Each life assurance company is writing their own rules around Hepatitis C and there are no existing industry guidelines, according to Chris Morgan, managing director of Compass.
He says that given the problems that the insurance industry had around HIV, which is equally as sensitive, this is quite astonishing: “Once again, the life assurance industry is burying its head in the sand over an issue that could seriously affect its risk pool. Our recent research concludes that each company has very different ideas on how each applicant with Hep C should be treated. The ABI has confirmed that it currently has no guidelines for the way that Hep C is treated within the life assurance industry. When you consider that an estimated 500,000 people in the UK are currently affected by Hep C, this is somewhat remarkable."
Compass, which provides financial services to the gay community, is urging insurers to take a closer look at the underwriting of Hep C, and ensure that applicants are treated with respect - and without intrusive questions. It added that the knowledge gained from the removal of discrimination around HIV could prove invaluable in looking after people living with Hepatitis C.
Life insurance: News update: October 2008