Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
Mr Keith Beddell-Pearce, Director, Prudential plc
Further to Prudential's written memorandum,
submitted by our Chief Underwriter, John Dearing, (a copy of which
I include for your information),
I am writing to request that an additional note be added to the
public record to clarify our position on the use of genetic test
In the course of the preparations we have undertaken
in advance of the formal evidence session it has become apparent
to me that an inconsistency existed in Prudential's policy in
relation to genetic testing.
Our practice is to accept negative tests where
the existence of family history might otherwise give rise to an
adverse underwriting result for the individual concerned.
Although the situation has not yet arisen, as
appears to be the practice of most other insurers, we would also
have considered the implications of a positive test result in
relation to the BRCA 1 & 2 and PS1/APP conditions if one had
been made available with a proposal for life assurance. As the
testing for these two conditions has not yet received formal GAIC
approval, we have decided with immediate effect that our policy
will be to not take notice of any positive test results in this
area. As we have not had any cases involving positive test results,
there are none to revisit.
I have communicated to the ABI the fact that
from now on, Prudential will only consider using positive test
results once the tests have been approved by the GAIC.
I apologise to the Committee that our original
memorandum did not make clear the anomaly in relation to the two
tests in question and for bringing it to the attention of the
Committee at such a late stage, albeit with notification of our
change in policy.
5 February 2001
1 See above. Back