People's Insurance Company of China Property and Casualty Company Limited (PICC P&C), the country's largest property insurer, is considering setting up an agriculture arm to develop farm insurance business, according to sources with the company.
The move, encouraged by the industry regulator, will consolidate resources in the agriculture sector, and better protect the interests of Chinese farmers, the company said.
The company plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary. Three other major business lines - vehicle, non-vehicle, and liability insurance - will operate independently, according to the company.
The move by the company to offer better services to the agriculture sector comes amid repeated calls from the government to revitalize the country's agriculture, which is considered to be of make-or-break significance to the nation's prosperity.
Wu Dingfu, Chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, recently called for more efforts to ensure all farmers have access to agriculture insurance.
"China's insurance industry will not prosper without the development of agriculture insurance", he said.
By the end of August, PICC P&C's 31 branch offices had all launched agriculture insurance policies, racking up premium income of 205 million yuan, up 39.3 percent year-on-year, according to the company.
The PICC P&C's policies cover more than 40 kinds of agricultural activity, including farming, breeding and fisheries, said the company.
(Xinhua News Agency October 6, 2006)