In China, Few Are Covered By Earthquake Insurance

From Los Angeles Times:

As a customer-service manager at China Pacific Property Insurance Co., Shen Jie paid visits to dozens of policyholders whose homes and cars were destroyed or damaged by the May 12 earthquake. After recording each case, he could only shake his head.

“It’s a shame that we can’t compensate any of these car and house claims,” said Shen, 38, who works at the firm’s Mianyang branch in Sichuan province.

That’s because in all but rare cases, earthquakes are specifically excluded from property insurance coverage in China; as in California, you have to buy a special policy and pay extra. This exclusion is supposed to be highlighted and made clear to customers by insurance agents. But lawyers and industry experts say many earthquake survivors had no idea that the policies that some had dug out from the rubble of their homes were worthless pieces of paper.

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