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Insurers pay US$56.6 million in quake claims
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China's insurers have paid a combined 386 million yuan (US$56.6 million) in claims related to the devastating May 12 earthquake, the industry regulator said today.

Insurers received about 96,000 claims for payment and spoken to about 147,000 clients about possible loses, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said in a statement posted on its Website today, citing figures as of July 12.

Insurers also pre-paid 116 million yuan for claims that have not ended yet. About 86.5 percent of the claims have been finished, the regulator said.

About 1,527 insurance outlets were damaged during the devastating quake.

China Life Insurance Co, Ping An Insurance, China Pacific Insurance and Taikang Insurance opened 24-hour hotlines for claims, sent relief teams led by senior managers and streamlined indemnity procedures for earthquake related claims.

The disaster raised awareness about the importance of insurance.

Insurance can absorb an average of 30 percent of the losses from a disaster based on global data, but in China it's much lower as the market is still immature.

(Shanghai Daily July 16, 2008)

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