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Chinese province to subsidise coronavirus cover for businesses

17th February 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Hainan, an island province in the southernmost region of China, has launched an insurance product designed to cover business losses relating to the coronavirus outbreak, according to reports from Reuters.

The scheme has been co-launched by 12 re/insurers, including PICC, China Pacific Insurance Co, and Ping An Insurance Group.

The Hainan government plans to subsidise 70% of the premiums payable by the 100 key businesses that are considered eligible for this coverage.

According to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), the scheme has 200 million yuan ($28.7 million) available to cover pay-outs, and will protect against production losses, wage paid to quarantined employees, and fees related to the suspension of operations.

“There are lingering concerns that the resumption of business operations will lead to more cases of coronavirus infection, and cause production to come to a standstill due to the quarantine policies,” the regulator said in a recent notice.

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“The insurance will play its role of ‘social stabilizer’, and help companies to come through difficult times.”

There have already been more than 70,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in China alone, and 1,771 people in the country have died as a result of the outbreak.

In response, China has halted flights, blocked roads to major cities and shut down factories, putting heavy pressure on the economy.

To help alleviate this pressure, regulators have been injecting money back into the financial system and fast-tracking the launch of cheap life insurance products.

Popular Chinese messaging app WeChat announced earlier today that 10,000 medical professionals have now signed up to the free coronavirus cover offered by its insurance platform, WeSure.

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