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Insurers tackle genetic testing

Australia’s Financial Services Council is enacting a moratorium on life insurance genetic test results as a binding standard – and its counterpart in New Zealand says it’s an issue that’s on the agenda here, too.

Thursday, May 9th 2019, 6:00AM

The Australian standard will apply to all 22 life insurer members of the FSC, covering every individually assessed life insurance policy that could be issued in that country.

It means clients can get up to A$500,000 of life cover without having to disclose a genetic test result.

Consumers will not be required to take a genetic test when applying for insurance and won't have to disclose test taken as part of research if they do not receive the results.

Life insurance companies will only be able to use relevant genetic tests if consumers apply for more than A$500,000 of life or total and permanent disability cover, A$200,000 of trauma cover or A$4000 a month of income protection cover, in line with Switzerland and Germany.

Customers can disclose a favourable result, should they wish to.

The limits will be reviewed.

New Zealand Financial Services Council chief executive Richard Klipin said his organisation had established a life insurance committee focused on specific issues in insurance.

Genetic testing and the effects of that in New Zealand was an issue that would be discussed.

"It's not a big issue right now, right here but that's not to say it's not going to be."

Tags: FSC Life insurance

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