Magazine
Latest Issue

Genetics and Insurance

The knowledge that genetics can provide about our future health could play havoc with the life insurance industry. How can we balance the competing demands of consumers' right to privacy and the insurers' need to assess risks?

By Daniel Altman   April 2001

Imagine a moment of decision. Your father died of Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder, and so did his father. There’s a strong chance that you, too, carry the genetic mutation that causes Huntington’s. Knowing your family history, insurance companies already want to charge you more for life insurance, your family’s best protection against losing you too soon. But you still want to get tested, so that you can plan for the eventualities of the disease. Then again, testing positive could render you ineligible for life insurance altogether. It’s a classic Catch-22.

Deciding how insurance markets should respond to the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect