Populous Chinese province launches natural disaster insurance trials

In addition to its capital Zhengzhou, trials will be set up in Anyang, Xinxiang, Hebi, Zhoukou and Xinyang cities, the provincial government said in a statement on Monday.

Local governments in typhoon-prone areas on the Chinese coast have taken out disaster insurance, but this type of insurance is still largely in its infancy in China, partly due to the lack of leadership from the central government.

However, the devastating 2021 floods in Henan, a province of nearly 100 million people, were a wake-up call for local officials. They have caused billions of dollars in economic losses and hundreds of deaths, prompting officials to seek greater protection against natural disasters.

Under the Henan trial program, the history, disaster probability and local conditions of the selected cities will be taken into account when negotiating with insurance agencies to determine a unified insurance plan.

Cities are encouraged to increase insurance coverage as their financial resources permit, the Henan government said.

Henan said it had selected cities with the highest risk and which were severely hit by rainstorms and floods last year as the first batch of the pilot program.

It will then expand the coverage areas and extent of protection according to the situation, and gradually cover the whole province.

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