Payments from Chinese insurance industries for snow-ravaged areas had surpassed a record of 1 billion yuan (US$139 million) by February 7, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) revealed recently.
According to the CIRC, insurance companies paid out 855 million yuan for property losses caused by the disastrous weather, accounting for about 9 percent of the aggregate payment. Snow wreaked havoc on the southern part of China several days before February 7, the country's traditional Lunar New Year this year, causing temporary traffic jams and regional damages in electric power transmission.
Insurance claims from a dozen of the snow-besieged provinces and regions totaled 799,700 cases. People residing in Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Anhui provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, struck severely by frigid weather conditions, filed 463,000 claims, the CIRC reported. The insurance payments reached 160 million yuan, 145 million yuan, 98 million yuan and 89 million yuan, respectively, for Hubei, Hunan, Zhejiang and Guizhou provinces.
Insurance companies paid out 302 million yuan for 44,800 claims from companies citing property losses. Among the payments, 254 million yuan was distributed to regional electric power industries. Agricultural industries received a total insurance payment of 35 million yuan, among which 1.97 million yuan was paid out for damaged crops and plants, covering 6,132 mu (408.8 hectares) of farmland; 29 million yuan for the losses of 49,900 sows; 4.8 million yuan for 11,100 cottage rooms. The insurers also paid out 400 million yuan for 605,800 claims from automobile owners, 20.71 million yuan for 18,000 life and accident claims and 35.57 million yuan for 22,000 health claims, the Financial Times reported on February 13.
(China.org.cn by Wu Jin, February 13, 2008)