Genetic testing will change private insurance markets, but how?

“Striking a balance between rising premiums and genetic discrimination is a regulatory dilemma”

The precision of genetic tests is increasing fast, as is the commercial interest in offering con-sumers genetic tests to predict their lifetime risk of developing medical conditions. Consu-mers could use such genetic information to their advantage when they purchase insurance, which could lead to rising premiums. If insurers would underwrite genetic risks in return, this could lead to genetic discrimination. Thus, genetic testing puts the regulatory dilemma bet-ween affordable insurance policies and the prevention of discrimination into the spotlight.

Downbload one pager

Key Takeaways for the Industry

  • Policymakers need to strike a balance between keeping private insurance fair and viable while protecting consumers against genetic discrimination and privacy violations.
  • International agreements are needed to regulate consumer genetics as samples can be sent bet-ween countries and not all commercial genetic tests are accurate enough or explained properly.

Want to know more?
Read the paper ‘Genetic health risks, insurance and retirement’ by Richard Karlsson Linnér & Philipp D. Koellinger (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


Mission en strategy           •           Network           •           Organisation           •          Magazine
Board Brief            •            Actionplan 2023-2027           •           Researchagenda


Our partners

B20160708_university of groningen
B20211201_Cardano_Logo 2021_website
AFM logo 2023 zwart wit
View all partners