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Trauma Insurance: BRACA1 and BRACA2

Breast Cancer – Are you covered?

Trauma Insurance: BRACA1 and BRACA2

Posted by Mark Thompson

According to the Breast Cancer Network Australia ‘No one inherits ‘breast cancer’, although a small number inherit a genetic risk or ‘predisposition’ to the disease.’

The Breast Cancer Network Australia also says ‘…90–95% of all breast cancers have nothing to do with family history. However, around 5-10% of breast cancers occur in women whose families have a gene fault (or mutation) that is passed down through the family and puts them at greater risk of developing breast cancer. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are two mutations known to be associated with hereditary breast cancer. Women who carry these mutations can also be at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.’


Do Insurers Require Genetic Testing for BRACA1 and BRACA2

Currently there is no requirement from any of the major Australian Insurance Companies for genetic testing for BRACA1 and BRACA2. Having said this, if a woman has had a test for these 2 gene mutations then she must declare the results to an insurer if she is applying for insurance. A positive result may result in the inclusion of some of exclusion for some form of cancer.

What about other relatives such as Cousins, Aunties and Grandmothers with BRACA1 and/or BRACA2?

If you have a close relative (limited to sibling or mother) also diagnosed with breast cancer an applicant for insurance then you must also declare that fact. For the time being most insurers only inquire about the health history of siblings and parents and do not inquire into the health history of the extended family such as aunties, cousins and grandmothers.

What if you have tested Negative to BRACA1 and BRACA2 but:

  • a close relative has been diagnosed with breast cancer but also tested negative for BRACA1 and BRACA2? or
  • a close relative without breast cancer has tested positive for BRACA1 and/or BRACA2?

The answer is too convoluted for this site, suffice to say that each case will be considered on the circumstances by an insurance underwriter.

If you are considering the purchase of trauma policy and there is a history of breast cancer in your immediate family make sure that your adviser seeks multiple opinions from insurance underwriters even before you apply for insurance.

The Role of the International Re-Insurers

All Australian insurance companies use international re-insurers to offload some of their exposure to payments of a claim. How much an Australian insurer is prepared to insure itself before offloading the risk to another international company will depend on a number of factors such their reserves (ability to pay claims), claims experience, policy definitions (more likely to pay a claim or not) etc.

Seeking an opinion from multiple insurers which all use the same re-insurer may be of little value, because each will be referring to the same guidelines; better to also seek opinions from insurance companies that use different international insurers.

Mark Thompson Advisory Services (ATA Bespoke Insurance Solutions) has researched trauma policies that offer the best policy options where there is a history of breast cancer with siblings and/or a parent.



The comments made on this site are of a general nature only and are not a recommendation to apply for any particular insurance policy. Before applying for insurance your adviser should provide you with a Statement of Advice, with recommendations that take into account your personal circumstances and which are likely to fulfil your best interest. Alternatively, if you apply On Line the advice could be limited to a General nature, without the need to take into account your personal circumstances or provide a Statement of Advice.