GENETICS TESTING, THE CANADIAN LIFE AND HEALTH ASSOCIATION DECISION, AND YOUR KIDS

The Canadian Life and Health Association recently reiterated it’s existing guidelines with regards to sharing information on any genetic testing you may have had done. The move shows just how important genetic testing is going to be to the future of medicine and health in general. More specifically, it highlights why you need to be talking to your kids, and even grandkids, about the importance of buying insurance early on in life.

You may remember a couple of years ago when we talked on this blog about 23andMe, an American genetics testing company run by Google founder Serge Brin’s wife. The company has been making significant inroads into the marketing of their genetic testing products, so much so that the American Medical Association recently sought to clamp down on them and have forced the company through an unprecedented regulation process.

Why is this important?

Genetics testing will tell you with an incredibly high degree of accuracy what is likely to make you sick or even kill you down the road. If we know these things, there are a number of things that we can do to avoid or slow down the problem.

From the seemingly radical double masectomy that Angelina Jolie recently went through, to the downright simple step of avoiding certain foods which are damaging to your personal DNA, we will look to preventative care over the coming generations like we have never done before. And so will the insurance industry.

Here’s the easiest way to understand the new policy; if you know about a condition and do not submit that condition on an insurance application, it is possible that a claim may be denied. This is similar to an insurance company today denying a claim from someone who had not disclosed the fact that they were a smoker.

As it becomes easier and easier for insurance companies to recognize the new risks they’re underwriting, prices of insurance can only be expected to rise. Combine this with continued industry consolidation such as Manulife buying Standard Life and re-insurer Wilton Re buying Transamerica Life Canada, Canadian Premier Life, Legacy General Insurance Company, CRI Canada and Selient Inc, and, (repeat after me…) insurance costs are going to rise.

So why not lock them in now?  If not for yourself, for your kids sake, talk to them about this issue. If they are tested in the future for work related issues, are asked by a doctor to undergo genetic testing or just delve into the subject themselves through a service like 23andMe, insurance could be denied or cost significantly more should the tests uncover something unknown today.

E.O. & E.

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