Alcohol use varies greatly among individuals 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*. For this reason, insurance companies have an established guideline for what constitutes a healthy use of alcohol. Insurance underwriters pay close attention when alcohol is consumed in excess of those guidelines and their scrutiny can impact whether one’s insurance application is approved or declined.
In May 2017, the Canadian parliament passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNA) – formerly known as Bill S-201. This Act, meant to prohibit and prevent discrimination, states that genetic test information can no longer be requested or used in rendering underwriting decisions. How this bill will impact underwriting and product pricing remains to be seen.