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Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 03/31/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

INSURANCE PROPOSAL PROTECTS CONSUMERS TRAVELING TO ISRAEL

Individuals planning travel to Israel and other international destinations cannot be denied life insurance under a proposal being advanced by a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) committee chaired by New York Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo.

The proposal is contained in a recommendation approved Sunday by the NAIC’s Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee in Orlando. The full NAIC is expected to accept the recommendation, which the NAIC would then propose be enacted into law by the individual states.

“This proposal is aimed at protecting the rights of American citizens to travel freely without losing important life insurance protection,” Superintendent Dinallo said.

The proposal would permit insurance companies to deny or limit life insurance coverage in specific situations. These include travel to a destination under an alert or warning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or destinations where there is an ongoing armed conflict involving a foreign army.

Under existing New York Law, insurance companies cannot deny insurance coverage to consumers on the basis of past international travel. However, New York Law, like that of many other states, does not address future travel.

The issue arose in 2005 when U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was denied additional insurance coverage when her insurance company learned that her future travel could include visiting Israel.

The NAIC is the organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The NAIC provides a forum for the development of uniform insurance policy when uniformity is appropriate among the states.

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