Genetics and Insurance: Data and Models
Professor Angus MacDonald, Director, Genetics and Insurance Research Centre, Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, Heriot-Watt University

According to the media, genetics and insurance just cannot live together: if insurance companies can access any genetic (medical) information about people who apply for life or health insurance, the world will divide into those who will never fall ill (insurable) and those who will definitely fall ill (uninsurable). Simple mathematical models, plus some genetic epidemiology, show how unlikely this is, but despite the fact that this has been in the public domain for several years the media never learns: every time genetics and insurance becomes an issue we seem to be back to square one. This talk will outline actuarial models for exploring the financial consequences of genetics, for individuals and for insurers.