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No, that test you did on Ancestry.com won’t affect your life insurance premiums

Posted: 23 April 2018 8:30 am
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What counts as genetic testing for insurance purposes?

Insurance and genetic testing is a hot topic right now but there is some confusion about what results you are obligated to share with your insurer. This is why we reached out to TAL general manager of health services Dr Sally Phillips to find out what info your insurer is interested in and which data you can keep to yourself.

Dr Phillips said that according to the Association of British Insurers, genetic tests generally fall into two categories: predictive and diagnostic genetic tests.

There are a couple of reasons you might want a predictive test:

  • Inherited disease. While you may not have any signs or symptoms of a disease, you might be curious about your chances of developing a condition later in life.
  • Genotyping. You're interested in finding out whether you have any genetic mutations that could turn problematic in the future, even though you don't have any signs or symptoms of a condition now.

Diagnostic tests, on the other hand, are generally performed when you display signs or symptoms of a particular genetic condition.

If you have either of these tests and you're looking at buying life insurance, you'll need to share this information with your insurer as the results will affect your risk profile.

But what about mapping your ancestry?

While you have to disclose the results of predictive or diagnostic tests to your life insurer, Dr Phillips says that life insurers aren't interested in the results from ancestral history on services like Ancestry.com.

"Ancestry.com is a type of service that offers forms of genetic analysis associated with autosomal DNA, designed to tell people more about their lineage and ethnicity. While this type of testing is interesting for the individual and may indicate a broader risk of certain disorders known to be carried by a particular population group, but would not be relevant to life insurers due to the lack of direct evidence of any individual medical risk," Dr Phillips told finder.com.au.

So, there you have it. While you will have to hand over the results of any tests you undergo for diagnostic or predictive purposes, if you're just curious to find out where your family is from, those results are just for you.

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