Most Aussies against subsidising genetically at-risk insureds

Just over 60 per cent of Australians are against subsidising life insurance premiums for people who are at higher risk of future illness based on adverse genetic test results, the Financial Services Council (FSC) has found, two months after it announced a moratorium on insurers using the results of previous tests for risk products up to $500,000.

The moratorium, effective from July next year, was part of the FSC’s proposed new Life Insurance Code of Practice and followed recommendations from geneticists and this year’s Parliamentary Join Committee inquiry into the life insurance industry.

“Our consumer research shows many Australians are open to taking a genetic test to predict the likelihood of becoming ill in future, but also support the principle of setting insurance premiums individually based on the likelihood of making a claim,” FSC senior policy manager, Nick Kirwan, said.

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The research found that almost two-thirds of the 1,000 surveyed consumers would be prepared to take a genetic test that could tell if they had a higher chance of serious disease in the future, with the overwhelming majority saying they would take a test through the established medical system with a few preferring to take it anonymously even if at personal cost.

A small minority were willing to pay a little extra ($5) to subsidise people with adverse genetic testing results, but this reduced dramatically as the subsidy increased. People most opposed to offering a subsidy were respondents who were older or with lower incomes.

“Life insurers need to balance the interests of all Australians, and not just act in the interests of those who have had an adverse genetic test result. The moratorium is designed to help get this balance right,” Kirwan said.

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Industry Super Funds - I wonder how all those healthy, non smoking, office workers feel about funding the insurance premums of the high risk trades people or the overweight smokers with diabetes?

If only they had access to an independent insurance adviser. What a pity there will not be any insurance advisers left in a few years and the vast majority of clients will be left with their JUNK industry fund policy or even worst with a policy from one of those direct insurance SCAMMERS like Real or Freedom Insurance. These direct insurance companies should be shut down or at least forced to comply with the Best Interests Duty.

Well said James, ISA is intent on destroying our industry and now evicting the banks and insto's out of super altogether so they can get their disgusting greedy hands on even larger 'rivers of gold'. Utter rort and the last thing that would even briefly cross their minds is the best interests of members, let alone the Australian public.

just who are the Financial Services Council?
If what is reported is factual and adopted, life insurance (as a product) will cease to exist. At best it will be replaced with term "accident insurance" because if the insurers can confidently predict who will make a claim due to a terminal illness or other genetically predicable event, these people will be priced out of the market -- and the only legitimate payout will be accidental loss of life.
As a community, we need to ask if this is the sort of future we want -- because after life insurance, the next target will be to price health care on a genetic predisposition basis.

This just in: Australian consumers don't understand how insurance works.

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