Can I buy home and contents insurance in China?
Photo by IFERREIRO
Thankfully – given how much of a consumerist society China is becoming – home and contents insurance is as freely available as it is in the West, whether you live in an urban area or a rural one.
Normally the insurance covers the destruction of the house/apartment and its ancillary facilities, and their decor and contents. Additional coverage can include loss caused by theft or robbery, destruction caused by faulty electricity appliances, destruction caused by burst pipes, and so on.
If the insurance is purchased online, you do not need to provide any documentation. The process is fairly simple:
- Choose the insurance you’re looking for, enter your email, your name, beneficiary’s name and your ID number (foreigners should choose ‘others’ in ID type column and type in their passport number).
- Pay the insurance using an online payment method such as online banking, or Alipay.
- After you have successfully purchased the insurance, the system will email you the electronic version of the insurance policy. If you have filled in physical mailing information when purchasing, the written insurance policy will be sent to the address within seven working days.
- If you put in a claim for the insurance, your Property Ownership Certificate (房产证, fang chǎn zhèng) if you own the property, or lease contract (租房合同, zū fáng hé tong) if you’re renting, are required. So are the receipts, fapiao or invoices for whatever you want to claim, including decor, home appliances and possessions.
Costs and insurance companies
Of course, the cost of insurance cost varies depending on the value of the houses and contents, the insurance policies purchased and the company used. However, as an example, PICC (People’s Insurance Company of China, which claims to be the largest property insurance company in Asia) offers policies covering between 5,000 and 11,070,000 yuan.
For a household worth 1,670,000 yuan, the policy holder would need to pay around 750 yuan for a year’s insurance. More detailed information can be found here; you can also call the company on 95518 or 400 1234567 (no English service available).
The other major Chinese insurance provider is Ping’an Insurance Company, which has plans that can be tailored according to the holder’s needs. For more information see the web page here or call 400 883 3663 and dial 2 for the English service.
There are also agencies that specialize in arranging insurance policies, but these must be contacted at their offices, in person.