Insurance companies have been reminded to focus on fairness, following media reports that consumers have been denied insurance or have been asked to undertake genetic testing.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which remit covers resolving financial disputes and influencing reform in the financial sector, issued the reminder, saying it will assess the complaints it receives on how fairly companies treat their customers.
“Since July 01, in many cases, life insurers are not able to ask you to undertake genetic testing,” said June Smith, lead ombudsman. “The value of the insurance product determines whether the company can request such testing. AFCA can help resolve complaints where a person says an insurer has discriminated against them because of genetic testing. Where a person has taken measures to reduce their risk, for example by having a mastectomy to reduce the risk of breast cancer, we would expect the life insurance company to take this into consideration when assessing an application for insurance. It is also difficult to understand why genetic testing would impact travel insurance.”