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Moratorium on genetic tests for insurance extended to 2014

The Association of British Insurers has extended the moratorium enabling consumers to take out substantial amounts of insurance without having to disclose adverse results of predictive genetic tests has been extended to 2014.

The decision comes after consultations with the Department of Health’s Genetics and Insurance Committee.

The moratorium covers policies worth up to £500,000 for life insurance, £300,000 for critical illness cover and £30,000 a year for income protection insurance.

Even above these amounts, insurers will not use adverse predictive genetic test results unless the test has been specifically approved by the Government. Only around 3 per cent of all policies sold are above these limits.

ABI director general Stephen Haddrill says: “The moratorium on the use of predictive genetic test results works well for consumers. It means people can insure themselves and their families, even if they have had an adverse result from a predictive genetic test. The moratorium has proved effective since its introduction in 2001 and can now continue.”

A Government spokesperson says: “The Government welcomes the ABI’s decision to extend the current moratorium to 2014. The moratorium is monitored by the independent Genetics and Insurance Committee and is working well. The Government will take account of the extension to the moratorium, and other developments, in carrying out the operational review of the 2005 Concordat on genetics and insurance due this year.”

The moratorium was established in 2001.

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