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Canada's Life and Health Insurers Announce Commitment on Use of Genetic Testing Information

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Toronto, ON (Jan. 11, 2017) – The Canadian life and health insurance industry today committed that insurers will not request or use genetic testing information for new life insurance applications up to $250,000 effective January 1, 2018. This commitment will be included in the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) Industry Code on genetic testing and will be implemented by all CLHIA members.

"This commitment responds to concerns that Canadians may have about the impact of genetic testing results when buying insurance" said Frank Swedlove, CLHIA President and CEO. "About 85% of life insurance policies are for coverage of $250,000 or less."

It is important to note that insurers do not, and will not, request that individuals undergo a genetic test or share results of a genetic test they might take after they have already purchased an insurance policy.

"Canada's life and health insurers help Canadians protect themselves and their loved ones against the financial impacts of unexpected events. Our goal is to continue to ensure that all Canadians can access insurance at fair and reasonable prices," concluded Swedlove.

About the CLHIA

The CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to 28 million Canadians. It also holds close to $720 billion of assets in Canada and employs about 155,000 Canadians.

SOURCE: Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.


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