Actuaries Institute proposes genetic testing safeguards for sustainable life insurance

Actuaries Institute proposes genetic testing safeguards for sustainable life insurance

Actuaries Institute proposes genetic testing safeguards for sustainable life insurance | Insurance Business Australia

Life & Health

Actuaries Institute proposes genetic testing safeguards for sustainable life insurance

Submission recommends specific financial limits

Life & Health

By
Roxanne Libatique

The Actuaries Institute aligns with the government’s objective of optimising the advantages of genetic testing while ensuring accessibility to affordable life insurance and maintaining the sustainability of the life insurance industry.

In a submission to Treasury consultation on genetic testing and life insurance, the Actuaries Institute emphasised the need for key safeguards in any legislative intervention. These safeguards propose setting financial thresholds, below which applicants are not obligated to disclose predictive genetic test results.

Additionally, the institute calls for the implementation of a periodic review mechanism within policies to adapt to evolving genetic advancements.

“For genetic science to flourish, life insurance regulation must adapt to give consumers confidence that if they take a genetic test they can still access a reasonable amount of life insurance cover,” said Jessica Chen, chair of the Actuaries Institute’s Genetics Working Group. “To maintain a level of fairness across all customers, we advise [the] government to strengthen regulation by legislating a financial limit below which applicants need not disclose genetic test results, and at a level roughly twice that currently determined by industry through self-regulation.”

Financial limitations

The institute recommended specific financial limits, such as:


$1 million for death cover
$1 million for total permanent disability cover
$250,000 for trauma cover
$8,000 per month for disability income Insurance

These figures are aligned with contemporary consumer needs.

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Acknowledging the time required for the effects of legislated intervention to fully materialise, the institute advocates a cautious approach with higher financial limits. Additionally, any potential policy changes should be accompanied by comprehensive education, guidance, and support for consumers, genetic counsellors, and the broader community, the institute said.

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