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Request For Proposal Genetic Testing, Family History and Mortality


Given family medical histories and technological advances in health care, an increasing number of individuals are turning to genetic testing for insight into their risk for certain diseases, disease progression, and treatment options. Not only is the information used to develop strategies to manage and mitigate the health risk, it can aid individuals and families in planning for the future.

Life insurance might be used to mitigate some of the financial risks associated with the potential health condition. Better understanding how the increasing accessibility and use of genetic testing impacts mortality will help identify potential implications for the insurance industry and can provide useful information in shaping policy.

Research Objective

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research are seeking a researcher(s) to examine the impact of genetic testing on the life insurance industry. The researcher should perform a literature review of scientific studies showing the impact of various genetic tests and family history on mortality.

Using this information, the researcher should quantify the impact on policy cost of asymmetrical information:

  1. Only the applicant knows the result of genetic testing but both the applicant and the insurance company know family history
  2. Only the applicant knows the result of genetic testing and/or family history and the insurance company knows neither

The impact on preferred classification and of the change in policyholder behavior should be addressed.

The results of the literature review and modeling should be summarized in a report that will be made available on the SOA's website.

In addition, if the researcher is able to reflect the impact on any or all of: 1) Long Term Care insurance, 2) Disability insurance, and 3) Critical illness insurance, please provide specific distinct cost estimates to add the modeling and summarizing for that line of insurance.


To facilitate the evaluation of proposals, the following information should be submitted:

  1. Resumes of the researcher(s), including any graduate student(s) expected to participate, indicating how their background, education and experience bear on their qualifications to undertake the research. If more than one researcher is involved, a single individual should be designated as the lead researcher and primary contact. The person submitting the proposal must be authorized to speak on behalf of all the researchers as well as for the firm or institution on whose behalf the proposal is submitted.
  2. An outline of the approach to be used (e.g. literature search, model, etc.), emphasizing issues that require special consideration. Details should be given regarding the techniques to be used, collateral material to be consulted, and possible limitations of the analysis.
  3. A description of the expected deliverables and any supporting data, tools or other resources.
  4. Cost estimates for the research, including computer time, salaries, report preparation, material costs, etc. Such estimates can be in the form of hourly rates, but in such cases, time estimates should also be included. Any guarantees as to total cost should be given and will be considered in the evaluation of the proposal. While cost will be a factor in the evaluation of the proposal, it will not necessarily be the decisive factor. Make sure to give separate estimates for Long term care, disability and critical illness if the researcher plans to address them.
  5. A schedule for completion of the research, identifying key dates or time frames for research completion and report submissions.  The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research are interested in completing this project in a timely manner.  Suggestions in the proposal for ensuring timely delivery, such as fee adjustments, are encouraged.
  6. Other related factors that give evidence of a proposer's capabilities to perform in a superior fashion should be detailed. 

Selection Process

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research will appoint a Project Oversight Group (POG) to oversee the project. The POG is responsible for the selection of the proposal to be funded. Input from other knowledgeable individuals also may be sought, but the POG will make the final decision. The SOA's Research Actuary will provide staff actuarial support.


Any questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Ronora Stryker, SOA Research Actuary (phone: +1-847-706-3614; email:    

Notification of Intent to Submit Proposal

If you intend to submit a proposal, please e-mail written notification by February 15, 2016 to Jan Schuh

Submission of Proposal

Please e-mail a copy of the proposal to Jan Schuh.

Proposals must be received no later than March 1, 2016 . It is anticipated that all proposers will be informed of the status of their proposal by the end of March 2016.

Note: Proposals are considered confidential and proprietary.


The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research reserve the right to not award a contract for this research. Reasons for not awarding a contract could include, but are not limited to, a lack of acceptable proposals or a finding that insufficient funds are available. The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research also reserves the right to redirect the project as is deemed advisable.

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research plan to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the researcher(s).

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research.  By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate with the Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests.

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research may also choose to market and promote the research to members, candidates and other interested parties.  You agree to perform promotional communication requested by the Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research, which may include, but is not limited to, leading a webcast on the research, presenting the research at an SOA meeting, and/or writing an article on the research for an SOA newsletter.