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Impact of Genomics on Insurers - Part 7


Genomics off the Shelf: Risk or Opportunity? The Insurance Industry Answers.

Genomics has made massive progress, and we can expect to see even more in the future. As discussed in our previous articles, this development has both opportunities and risks, not only for us individually, but also for the insurance industry. Synpulse surveyed insurance experts for their assessment of how genomics will impact their industry.

Scope and design of our survey

Synpulse has conducted an online survey to assess how insurers perceive the impact of genomics on their industry, especially in terms of the threats and opportunities along different parts of their value chain. We polled representatives of the insurance and reinsurance industry operating in health and life in the EMEA, Americas, and APAC regions.

Perception of genomics as an opportunity

Extent of opportunities

About three-quarters of survey participants – both health and life insurers – believe that genomics has high or very high potential for opportunities. They see slightly higher opportunities for health than for life.

Area with largest opportunities

More than half of the participants see the highest potential in new insurance products and services, while approximately one quarter believe the highest potential lies in medical underwriting. Only a small minority sees the highest potential in claims management.

Perception of genomics as a threat

Extent of threats

More than half the participants see genomics as posing a high or very high threat to both the life and health insurance industry. Life insurers are perceived to be at a somewhat greater risk.

Area with largest threat

For around half of participants, the area most under threat is a proper medical underwriting and portfolio management. Roughly a third of participants disagree and see the largest threat in product management and pricing.

The importance of the issue on the agenda of insurers

Half of participants said that the issue of genomics was high or even very high on their employer’s agenda – in other words that concrete steps are being taken. Congruent with the assessment that there is both a somewhat higher threat and a stronger set of opportunities for life insurers compared to life insurers, participants working for life insurers reported that the issue is perceived as somewhat more important inside their organization. Nevertheless, the other half of those surveyed reported that their employer has not yet recognized the importance of the topic and has not yet got around to concrete action. Given that 85% of all participants believe that genomics will significantly impact health insurers, and 80% believe that it will significantly impact life insurers, over the coming years, we conclude that all life and health insurers should look into the subject.

The next articles will present more detailed findings of our market study in the fields of products and services, underwriting, and portfolio management, and claims management. Stay tuned!



Ingo Muschick
 Ingo Muschick
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