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Life Health > Life Insurance

Georgia Warns Against Travel-Based Life Rate Differences

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Peach State insurance regulators say it may be illegal for life insurers in their state to use information about lawful travel plans in underwriting decisions.

John Oxendine, Georgia’s insurance commissioner, notes in the directive, Directive Number 06-L&H-2, that lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly have introduced a bill that would prohibit use of information about past or proposed travel to Israel in life insurance underwriting decisions.

Georgia law already has a definition of “unfair methods of competition and unfair trade practices” that bans “making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class, same policy amount, and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity, in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the contract,” Oxendine writes in the directive.

The directive applies to travel plans, and Georgia regulators believe that, under existing Georgia law, any rejection of an application for life insurance based solely on past lawful foreign travel or interest in future lawful travel to any country “is an unfair trade practice unless the rejection is based on sound principles that have been approved by the Department of Insurance,” Oxendine writes.

A copy of the directive is on the Web at Document Link


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