In the US car insurance companies are most interested in driving record to rate you and insure or decline you with claims history secondary. Here they are only interested in claims history; they do not seem to care about hoons who do not make claims since anyone who does not make a claim is good business.
@boblorel, you have put an interesting proposition on the table. You are correct that at least in the western world insurance is basic to protect our financial lives. As a senior myself, I have long been aware that travel insurance, new credit, and other common bits of life would be and are increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain as our milestones are hit.
An underlying question is not discrimination per se, but taking on personal responsibility or demanding society share your personal risk tolerance as with NDIS, general insurances, etc. But then you wrote you could get travel insurance excluding heart conditions but why as it would serve no purpose. It would cover for a multitude of travel issues and even health related so long as they could not be traced back to your heart. So your position seems one-sided although understandable. We are all meeting a world that is increasingly about ‘me, my, mine and work out your own problems’. It is an ugly kind of world in my view, but roughly 50% of the electorates in most western societies are voting for parties that lean that way, such as our libertarian coalition.
Although you seem happy to take risk on advice, the human condition is complex and medical events happen. What you reference as discrimination seems reasonable for an insurance company operating as a business to decline to underwrite your personal risk tolerance for your condition because medical and evacuation expenses, especially in the USA, can be breath taking. nb. My late brother was a ‘sick puppy’ for years and every time he went into hospital the bill (paid 80% by US Medicare and supplementary insurances, 20% by him) was in the $USD200,000-400,000 range for just a few days. He was fortunate he had sufficient resources! You used the example of how private insurance has to cover pre-existing conditions after 12 months. Perhaps a travel insurer could cover pre-existing conditions for the first 30 days, but would seriously ill people take advantage? Or cover those conditions after 30 days away? What purpose then as most travel for weeks not months… I trust you see the points I am attempting to make, and am not being argumentative.
A few honest questions
- what price would you be willing to pay for travel insurance that included your heart condition?
- why do you think that is a fair price?
- what medical review would you be willing to undergo to override ‘the computer’ and at whose cost?
- under the for-profit capitalistic system what is the insurance company’s responsibility to shareholders?
- does your cardiologist have his/her own ‘skin’ in the game, unlike an insurance company that gave you cover, if you are travelling and have an episode?
Serendipitously there is an item in the press about Volvo thinking outside the box for ‘placing’ their cars. It caused me to have a deeper think about your post. It is a problem where individual ‘rights’ (is international travel insurance a right?) meet with individual responsibilities and costs. You call it discrimination while others call it risk management. It is a touch of discrimination as currently practised because it stops short of a physical exam (which is your original point), but at the same time, at what cost to a wider society to satiate an individual?
Perhaps Volvo will succeed with their novel approach, and similarly one day universal travel insurance for health might be part of medicare or become a long term subscription as with life insurance. Both interesting propositions, but if the medicare levy went up another 1/2% to cover travel how would the electorate respond? Perhaps wildly in favour, or not.
Once again, insurance is a business not a social movement, for better or worse.
My last comment is that you are 100% correct that those of us who do not meet with particular problems rarely equate them with discrimination, while those who do interpret them quite differently.