Skip to main content

Insurance Industry (Genetic Information)

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are planned to ensure that people identified with hereditary or latent genetic predispositions toward certain conditions are not unfairly discriminated against by insurance companies and other financial service providers. [118165]

The Government is committed to working with the industry, patient groups and other stakeholders to formulate and agree a long term policy on the use of genetic information by insurance companies. The Association of British Insurers' Genetic Testing Code of Practice provides that insurance applicants must not be asked to undergo a genetic test in order to obtain insurance. Under a five year moratorium introduced in October 2001, a person can apply for a total of up to £500,000 of life insurance and £300,000 of certain types of health insurance without having to tell the insurer the results of any predictive tests already taken. If insurance above these amounts is required, insurers may only take into account the results of genetic tests which the Government's Genetics and Insurance Committee has decided are reliable and relevant for that type of insurance. The Committee provides independent scrutiny of compliance with the ABI Code of Practice and the moratorium and can consider unresolved complaints from insurance applicants about the way an insurance company has dealt with their application under the moratorium.