SOURCE / ECONOMY
Chinese insurers move swiftly to handle rising claims after floods in Henan
Published: Jul 22, 2021 08:58 PM
People clean up the silt around a trapped car in Mihe Town of Gongyi City, central China's Henan Province, July 21, 2021. Mihe Town suffered great damage due to the heavy rainfall on July 20, with a large number of roads damaged and vehicles flooded.(Photo: Xinhua)

People clean up the silt around a trapped car in Mihe Town of Gongyi City, central China's Henan Province, July 21, 2021. Mihe Town suffered great damage due to the heavy rainfall on July 20, with a large number of roads damaged and vehicles flooded.(Photo: Xinhua)



After unprecedented downpours struck Central China's Henan Province, leaving cars upended, houses destroyed and people stranded, Chinese insurers responded swiftly with urgent measures to handle claims from policyholders, with more than 65,000 claims arriving by Thursday.

A flurry of insurers in China launched contingency measures to support the response to the floods in Henan, such as green channels for fast claim settlement and removal of limits on bills for treatment and medicine at designated hospitals. 

At least, 10 insurers have received over 65,000 claims in total.

Ping An Insurance Group Co of China announced on Thursday that it had received over 20,000 claims in Henan due to the torrential rain, saying that total settlements may reach 600 million yuan ($92.82 million).

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co received over 10,000 insurance claims in the province as of 9 am on Thursday. Employees at its customer service centers in East China's Shandong Province and Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province are guiding clients in Henan through the process.

A client services staffer surnamed Li at the Henan branch of Ping An Insurance told the Global Times on Thursday that the volume of phone calls for making insurance claims and inquiries surged about a dozen times since the unprecedented downpours and floods struck the province.

"Though some of our outlets have closed due to blackouts and water cut-offs, our company has established a special team for the settlement of insurance claims and rescue," Li said.

His team has been taking phone calls on a 24-hour basis, about 90 of which are related to vehicle insurance. The rest are related to accidents.

A Zhengzhou resident, who made an appointment online for a car loss assessment on Thursday, praised insurance companies' quality service for car owners who endured losses in the floods.

He told the Global Times that insurers covered the cost of car towing services and claims settlement will be made in line with the degree of loss.

"Vehicles that are blocking the roads or have been severely damaged will be hauled first," he said, noting that given the large number of cars that are damaged, he might pay the cost himself if claims take too much time.

On Thursday, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission told insurance companies to settle claims efficiently, especially paying indemnities in advance when it's difficult to assess losses because of floods.

In addition, the commission supports insurers to expand the coverage of property, safety production liability and agriculture insurance products in a bid to guarantee the economy and the well-being of the people. 

It also asked banks to step up credit support in flood-battered areas and encouraged them to cut financing costs for post-disaster reconstruction.

(Global Times intern Zhang Xi contributed to the story)


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