The State Council promulgated its No. 628 decree on Friday to abolish the Accident Injury Compulsory Insurance for Railway Passengers Regulation, effectively repealing a railway compulsory insurance policy that had lasted 61 years.
From New Year's Day 2013, the regulation will be invalid and all railway tickets will no longer include an insurance fee, currently accounting for 2 percent of ticket prices.
At the same time, Article 33 of the Railway Accident Aid and Investigation Regulation will also be annulled, removing compensation ceilings of 150,000 yuan ($24,000) for the injury or death of passengers and 2,000 yuan for lost or damaged luggage.
The main reason for the abolishment of the compulsory insurance is because the regulation has often come into conflict with current insurance laws.
"With the abolishment of the regulation, the price of train tickets will be adjusted next year," one railway department official explained. "It gives passengers liberty to choose whether to buy the insurance or not."
According to current insurance laws, all insurance contracts should be established voluntarily.