China's insurance regulator on Monday stressed that no insurance
firms were allowed to reject, delay or cut short compensations for
snow-disaster victims without good reason.
The latest meteorological forecast showed that the weather would
improve in the next few days, but the compensation work has just
started, said Wu Dingfu, head of the China Insurance Regulatory
"The follow-up work is still very arduous. Insurance companies
must make full preparation and keep a good mood to embrace future
challenges," Wu said.
He urged local insurance firms to streamline compensation
procedures for disaster-related claims and pay customers
immediately if the claimed amount was small.
He also ordered insurance companies to pay indemnities in
advance to the industries key to the disaster-relief work.
So far, worst-hit Hunan Province in central China has reported a
total indemnity claim of more than three billion yuan (416.7
million yuan U.S. dollars), and major insurers, including China
Life, Ping An and China Pacific Insurance, have paid an indemnity
of 40 million yuan in advance.
Insurers in central China's Hubei Province have received claims
of more than 400 million yuan, including claims for the loss of
6,288 fertile sows. The insurers have paid about a quarter of the
claims, including 6.28 million yuan to local pig breeders.
The rising pork price kept driving up China's inflation rate
last year, and the government then started helping farmers insure
their pigs to encourage them to raise more pigs and improve the
No pork shortage resulting from the disastrous snow has been
Wu Yan, president of the People's Insurance Company of China
(PICC), revealed on Monday that his company had paid a total of 309
million yuan in indemnities so far, with more than 50 million yuan
given to Hunan.
The money was mainly used to compensate vehicle owners, power
departments, people with their houses destroyed by the snow and pig
breeders, Wu said.
Persistent snow since mid-January, the worst in 50 years in
central, eastern and southern China, has led to death, structural
collapse, blackouts, accidents, transport problems and livestock
and crop destruction.
The snow havoc has hit 19 provinces, toppled 223,000 homes and
damaged another 862,000, according to the Ministry of Civil
The ministry said almost 7.8 million people had been affected
and at least 60 people had been killed.
(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)