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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good News For Your Next Vacation to Afghanistan

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 8:05 AM

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Planning a little weekend getaway to lovely Afghanistan? Bird watching in the FARC-controlled jungles of Colombia? Visiting a quaint little health spa in Mogadishu? You're in luck.

Thanks to a bill signed into law today by governor Jay Nixon, Missouri life insurance providers can no longer price gouge based on a customer's future travel plans. The bill, sponsored in the House by locals Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville) and Jake Zimmerman (D-University City), was lauded by the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League because insurance providers can no longer "deny applications or charge unreasonable premiums based on generalized assumptions that certain parts of the world are more susceptible to the risk of terrorism than others."

"Our offices reported receiving complaints from a number of individuals challenged by life insurance companies because they had traveled or planned to travel to Israel," said Karen Aroesty, the ADL's regional director in an official statement. "There is no sound actuarial reason why life insurers should treat Israel differently than, for instance, parts of Indonesia or South America when it comes to concern about terrorism."

Really? It's unreasonable for insurers to charge a little extra when their clients plan on sightseeing in a war zone?

Technically, no. There's a slight loophole in the letter of the law stipulating that any rate changes must be based on "sound actuarial principles" or "related to actual or reasonably anticipated experience." 

In other words, it could be "reasonably anticipated" that you're going to be looking down the muzzle of an AK-47 at some point during your hike in the tribal areas of Pakistan and your premium will probably be increased to reflect that probability.

The bill goes into effect for policies written or renewed after August 28, 2009. That gives you a little time to shop around on airfare to the middle east.

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