Risk Assessment in Private Insurance – Balancing Accessibility and Affordability

Friday, 16. September 2011 | 8:30 Uhr


Christoph Nabholz


Swiss Re


Christoph Nabholz from Swiss Re outlined that genetic information and genetic engineering have fundamentally increased. Nowadays, over 2000 genes can be tested. In Great Britain, the results of roughly 4% of genetic tests are provided to private insurers. Out of them, about 75% are negative – which has a positive impact on the insurance policy. The test market is growing and thereby also the probability to be excluded by insurance companies. However, there are also legal regulations to limit the insurers in this respect. Only 30% of the diseases have a genetic basis, 40% percent are caused due to behavioural reasons and 30% are related to the environment. Patients fear that they might be excluded from insurance companies and discriminated by their social environment. They also fear to loose their privacy and the right to “not know”. Christoph Nabholz underlined that life insurers endorse fair access to relevant information about risks. Until now, they do not require genetic tests. But at the end of the day, the better the risk assessment, the less policyholders pay.

Christoph Nabholz

Christoph Nabholz is Head of Business Development at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue and additionally serves as Research & Development Manager to Swiss Re’s Life & Health Division.

As Head of Business Development he is responsible for the content of high-profile industry events held at the Centre for Global Dialogue, Swiss Re’s premiere conference facility. With his background in genetics he actively supports Swiss Re’s research on and development activities in medical trends and longevity.

Before joining the Centre he was Strategic Research Manager in Global Life & Health Underwriting and served as Swiss Re’s Global Genetics Consultant.

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