Can life insurance pass the genetic test?

Genetic tests motivate people to be healthier. Our research also shows that those who take a test and discover they are at high risk are four times more likely to buy insurance.
Christoph Nabholz, Head Life & Behaviour R&D, Swiss Re

The future is bright for genetic testing, but it's a double-edged sword for insurers.

Who's taking genetic tests and what do they do with their information?  What are the implications for life insurers?  What steps can we take to mitigate the risks of anti-selection and leverage the health benefits that come with increased awareness personal genetic risks? 

Our consumer research provides new insights into these questions and more.

Here are some highlights:

  • Genetic testing is dramatically on the rise. The typical test taker also fits the profile of a life insurance buyer.
  • There are correlations between taking a test and purchasing life insurance and making healthier lifestyle choices.
  • People are willing to share their information under certain conditions.
  • To preserve the benefits of insurance, insurers need to be able to know and consider relevant health-related information that affects an individual's risk. 
  • Fairly sharing this information allows insurers to more accurately assess and price for risk and ensure sustainable protection for more people.

Read also the interview with Christoph Nabholz, Head Life & Behaviour R&D, Group Underwriting, Swiss Re: DNA testing: the gene genie's out of the bottle.

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Can life insurance pass the genetic test?

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