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As morbid as it sounds, life insurance companies want to know how long you’ll be around, and figuring that out involves a complex underwriting assessment of your “risks” — physical health, genetic profile, and perhaps even your social media activity, all to assess whether you qualify and how much you end up paying for coverage.

“Genetic tests conducted at your doctor will go on your medical file with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), which is fair game for life insurance companies to review in underwriting. It’s not unheard of for people to get declined due to having certain genes that increase risk of cancer,” said John Holloway, an insurance agent and co-founder of, in an email to

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing, or genetic testing outside your doctor’s care, is on the upswing in the U.S., with a 2018 study published on finding more and more people are sending DNA samples to companies like 23andMe,, and FamilyTreeDNA.

If you’ve ever seen one of the TV ads, you might not realize while watching that these... see more