HC Deb 14 December 1998 vol 322 cc334-5W
Mr. David Stewart

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures his Department will take to encourage the insurance industry to develop alternative options for those applicants whose genetic status makes it difficult to purchase standard products. [62684]

Mr. Galbraith

The Government recently published their response to the Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGAC) 'Report on the Implications of Genetic Testing for the Insurance Industry', and are currently in discussions with the insurance industry and others on the necessary follow-up action.

It is already a requirement of the Code of Practice on Genetic Testing issued by the Association of British Insurers that insurance companies must consider whether constructive alternatives can be offered to an applicant where a genetic risk is too great to insure. It is sometimes possible for existing products to be adapted to suit individual circumstances and enable people with genetic disorders to obtain insurance. The Government believe it important that people with a family history of a genetic disorder discuss their insurance needs with insurance companies and do not assume they are uninsurable.