Genetics code of practice


We support and comply with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Genetic Testing Code of Practice, which is in place to protect the interests of your clients.

Each of our underwriting sites has a Nominated Genetics Underwriter (NGU) whose role is to:

  • Ensure adherence to the ABI Genetic Code of Practice and Moratorium
  • Keep a confidential record of all cases, and
  • Liaise with our Medical Officer (MO)

Key Points

We never ask anyone to undergo a genetic test.

Every underwriter is required to undergo annual training to ensure they are aware of the implications that genetics have to underwriting.

The Genetics Moratorium (the current rules)

With effect from 1 November 2001, the moratorium changed to the following:

  • Clients do not need to disclose genetic test results on life assurance applications of £500,000 and below.
  • Clients do not need to disclose genetic test results on health related benefits of £300,000 and below on Critical Illness Cover (CIC) and £30,000 per annum in Income Protection Benefit (IPB) or Mortgage Payment Insurance (MPI).
  • Disclosed test results for Huntington's disease may be used by underwriters on life applications of £500,000 and over - this is the only test result that can currently be used for underwriting purposes.

The ABI Moratorium has been extended until 2017.


If an applicant or a member of the medical profession volunteers a negative test result, this may be used to help offset an adverse decision due to family history (at our discretion).

In practice, because the only approved genetic test result is for Huntington's Disease for life cover it is not necessary for clients to disclose any positive genetic test results on CIC, IPB, MPI or waiver applications, irrespective of the sum assured.

The sum assured limits in the Moratorium are intended to be the total cover in the market.

Confidentiality is paramount to us and we have strict internal rules in place to ensure this is the case.