October 1, 2018

genetic family tree

Insurance with a Genetic Disorder, What you Need to Know.

If, once you’ve read this case study, you’d like to talk through your situation, please call 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Our process

When a client has a pre-existing condition, genetic history, or has suffered a serious illness in the past, the first thing we do is pick up the phone. We speak to Underwriters at many of the UK’s leading Insurance companies. Discussing all of our client’s medical history helps us to identify the best company to apply to. This also means we avoid applying to companies who will end up being too expensive or worse, decline an application. By completing our research thoroughly, we are able to avoid wasting time and obtain the best terms possible for our clients.

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Genetic Testing

The current code is set out by the Association of British Insurers and applies to Life Insurance , Critical Illness Insurance and Income Protection for all ABI members. This code is reviewed every 3 years and so is subject to change.

A genetic test is a medical test that identifies the content of your DNA. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine your chance of getting or passing on a genetic condition. Genetic test results, like other test results, can help insurers to assess your risk and set the level of cover and the cost of the premium you will have to pay.

Genetic tests can be used to diagnose or predict a genetic condition.

There are two types of genetic testing:

Diagnostic genetic tests

If you have signs or symptoms of a genetic condition, a diagnostic genetic test will confirm or rule out whether you have the condition.

  • A positive test result means that the faulty gene causing the condition has been found. This result confirms the diagnosis of the condition.
  • A negative test result means a faulty gene has not been found and you do not have that condition.

These tests can be used in underwriting, as the client will actually be diagnosed with a condition and would likely be showing symptoms themselves to have had the test in the first place.

Predictive genetic tests

These tests predict a future risk of disease in individuals, without the person showing any symptoms of a genetic disorder.

These cannot be used in Underwriting, as the people who have these tests usually take them due to a family history instead of a symptom that they are experiencing. Perhaps there is a family history of a specific disease such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Heart Disease or certain types of Cancer etc.

Insurers generally, can not take these tests into account as they would be discriminating. So, an insurer will not require or pressure an applicant to take a predictive or diagnostic genetic test in order to use in their underwriting process.  Underwriting is the process where Insurers evaluate the risk of potential clients. They decide how much cover the client should receive, how much they should pay for it, or whether even to accept the risk at all and insure them

The only time a predictive genetic test can be taken into account, as of September 2018* is if someone is applying for over £500,000 of life cover.  And, they have had a test for Huntington’s Disease. *Disclaimer: Underwriting rules do change over time.

Sometimes a genetic test with negative results can be considered but only to work in the client’s favour – this can be offered by the client and we had a few clients willing to share their results which has helped their applications and underwriting decisions.

Most critical illness policies include children’s critical illness cover which covers children for genetic disorders such as muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis amongst other conditions – these can vary between providers.

Our adviser’s knowledge of the market could help you save a lot of wasted time and ultimate disappointment.

Interested in related stories?

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote on-line we would recommend you talk to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account to your circumstances, your medical history, as well as your budget!

An on-line quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof.

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Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer with a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

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For more information or advice on Genetic Disorders please click here: Genetic Disorders UK