(and maybe a DNA testing kit)
Following on with our series on what are the best life insurance products, we thought that, as it is coming up to Christmas, rather than examine a specific life insurance policy or product, we wanted to indulge in some fun facts and interesting trivia surrounding the life insurance market.
Furthermore, today’s feature blog stands out as our Christmas special. As the team starts looking forward to a well-earned Christmas break, regardless of creed or ideology, the holiday is a time to relax and be with a family or use the time to indulge in hobbies or other pursuits.
Christmas gifts that might affect your life insurance premiums
Kicking off with an interesting topic, we look at the current trend of DNA testing across the world, where you simply spit on a stick, send this off to one of the numerous DNA testing organisations cropping up everywhere, and find out all sorts of interesting information. With the science of genotyping, be prepared to learn a great deal regarding your heritage, ancestry and, not just the family tree, but also (and perhaps worryingly) any predispositions you may have to health-related illnesses. We have it on good authority that a DNA testing kit makes for a modern and quite interesting Christmas gift! But how does this affect life insurance?
Good to know? Is there a history in your family of inherited diseases
How would you feel if one of these kits appeared in your Christmas stocking? On the one hand, it may be argued that having access to certain health predispositions helps us greatly with making good choices regarding diet, thus enabling preventative care to avoid increased chances of developing certain family-related cancers, heart conditions or mental health tendencies. We are talking about diseases that literally run in the family. According to the American DNA testing company Genetic Concept they can provide a list of over 100 health issues. While not every illness will apply to you, maybe it would be good to know if you are inclined towards heart attacks, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.
Did you even know you were allergic to whatever?
Furthermore, additional services include disclosure of allergies, picked up from your DNA. They will recommend how to improve your lifestyle to mitigate potential illnesses caused by such allergies. Diet, for example, plays a huge role in our health. The benefit of DNA testing for health reasons can identify those devious food groups that cause problems. For many sufferers, having the knowledge to eliminate foods causing problems, for example, dairy, legumes or eggs, is invaluable.
Health, Life Insurance and Critical Illness – make good choices
Conversely, for many people, ignorance is bliss, and not knowing that you might die in a couple of years is preferable to recognising the truth about one’s health! On the other hand, awareness allows us to improve our health and well-being. Awareness allows us to increase our resistance to disease by adapting better lifestyle choices; taking preventative action and avoiding as much as possible any risks that may hasten pre-existing health issues.
Sharing the test results is not necessary
Have you wondered how the sudden awareness of any health-related results affect life insurance, critical illness and health insurance premiums? Do you have to disclose a sudden awareness surrounding your health? The fact that you have found out about these worrying propensities to family-related diseases, allergies or existing illnesses, does this, in turn, require you to report the findings to your insurance company?
Actually, no you do not have to do that.
Not now nor in the future.
This is due to the UK Government Code that dictates to all insurers in the UK – thanks to this code, insurance companies are not to put existing or future applicants under any pressure to a) subject themselves to any genetic testing and b) disclose any results obtained from a DNA organisation.
This code is succinct in its direction and the Government publication is available to view here. There is one disease that falls outside of the Code, and that is Huntingdon’s Disease and where cover is required over £500,000, but only if the insurance company ask for this information. For more information on Huntingdon’s disease and DNA testing take a look at this publication from the Association of British Insurers.
The best life insurance policy is not subject to a DNA health test
In summary, our article today focuses on the advantages of DNA testing, i.e. to discover more about our background, heritage and the mix of health related issues that we might not be aware of. One thing is sure, we do not have to worry how the results might affect our insurance premiums.
While many of us prefer not to know what the future has in store for us in terms of health issues, some of us, especially those of us with a history of family health-related problems, may wish to determine what our chances are of contracting these diseases, and how we can go about mitigating any possibility of falling ill. Hopefully, we can beat them into submission before they have a chance to creep upon us.
Most importantly, we are not obliged to share any information gleaned from DNA testing with our insurance companies, now or in the future.
Happy holidays to all of our customers and we look forward to bringing you more interesting life insurance facts and trivia in 2020!