02-27-2008 12:15

Special Report:   Winter Storm Relief

China is doing its best to cope with the aftermath of its worst winter storms in 50 years. On Tuesday, the top economic planner, insurance regulator and finance ministry met with insurance experts to discuss how to improve disaster insurance system.

On Tuesday, the top economic planner, insurance regulator and finance ministry met with insurance experts to discuss how to improve disaster insurance system.
On Tuesday, the top economic planner, insurance regulator
and finance ministry met with insurance experts to discuss
how to improve disaster insurance system.

The latest statistics from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission show that up to Sunday, local insurance firms have paid out more than 1.6 billion yuan in claims stemming from the recent severe weather. However insurance firms are expecting to have to shell out millions more.

Hao Yansu, Dean of Insurance School of Central University of Finance and Economics said "Almost half of compensation cases are motor vehicle claims, and another quarter are from the power sector. It's surprising that the hard-hit agricultural sector has not made that many claims."

Insurance experts say disaster insurance schemes are common in many countries around the world. Some even have compulsory flood and earthquake insurance policies. Experts are suggesting that the government and insurance companies explore that option.

Dong Bo, Deputy Director of Insurance Regulatory Commission of China said "We should develop disaster insurance schemes covering common disasters in China, like flood, typhoon, snow storm and earthquakes, etc."

Officials with the insurance regulator say the disaster insurance schemes will rank among the top on their agenda, and will cooperate with related social bodies to carry out pilot programs soon.

In recent years, natural disasters have become more and more common in China, costing the country over 100 billion yuan every single year in direct loss during the last decade.


Editor:Xiong Qu