NIB recently offered its customers half price genetics testing resulting in a media discussion about how these tests can affect life insurance premiums. Genetic testing can play a significant role in early detection of hereditary disease or making lifestyle changes necessary to avoid potential diseases.
However, while health insurance is not risk-related in Australia, life insurance is. If you take out life insurance you are obliged to disclose all your medical history including the results of genetic tests. Concealment of medical history can result in your not being covered when you claim. However, full disclosure of genetic tests could result in life insurance premiums being increased if the tests show you are at risk.
The Investment and Financial Services Association’s (IFSA) guidelines on genetic testing say the results might potentially lead to higher premiums, shorter periods of cover, exclusion of certain medical conditions or refusal to cover.
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