Sophistication, coverage of industry remain modest, says premier
China will adopt a host of policy measures to promote the scale and quality of the personal insurance sector and facilitate its steady development, in order to meet the public's diverse needs, the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.
"The personal insurance sector in China has made notable progress in recent years, with insurance coverage continuously expanding and public awareness of risks steadily increasing. That said, the sophistication and coverage of China's personal insurance sector remain modest. This also indicates that China is a huge insurance market with enormous potential," Li said.
Attendees at the meeting emphasized the need to step up the development of commercial insurance. Commercial medical insurance products that suit the needs and payment capacity of the elderly will be developed. Insurance companies will be encouraged to incorporate medical expenses, within a reasonable range yet outside the basic medical insurance catalog, into insurance coverage.
"More types of insurance covering critical illnesses will be supported and aligned with the basic medical insurance system as supplements to enhance critical illness insurance protection for urban and rural residents," Li said. "Openness will be extended in an orderly manner, and international cooperation strengthened, to promote the development of health insurance and provide better services."
Commercial endowment insurance, which serves as the third pillar of China's pension system, will be put under unified standards and regulations, and its development will be stepped up. Endowment insurance featuring convenient application, flexible payment and relatively stable earnings will be supported.
"Commercial endowment insurance will be vigorously developed. In the past few years, new industries and new business models have emerged as China deepens reform of government functions and encourages entrepreneurial and innovation activities nationwide," Li said.
"Suitable supplementary endowment insurance will be developed to cater to the needs of people working in those businesses, as well as of those in flexible employment, to ensure a more reliable guarantee for the future. It will help sustain existing jobs and create new jobs. This is a major task, and breakthroughs will be made," he added.
Long-term investment capabilities will be enhanced. Supervision of assets and liabilities will be strengthened, and risk prevention and control stepped up. Insurance funding will be encouraged to participate in major construction projects such as infrastructure and new-type urbanization, to more effectively bring out its role in driving the real economy.
"Risk prevention and control must be enhanced on an ongoing basis to prevent the speculative use of insurance funds. Greater efforts will be made to address the difficulty in settling insurance claims and to attract more people to participate in insurance plans," Li said.