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Here we cover some of the basics about how taking part in a genomic research project can affect your insurance. Find resources and answers to FAQs.

Doctor handing a piece of paper over

Will taking part affect insurance?

We are often asked if taking part in a genomic project can affect insurance premiums. This is because, in some cases, genomic or genetic testing can discover a predisposition to disease.

Most of the time taking part in research projects, including a genomics project, won’t affect insurance premiums. You don’t normally have to tell insurers that you are taking part in research, or about genetic test results. However, when applying for insurance you do have to disclose any symptoms you experience or any diagnoses, screening, or treatments you receive, if this information is requested on the application form. This applies for genomic testing and any other kind of health testing you may be undergoing at the time.

It is important that you answer all questions truthfully when applying for insurance. If you deliberately, recklessly or carelessly give incorrect or incomplete information when answering questions, there is a risk that the insurer will decline any future claim.

If you already have insurance cover in place, you do not have to disclose any further information to your insurer. This includes your participation in the project, genetic tests results, any screening, treatment, or diagnosis that you receive during or after the project, or indeed any change in your health after the policy came into effect. This is because all relevant facts are only obtained by insurers at the time the application is made. The insurance policy is based upon the facts known at that time. Once granted, cover remains in place on the same terms and conditions until the policy ends (provided premiums are paid).

On this page when we talk about ‘insurance’ we mean these types, unless otherwise stated:

  • Life insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Income protection insurance

The questions and answers on this page have been developed with the Department of Health and the Association of British Insurers.

Applying for new insurance policies

If you discover you have a genetic predisposition that leads to additional screening or treatments

The following questions are relevant if, through participation in a genomic project, you’ve been found to have a genetic predisposition to a condition and are having additional screening and/or preventative treatment. The vast majority of participants will not have any additional findings and this will not be relevant.

More information

Explore Genomics England