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.


VaneSSa said...

Given that Dharmsala, India has a hagiographic pedigree as the place of exile of His Holiness, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, unscrupulous insurance providers might include a war risk insurance to traveler's interested in meeting with the Dalai Lama in addition to their travel insurance for the fear of initiating a Gene Roddenberry inspired version of the Sino-Indian War.

Sherry Rashad said...

Travel insurance provider's unhealthy fetish over their policyholder's preexisting conditions causing additional price premiums that doesn't seem congruent with established risk analysis models could engender an additional add on expense yet again - in the name of war risk insurance. Wether or not their actuarians are knowledgable of Gene Roddenberry's views on the Dalai Lama and / or the Sino-Indian War or not.

Lilith Fair said...

Maybe insurance companies should create a new product called Diplomatic Incident Insurance for those who are close to the Dalai Lama.