UK Moratorium on Use of Genetic Testing Extended to 2017 Says ABI

April 8, 2011

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) announced that the long-standing Concordat and Moratorium on Genetics, agreed with the Department of Health, has been extended to 2017.

Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, commented “The Concordat and 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 has now been extended to 2017.”

The ABI explained that the moratorium disallows the use of the “results of a predictive genetic test” so that they cannot “affect a consumer’s ability to take out any type of insurance other than life insurance over £500,000 [$815,000].”

The bulletin explained that above that amount, “insurers will not use adverse predictive genetic test results unless the test has been specifically approved by the Government. Only around 3 percent of all policies sold are above these limits.” Under the moratorium, the only test that can be used is for Huntington’s Disease.

UK Health Minister Anne Milton added: “This is an excellent agreement that has benefitted both patients and consumers. The extension of the moratorium will ensure that the public continue to have confidence in using predictive genetic tests and being insured.”

The bulletin also noted that the ABI and the Department of Health “undertake planned reviews three years before the end of each extension. This announcement follows the 2011 review; the next review will take place in 2014.”

Source: Association of British Insurers

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