The American Council of Life Insurers is keeping close watch on a section in the new Terrorism Risk Insurance Act extension bill that could limit use of intended travel destination as a life insurance underwriting criterion.
Section 11 of the TRIA extension bill, H.R. 2671, concerns “mandatory availability of life insurance that does not preclude future lawful travel.”
The section would restrict use of travel underwriting, but the current version would permit insurers to charge extra for insureds who intend to travel to certain destinations if the extra charges were reasonable and based on a good-faith actuarial analysis.
The provision also would permit insurers to deny applications for coverage based on travel if federal agencies had ruled such travel to be dangerous because of health risks or because of an ongoing military conflict.
The provision would not pre-empt travel underwriting laws that already are in effect in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Washington.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., the author of the provision, says she is working with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, to have the measure introduced as a free-standing bill in the Senate.
But Wasserman-Schultz says she believes the provision also fits well in the TRIA extension bill.
“My argument has always been that if you allow headlines to dictate American business practices, then the terrorists win,” Wasserman-Schultz said. “That is why the TRIA bill is an appropriate place to put this.”