Underwriting for older lives remains a challenge and cognitive decline is the hardship most often seen among our aging population and client base. Asking the right questions and looking at emerging data continue to be underwriting cornerstones.
Alcohol use varies greatly among insurance applicants as does the impact on health and mortality. In North America, almost 100,000 deaths annually are attributed to alcohol and the cost is in excess of $250 billion*. How much is too much is a perennial question and current thinking pegs healthy drinking at less than 14 drinks per week and less than 4 drinks in a single day. For women and adults 65 and older, 7 drinks per week and no more than 3 a day are recommended.
In May 2017, the Canadian parliament passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNA) – formerly known as Bill S-201 – that precludes, under certain conditions, the insurance industry’s ability to use genetic tests for underwriting. The GNA, an Act to prohibit and prevent discrimination, states that genetic test information can no longer be requested or used in rendering underwriting decisions.