Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Of Therapeutic Vacations and Travel Insurance

Even though the therapeutic vacation side of the travel industry remains very much an unexplored niche market, will travel insurance providers’ policies on preexisting conditions hinder its economic viability?

By: Ringo Bones

Before being called as such, the concept behind therapeutic vacations and / or therapeutic holidays probably predates the invention of the wheel. When prehistoric men and women set off in pilgrimages – religious or otherwise – for the travel destinations supposed feel-good factor. These days, there are a myriad or more travel destinations that seems to offer therapeutic effects – whether via religious miracles or well-established hagiographic pedigree – just waiting to be tapped by the post-credit crunch travel industry. Sadly, the concept of therapeutic vacations may well remain just a dream due to an overwhelming majority of travel insurance providers’ preoccupation with their policyholders’ preexisting conditions.

The issue of insurance providers somewhat unhealthy fetish over their policyholders’ preexisting conditions became a cause célèbre during the height of President Obama’s campaign for healthcare reform in America. Cancer survivors being recommended by their doctors for therapeutic vacations or therapeutic holidays at present usually can’t afford it due to the fact that their insurance providers provide them with travel insurance policies as expensive as or even more expensive than their planned therapeutic vacations.

Knowledgeable individuals involved in such quandary are now questioning whether insurance underwriters and risk assessors under the tenure of big insurance companies truly understand the true nature of risks faced by cancer survivors. Blatantly so when the hike in travel insurance premiums doesn’t seem to mathematically coincide with the perceived risks using the latest risk assessment analytical tools at our disposal. Looks like your planned trip to visit the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, India just to be grateful after your ordeal of a decade-long battle with leukemia might be a very expensive proposition from a travel insurance perspective.