The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care, and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have published the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance.

The Code is an update on the Concordat and Moratorium on Genetics and Insurance, which was previously renewed every three years. The new Code, is not subject to renewal, but will be reviewed. Noticeably, the document has also noted growing concerns from the public and has been written in far more accessible language.

The document outlines the commitment of insurance companies to:

  • treat applicants fairly and not require or pressure any applicant to undertake a predictive or diagnostic genetic test
  • not ask for, or take into account the result of a predictive genetic test, except when the life insurance is over £500,000 and the applicant has had a predictive genetic test for Huntington’s Disease
  • not ask for, or take into account, the result of any predictive genetic test obtained through scientific research

In his capacity as Chief Executive of Genomics England and spearheading the drive to mainstream genomics in the UK, Professor John Mattick commented, “Genomics England welcomes today’s publication of the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance. The success of genomic medicine depends on the understanding, acceptance and trust of the public – and this agreement between Government and the insurance industry provides reassurance that genomic information will be used only for the benefit of patients and their families.”