Young white-collar Chinese take out insurance against flu

11:10, November 26, 2009      

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Young people concerned about A/H1N1 influenza are taking out insurance against the potentially deadly disease.

Ping An Insurance Company of China has introduced a new health insurance policy against A/H1N1. The coverage is priced at 50, 100, 200 or 500 yuan and valid for one year.

"Fifteen days after buying the insurance, you can receive compensation from our company if you died or became ill because of the flu," said Qu Naishu, an officer of Ping An's Beijing branch.

"The payment for 50-yuan insurance, for example, will be within 20,000 yuan."

People aged between 3 to 75 years can take out the insurance. People who frequently travel abroad will need to prove that they do not get the flu on purpose.

Qu said most of people who take out insurances are white-collar workers aged between 20 and 35.

This came as The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed on Tuesday that three cases of A/H1N1 mutation had found in China, and that it was the same as had been found in Norway, Xinhua News Agency reported.

However, health experts said that vaccine would still protect against the mutated disease.

Cui Sijia, director of risk-control department of Ping An Beijing, said an increasing number of people had taken out A/H1N1 insurance, especially in September and October.

"Compared with previous months, sales in these two months increased by about 53 percent," said Cui.

About 1.7 million people, or 10 percent of the city's population have received the flu vaccination in Beijing, said a spokesman of the Beijing health bureau on Monday.

But while many people are waiting for the vaccination, some are reluctant to get the jab.

"Nobody in my office got the vaccine because we worry about its side effects," said an officer surnamed Zhou who works at Sinopec.

"For a new vaccine, I think it takes time to know whether it's safe or not.

"Perhaps I will take out insurance. After all, 50 yuan for one year's insurance is not expensive."

Source: China Daily/Agencies
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