The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) says the country's insurers promise not to request or use genetic testing information for new life insurance applications for amounts up to $250,000, starting on January 1, 2018.

CLHIA made the announcement yesterday, and says the commitment will be included in its industry code on genetic testing and will be implemented by all of its member companies.

"This commitment responds to concerns that Canadians may have about the impact of genetic testing results when buying insurance. About 85% of life insurance policies are for coverage of $250,000 or less," says CLHIA President and CEO Frank Swedlove. "Our goal is to continue to ensure that all Canadians can access insurance at fair and reasonable prices."

CLHIA also emphasizes that life insurers do not, and will not, request that individuals undergo a genetic test or share results of a genetic test taken after they have already purchased an insurance policy.