China’s insurance industry must respond to climate risks

Beijing - As climate change increases the frequency and severity of typhoons, the Chinese government is pushing the insurance industry to offer climate risk policies.

Beijing - When super-typhoon Meranti made landfall on September 15 in the Xiang’an district of Xiamen, it was the strongest typhoon to reach land anywhere in the world this year, and the strongest ever to hit the Fujianese mainland. “Everything in the room was blowing about, even the duvet!” said Cai Lingting, who lives near the sea on the east of Xiamen. The typhoon shattered two of her glass windows, damaged furniture and other items, and left the room sodden.

The windows will be replaced by the apartment complex’s managers, and Cai’s worker’s union will provide some compensation, although Cai hasn’t asked for any. She’ll cover the other costs herself. Meranti left 28 dead and 15 missing across Fujian province and neighbouring Zhejiang, and caused 20 billion yuan (US$3 billion) in damage. Half of this – totalling 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) – was in Xiamen. That’s the equivalent of one sixth of the city government’s annual income. A total of 17,000 buildings collapsed, mostly workshops and factories. Agriculture was also hit badly. The livestock sector suffered losses of 900 million yuan (US$133 million) and 105,000 mu of crops were lost or damaged... READ MORE

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