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Insurers pay US$49 mln for earthquake claims
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Insurance companies in China had paid out 334 million yuan (US$48.5 million) for 250,000 quake-related claims as of Friday, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) said on Sunday.

Of that amount, 190 million yuan was for life claims and 144 million yuan for property claims, the industry regulator noted.

Chen Wenhui, CIRC's assistant chairman, on Sunday urged to speed up paying out for claims related to insured company assets and construction projects.

The indemnities would help the quake-hit businesses to resume production at early dates, Chen added.

Most of the damage wasn't covered by insurance, as awareness of such products is low in remote areas, analysts said.

Direct economic losses from the Sichuan Province earthquake on May 12 could reach 400 to 500 billion yuan (US$58-73 billion), the State Information Center said on Wednesday.

The magnitude 8.0 quake had killed 69,181 people as of Sunday noon, according to the State Council Information Office.

(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2008)

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