A plan that would keep insurance companies from refusing to insure travelers unless they can prove the traveler is going to a dangerous place is halfway to becoming a law.
The proposed law says insurance companies cannot deny coverage to travelers unless the companies can show with actuarial studies that the destination is dangerous enough to increase the likihood of harm.
The Senate has passed the bill and has sent it to the House for agreement.
Among the supporters is Karen Aroeste of the Anti-Defamation League who says some people don’t know they’re being denied coverage until they’ve already made their plans.
She says a group going on a Christian mission to the Holy Land got surprised when all of them applied to the same company for additional insurance policies. "We’re looking at good will missions; we’re looking at response to natural disasters and people who go out from NGOs. We’re looking at business travelers and government travelers. This hits just about everybody." (NGO’s are non-government organizations.)
Other backers of the bill say it’s wrong for insurance companies to base coverage decisions on whether a country is on the State Department’s "do not travel list." They say those lists are often based on political considerations, not safety issues.
Supporters say the new law would not keep insurance companies from covering people who really go to dangerous places, but they have to prove those places really are dangerous.