostic genetic test in order to get insurance. If your client has had a test and this has shown a ‘favourable’ outcome, they can choose whether to tell us about this. We’ll discuss this information with our Chief Medical Officer to review whether we can amend any adverse decision due to your client’s family history. This might allow us to reduce or remove a loading, or to remove an exclusion.
The Genetics Alliance UK is a charity that supports patients and their families that are affected by genetic conditions. Further information explaining how genetic information is treated in insurance is available on the Genetics Alliance UK website.