When taking out a loan, questions about health can be asked. Is it legal? What can we ask or not? Does this information condition the granting of a loan?

The insurance company yes, the bank no

Insurance, not the bank, is entitled to ask questions about health status. The insurer then wants to assess the risks it assumes. Depending on the age of the borrower and the amount of the loan, the information requested is more or less detailed. He can ask for a simple declaration on honour to be in good health but it can be analyses, complete examinations... Usually there is a medical questionnaire first. The insured person must provide accurate answers to specific questions asked by the insurer.

What you can't ask for

The insurer is prohibited from applying for or using genetic tests even with the consent of the insured. In addition, he must ensure that his services comply strictly with medical secrecy. The bank employee must also not be able to read the medical questionnaire, which must be sent to the insurance company in a sealed envelope. Nor does the insured's attending physician have to respond directly, without the insured's consent, to requests for clarification from the insurer.

If I give an incorrect answer

In the "Health Status" questionnaire, care must be taken to provide accurate answers, as the consequences can be serious. In the event of an unintentional error, there is a proportional premium rule: the indemnity payable by the insurer is reduced in proportion to the insurance premium that the insured would have had to pay had he or she accurately declared his or her risk. If this is a false statement, the contract is void. In this case, the insurer must prove that the error was made in bad faith.

The free choice of insurance Since 2010, there is no longer any obligation to take out insurance underwritten by the banker. You can choose the insurer of your choice. Competition must therefore be brought into play because an insurer can then be found that will offer an equivalent level of cover with simpler acceptance conditions.

In case of refusal by the insurer

The insurer is entitled to refuse the loan and does not have to justify its refusal. In general, this is the case when it considers that there is an aggravated risk. In case of refusal, it is important to know that one can benefit from the AERAS Convention (Insure and Borrow with aggravated Health Risk). This agreement offers a solution to people with or who have had a serious health problem and allows them to find a guarantee but the loan must not exceed 4 years and the application must be made before 50 years. Moreover, this Aeras convention includes a right to oblivion, especially for people who have been cured of cancer whose treatment has been finished for at least 15 years. These persons are not obliged to report this to the insurer, cannot be subject to additional premiums or excluded from coverage.

Law Firm DAMY, Nice, Health Questionnaire / Getting Ready, Update 2016.