Insurer Seeks Travel Rule Waiver
By: Travis Miller
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has adopted rule 69O-125.003 prohibiting an insurer from refusing to issue or continue a life insurance policy based on an individual’s lawful travel plans. The rule provides an exception, however, when the insurer can demonstrate that classifying individuals according to their travel plans is actuarially supportable and is based on actual or reasonably anticipated experience that correlates to the risk of travel. In December, Monumental Life Insurance Company filed a petition with the Office of Insurance Regulation requesting a waiver of the rule for the underwriting of life insurance policies on individuals planning to travel to Iraq or Afghanistan.
The petitioner cites the ongoing battle against terrorist activities in those nations as support for its requested exception. The petitioner likewise points out that the U.S. State Department has issued travel warnings against traveling to those countries. The insurer therefore believes there is a reasonable, expected impact to mortality experience associated with travel to Iraq or Afghanistan that does not exist with persons not planning to travel to those countries. The insurer contends that restricting policies for persons traveling to those countries is necessary to limit what otherwise would be a potentially significant adverse exposure.
Monumental Life specifically observes that the exposures in those countries are unique, and that it does not seek to extend the underwriting restriction to individuals planning to travel to other countries. The company has asked for an exemption extending five years, or such other period as the Office of Insurance Regulation considers appropriate.