2013-May-13 Shenzhen Daily

SHENZHEN is preparing to pilot a catastrophe insurance program that would fill in a gap in insurance coverage in China, the Shenzhen office of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) announced Thursday.

An insurance working group recently met in the city to discuss the catastrophe fund’s establishment, scope of coverage and premium rates, among other topics.

Alarmed by earthquakes in other regions and well aware of Shenzhen’s high risk of typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes, the office initiated a study of the city’s meteorological statistics for the past 20 years in 2011.

The work, supported by the Shenzhen government, caught the attention of the CIRC and could be used as a model for other parts of the country.

The office didn’t give a timetable for the catastrophe insurance program or more details.

In another development, the office has imposed a fine of 1.95 million yuan (US$309,000) on 18 insurers and agents in Shenzhen for irregularities since the beginning of last year, the office said.

Insurance premium income in Shenzhen totaled 14.03 billion yuan in the first quarter of this year, up 25.2 percent from a year ago. The growth rate was 18.6 percentage points more than the country’s average rate.

Premium income derived from life insurance increased by 29.7 percent from a year ago, to 9.82 billion yuan.