Genetic information and insurance underwriting

Contemporary issues and approaches in the global economy

Authored by: Mark A. Rothstein , Yann Joly

Handbook of Genetics and Society

Print publication date:  July  2009
Online publication date:  July  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415410809
eBook ISBN: 9780203927380
Adobe ISBN: 9781134128778

10.4324/9780203927380.ch10

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Abstract

Insurance is a contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify another against loss by a specified contingency or peril. It is a method of spreading risks for events that cannot be predicted with certainty. Several insurance products are used to insure against the financial consequences of illness, disability and death. Insurance underwriting involves risk assessment and risk classification, resulting in policy holders of similar risk being charged similar prices (Dicke 2004). In medical underwriting, the individuals’ future health risk is predicted based on past and current health, as well as other factors, such as age, occupation, body mass index and smoking status (Gleeson 2004).

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