Lifted from Money Marketing.
The ABI's updated code of practice for HIV and insurance is beginning to take shape with its first consultation document published this week.
Last updated in 1997, the statement covers the treatment of applications for life and protection insurance where HIV can be an issue. The ABI has consulted with the insurance industry and groups such as the Terrence Higgins Trust and Pink finance.com and is now looking to extend that.
The proposed update includes standard questions for industrywide use in assessing risk levels and supplementary questions to help establish higher or lower-risk levels in specific cases, such as gay men. Assumptions such as using a person's occupation as an indication of their sexuality would be outlawed.
Other proposals include ensuring confidentiality between insurers and applicants, preventing life offices from asking GPs to speculate on risk of infection or non-clinical issues.
One suggestion in the document is that all applicants should be questioned on whether they practice safe sex, to prevent the gay community feeling singled out and to account for the large numbers of heterosexuals also at risk in absolute terms.
Pinkfinance.com editor Chris Morgan says: "These proposed best practice guidelines demonstrate a new level of respect towards gay men from the ABI. The real test of respect towards the gay community will be the attitude of the life insurance companies in the coming weeks as the document passes through consultation."
"Other proposals include ensuring confidentiality between insurers and applicants, preventing life offices from asking GPs to speculate on risk of infection or non-clinical issues."
This makes no sense, dewd. But...if I thought for one moment that my GP was saying one word about me - to anyone - I'd have him or her in court tomorrow. (I don't actually know my GP's gender.)
Insurance is just a department of Global Big Money, but I guess you know that already. My own industry isn't the most moral in the world either.
Your GP can't say anything about you without your consent, but the insurer has the right to turn you down if you don't give medical evidence. That's only sensible from their point of view - after all, if you're terminally ill and know you have only six days to live, you could take out a huge amount of insurance and they'd have to pay out. And that would affect the other policyholders.
Some day I'll write about the total lack of medical confidentiality these days, but not today. (I'm also thinking sick notes for employers, parental notes for schools, and so on.)
I once worked with this guy who whenever he phoned in sick and they asked him what was wrong, he just said, "Illness". Bravo that man.
I really don't know enough about insurance to comment sensibly, Alan. The one above was written in drink, as often happens at that time of day. But the quoted passage is still illiterate.
Of course it was, it was written by a journalist. I just cutted and pasted.