Aussie Life Insurers Support Ban on Industry Use of Genetic Test Results


The Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) is supporting a ban on genetic test results in insurance underwriting “…to help empower Australians to better manage their health”.

CALI CEO Christine Cupitt says in a statement that with genetic testing becoming more prevalent in the community “…now is the time for Federal Government regulation to ensure that no Australian is deterred from taking a genetic test to proactively manage their health”.

She says CALI’s 19 members recognise that genetic testing can play an important role in giving people peace of mind and empowering them to reduce potential health risks (see: Genetic Test Consultation Launched).

“It has never been the intention of the life insurance industry to deter people from taking genetic tests that give them more information about their overall health.”

Christine Cupitt.

She says that Australia’s life insurers “…have never, and would never, require someone to take a genetic test for the purposes of underwriting”.

As outlined in CALI’s submission to the Treasury inquiry on this issue, the life insurance industry supports strict regulation on the use of genetic test results in underwriting “…with limited Government approved exclusions to guarantee fairness for all insured Australians.”

“We want to deliver the protection and certainty millions of Australians need … Declining to offer cover is rare and only ever a last resort.”

CALI says that when a person does disclose a genetic test to a life insurer “…it typically works in their favour by indicating a reduced risk of a certain genetic condition. In more than 80% of cases there is no impact on the final underwriting decision and in 14% of cases there is a positive impact.”

Click here to read the full CALI submission to Treasury.