The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has released a new industry code on Genetic Testing Information for Insurance Underwriting to be adopted by all of its member life and health insurance companies.

“Canada’s life and health insurers recognize the importance of this issue and the impact it has on many Canadians, and that is why we are putting this industry code into place,” notes Frank Swedlove, CLHIA’s president. “Our goal is to assist consumers while, at the same time, continue to ensure that all Canadians can access insurance at reasonable and fair prices.”

The industry code reinforces the industry’s long-standing approach of not requiring an individual to undergo genetic testing as part of the application process for life or health insurance. The industry also makes a number of other commitments including the following:

  • to not require the genetic test results of any person other than the person to be insured;
  • to not ask for genetic test results from applicants whose test results are part of a medical research project where the results are not shared with them or their physician; and
  • to address complaints relating to underwriting decisions involving genetic test results through a dispute resolution system.

Canada’s life and health insurers also commit to assisting applicants who are denied life or health insurance. Either directly or through their advisors, insurers will make available information to help them look for other coverage. In addition, companies will certify on an annual basis that they are in compliance with the industry code. Member companies will begin implementing the new industry code immediately.

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Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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