2004-01-30 / Community

Pheffer Fights Travel Discrimination

Pheffer Fights Travel Discrimination

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer has announced the introduction of legislation to prohibit insurance discrimination based on a person’s past travel history (A.9411).

"Whether or not someone has visited a specific location, such as Israel or Ireland, should not influence their ability to secure a life insurance policy," Assemblywoman Pheffer said. "The practice unfairly discriminates and this legislation will put an end to it. As Americans, we have the freedom to travel abroad and should not have to worry about repercussions because of where we choose to visit."

Certain life insurance companies have refused to issue policies to U.S. citizens based on past travel experience. That line of questioning has become common in the industry.

The Assembly’s legislation, which Assemblywoman Pheffer sponsored, would prohibit life insurance companies from basing a decision on whether to deny insurance, cancel an existing policy, or demand a higher premium on an applicant’s lawful travels.

"While assessing risk is a legitimate concern of the life insurance industry, a person’s travel history is not a fair indication of future risks," Assembly woman Pheffer said. "Working families invest in life insurance to protect themselves in the event of an untimely death of a parent or spouse. I strongly oppose insurer practices which deny access to this essential investment because of an applicant’s past travels."

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