The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Test-Achats fights intrusive medical questions for mortgage applicants

10:30 07/08/2018

Consumer protection watchdog Test-Achats is pushing ahead with legal action to stop three major Belgian insurers asking intrusive health questions when someone applies for mortgage insurance.

The organisation says AG, Axa and Belfius are failing to respect the right to privacy with their medical questionnaire, which is a requirement for a mortgage applicant to insure their debt in the event of death.

The insurers adapted some of their questions in 2016 when Test-Achats first complained about the issue, but the watchdog says some "problematic questions" still remain.

Brussels commercial court rejected two parts of Test-Achat's legal claim: the association had argued that open-ended questions in the medical survey meant applicants were likely to divulge more information than was needed. The assocation also said that the insurers had no right to ask applicants about any genetic diseases they have, as this is prohibited by the insurance law.

The consumer watchdog now plans to take its case to appeal, L'Echo and De Standaard reported on Tuesday. "This is such a basic principle - we cannot compromise on it," Test-Achats said.

Mortgage insurance questionnaires typically include questions about an applicant's health, including their body mass index and whether they smoke, drink or take drugs. Some insurers require a blood test for HIV.

Written by The Bulletin