Press conference on the financial system's full support for epidemic control and production resumption

A press conference was held Saturday morning to explain the measures being taken by China's financial system to fully support control work for the COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus pneumonia) epidemic and production resumption. February 17, 2020


My question is for Mr. Liang Tao. It has been mentioned that some insurance companies will expand their scope of accident, sickness and other liability insurances to include compensation for death and impairments caused by COVID-19 pneumonia. My question is, what will the claim settlement process for COVID-19 pneumonia patients be, and when will they receive compensation? As for the choice of insurance products, what kind of advice can you offer the public? Many insurance companies have now launched products like COVID-19 pneumonia life support plans – will they be implemented? Thank you.

Liang Tao:

Thank you for your questions and thank you for your interest in the question of insurance, which shows that public awareness towards the subject is rising rapidly. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, insurance companies have provided their support in the fight against the outbreak by opening a "green channel" for claims, expanding insurance coverage of their products, and donating insurance protection items. I'm not going to elaborate on those figures right now. Insurance companies have in general lowered their standards for making claims. For claimants who have caught COVID-19 pneumonia, insurers lifted claims restrictions including waiting periods, deductibles, coverage ratio and designated hospitals, and simplified or exempted the requirements for submitting paper claims materials to realize quick compensation via online claims and prepayment. Therefore, with regard to your first question, a claim can basically be paid on the day it is filed given that the insured or a beneficiary provides their bank account information. Some claims that are part of extended coverage or free insurance can also be paid in time. Prepayments or condolence payments are given to those patients who remain treated in isolation. We recommend that customers consult the service hotlines of the relevant insurance companies for details on claim settlements as the procedures for each company are slightly different. 

As for your second question, there are a wide variety of life insurance products that cover against the risks of birth, elderly care, illness, death, and disability. The medical expenses of COVID-19 patients will be paid by the basic health insurance, and the rest part that should be paid by patients will receive government subsidies. However, in face of the epidemic, we suggest that consumers purchase health insurance against a larger range of diseases to cover their medical expenses, or buy serious disease insurance or life insurance to cover big-ticket expenditures and the loss of family income against major diseases or death in accordance with their paying abilities or their needs.

Regarding your third question, some customers have shown concern about insurance products which exclusively cover the novel coronavirus pneumonia. Lacking a statistic basis for pricing, the CBIRC has banned insurers from developing such single-liability products to prevent the infringement of consumers' rights. So far, relevant insurers have extended liabilities for more than 400 existing insurance products as mentioned before. They can cover risks of serious illness, disability and death caused by the novel coronavirus pneumonia during the outbreak prevention and control period. We suggest that customers check the announcements released by their insurance companies for more details.

Next, the CBIRC will continue to support and encourage insurers to extend insurance liabilities of existing products and donate relevant insurance products to people working on the frontlines in the fight against the outbreak within their means. We will intensify policy enforcement and supervision, and urge insurers to deliver their underwriting and claims services. Meanwhile, we will promote the innovation and development of products in the industry, continue extending guarantee liabilities, and provide better insurance supplies for customers to ease the worries of the public. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

There will be another press conference here this afternoon to introduce the epidemic prevention and control for those returning after the Spring Festival. The press conference this morning is hereby concluded. Thank you.

Translated and edited by Zhang Liying, Zhang Jiaqi, Zhang Rui, Gong Yingchun, Liu Sitong, Wu Jin, Li Xiao, Gao Zhan, Lin Liyao, Wang Yiming, Zhou Jing, Mi Xingang, Duan Yaying, Guo Xiaohong, Yuan Fang, Yang Xi, He Shan, Wang Wei, Fan Junmei, Zhang Junmian, Wang Qian, Li Huiru, Huang Shan, David Ball. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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