Deakin University

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Financial advisers’ and key informants’ perspectives on the Australian industry-led Moratorium on Genetic Tests in Life Insurance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-24, 04:59 authored by Casey Michelle Haining, Jane Tiller, Margaret Otlowski, Penny GleesonPenny Gleeson, Carsten Murawski, Kristine Barlow-Stewart, Paul Lacaze, Aideen McInerney-Leo, Louise Anne Keogh
Introduction: Genetic discrimination (GD) in the context of life insurance is a perennial concern in Australia and internationally. To address such concerns in Australia, an industry self-regulated Moratorium on Genetic Tests in Life Insurance was introduced in 2019 to restrict life insurers from using genetic test results in underwriting for policies under certain limits. Financial advisers (FAs) are sometimes engaged by clients to provide financial advice and assist them to apply for life insurance. They are therefore well-placed to comment on GD and the operation of the Moratorium. Despite this, the financial advising sector in Australia have yet to be studied empirically with regards to GD and the Moratorium. This study aims to capture this perspective by reporting on interviews with the financial advising sector. Methods: Ten semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with FAs and key informants and analysed using thematic analysis. Discussion/ conclusion(s): Participants’ level of awareness and understanding of the Moratorium varied. Participants reported mixed views on the Moratorium’s effectiveness and how it operates in practice, and perceived industry compliance. Participants also provided reflections on Australia’s current approach to regulating GD, with most participants supporting the concept of industry self-regulation but identifying a need for this to be supplemented with external oversight and meaningful recourse mechanisms for consumers. Our results suggest that there is scope to increase FAs’ awareness of GD, and that further research, consultation and policy consideration are required to identify an optimal regulatory response to GD in Australia



Public Health Genomics








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