China Planning Earthquake Coverage Program

July 14, 2004

China wants to build an insurance system in two to three years to protect against natural catastrophes, which officials estimate cause some $17 million in losses every day.

China Daily reported that the Insurance Regulatory Commission is planning an insurance system to cover earthquake damages to residential properties.

Liu Jingsheng, an official with the commission, spoke on the plans at an International Conference on Continental Earthquakes in Beijing.

“China has yet to forge a sophisticated and complete catastrophe insurance system,” said Liu. “The commission has enacted and revised some regulations and is actively co-ordinating with other agencies to secure maximum fiscal and taxation support for the formation of such system.”

Liu also said China wants domestic insurers to expand their partnerships with foreign insurers.

Insurance Regulatory Commission has invited insurance companies from Japan, the United States, Australia and Europe to become involved.

Currently, rebuilding after disasters is mostly financed by the State and donations. But China hopes that commercial insurers can help the state meet the demand for catastrophe coverage if given support.

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