Affordable Life Assurance for Farmers... in China

Article published on 23rd July 2008

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The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has announced recently that it will be launching cheaper life insurance for farmers right across the country. This is in response to research that has shown that most Chinese insurers focus on accidental injuries and sickness cover.

According to the extensive survey it conducted throughout China's central-west provinces, the CIRC found that although over 75% of farmers in these rural areas had heard about insurance and what it could do for them potentially, fewer than 30% of them had actually bought any such insurance, primarily because of cost.

The net result is that the government run CIRC resolved to launch and promote a range of more affordable life insurance policies specifically targeted to farmer within the provinces in question, which include Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai and Heilongjiang.

The insurance products will cover more than just untimely death, but also disease, disability and mutilation. On the face of it the deal seems to be a good one, with farmers paying just 100 Chinese Yuan (about £7.28) a year, for insurance guarantees of between 10 to 50 thousand Yuan (between £728 and £3,644) - amounts which in rural China have far more spending power than one might expect at first glance. Importantly, the policy contracts and claims procedures are to be simplified, as this was perceived to be another obstacle in the path of insurance acquisition in rural China.

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