Genetics and insurance - some social policy issues
Rapid developments in genetic science have been accompanied by confusion regarding the predictive power of DNA-based tests and in the impact of such tests on the insurance industry. The United Kingdom actuarial profession has begun to engage in the associated social policy issues and to try to throw some light on the issues through quantitative research and objective analysis. At the same time, many insurance industry actuaries have been involved in work on behalf of the insurance industry to develop a sound basis for permission to be sought to make use of certain predictive genetic tests. This paper briefly outlines some of the history of the development of the debate in the UK and draws together some of the debates and discussions which have taken place within the Genetics Group of the Social Policy Board of the UK actuarial profession, as well as providing some pointers to the directions which the debate might take in future, with some important potential consequences for the insurance industry and for actuaries.Keywords: Genetics; insurance; predictive genetic tests; underwriting; family history.