Groups welcome travel insurance law

Jewish groups welcomed the passage of a bill banning insurers from discriminating against travelers to Israel.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 passed Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives includes a provision that bars travel insurers from considering past or future lawful travel. Some insurers have denied insurance based on some countries appearing in the State Department’s travel advisories.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) initiated the inclusion of the language. A similar bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is under consideration in the Senate and must be passed in order for the president to sign the measures into law.

“All too often, insurance companies deny coverage or charge an excessive premium for coverage based on lawful foreign travel,” William Daroff, who heads United Jewish Communities Washington office, said in a statement. “After filling out insurance applications and listing Israel as a destination of choice, travelers have repeatedly found they are rejected for coverage by their life insurance company of choice.”

Other groups praising the bill’s passage include the Orthodox Union, the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International.

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