Assessing the potential impact of developments in genetic testing on the British insurance industry
Apr 8, 2022
Predictive genetic testing provides individuals with information about their future risk of developing health conditions. Determining whether a genetic test could affect the insurance industry is complex and needs to be evaluated on a per-test basis.
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Predictive genetic testing provides individuals with information about their future risk of developing health conditions. Theoretically, predictive genetic tests could have positive or negative impacts on the insurance industry. If genetic test results stimulate actions to reduce health risks, they may reduce costs to insurers. If disclosed to insurers, such information may allow them to better understand individual- and population-level risks and make insurance more affordable. However, if individuals who know they are at high genetic risk of becoming ill or dying are more likely to apply for insurance than those not at high risk, this may lead to an unanticipated increase in claims. It may be exacerbated if people at low genetic risk are less likely to apply for insurance compared to the general population. If this happened on a large scale it could make the insurance market unsustainable. Determining whether a genetic test could affect the insurance industry is complex and needs to be evaluated on a per-test basis.
The Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research, a collaboration between RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge, developed a framework for evaluating the potential impacts on the UK insurance industry arising from predictive genetic tests. It considers the characteristics of genetic tests and behavioural aspects that influence their uptake. It is intended to provide a transparent approach for evaluating whether a specific condition for which a test is available could impact the insurance industry, currently or in the future, and understanding the key factors that influence this.
Background to the study
REA of motivations for predictive genetic testing and its impact on health-related behaviours
Expert perspectives on current and future developments in predictive genetic testing
Framework for evaluating the risks presented by genetic tests to the UK insurance industry
Summary, reflections and suggestions for future research
Data collection template for the development of the draft framework
Expert interview protocol
Search Strategy for the REA
Inclusion and exclusion criteria for REA
Data extraction fields for the REA
Reviewed studies for the REA
The research described in this report was commissioned by the Association of British Insurers and conducted by RAND Europe.
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