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Travel Underwriting Accord Advances

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A key National Association of Insurance Commissioners panel has approved proposed travel underwriting guidelines.

Members of the NAIC’s Life Insurance and Annuities Committee voted unanimously here at the NAIC’s spring meeting in favor of amendments to the existing Unfair Trade Practices Act model.

The executive committee of the NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., and the plenary – the body that represents all voting NAIC members – must approve the amendments before they can become NAIC policy.

The UTPA model amendments would expand the definition of unfair discrimination practices to include refusing or limiting access to life insurance based on a consumer’s past lawful travel experiences or future lawful travel plans.

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The amendments include some exceptions for future travel plans, including indications that an individual will face a greater risk of loss at a specified destination at a specified time than if the individual did not travel and a risk classification that is based on “sound actuarial principles and actual or reasonably anticipated experience.”

Examples of “greater risk” include individuals who plan to travel to destinations subject to pandemic alerts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and to destinations that are affected by “ongoing armed conflict.

Parties that are supporting the amendments include state insurance regulators; the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington; and Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas.